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C&O Canal(11 posts)

C&O Canalcanoepa
Aug 4, 2003 4:25 PM
My husband and I are going to bike the C&O Canal in September. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to rent bikes or get a shuttle service to DC? Also, is the entire trail wide enough to have a two-wheeled cargo carrier attached to our bikes?

Any other suggestions or information is greatly appreciated as well.
re: C&O CanalEDLska12
Aug 4, 2003 6:12 PM
I don't know about renting bikes or shuttle info, but the canal is wide in some spots and not as wide in others. I think a two-wheeled cargo carrier will make it fine. I have ridden the canal alot and there is one spot impossible to ride through on bikes unless you can ride trials :). You have to walk through there, so the carrier might get in the way. A nice spot to start is by the Great Falls area, great view of the river.
re: C&O Canalcanoepa
Aug 5, 2003 4:47 AM
Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it.
there is detourcyclopathic
Aug 5, 2003 12:42 PM
it is well marked but you'd have to carry bike over stairs.
look herecurlybike
Aug 4, 2003 8:12 PM
I have done the entire canal many times . You might check at and search for the canal ride. I am Curly.
look herecanoepa
Aug 5, 2003 4:48 AM
Thanks Curly. I will check out those websites.
Two suggestions.jesse1
Aug 5, 2003 2:56 AM
Make sure you bring a bug (mainly mosquito & gnats)repellent! The canal has had water in it where it usually hasn't due to the rain this year, hence more mosquitos than normal. And the gnats will be in every exposed crevice/oriface of your body!
Also - there's an excellent mom & pop bike shop in Hancock MD (at mile 124-approx) and is 120 ft off of the path, and 85 ft off the Western Maryland Rail to Trail. It's C&O Bikes. Food, drinks, freindly conversation can be found there, and by Sept, possibly even showers and lodging. As of now, closed on Tuesdays.
Two suggestions.canoepa
Aug 5, 2003 4:50 AM
We have noticed that bugs are bad along the river we live near; therefore, we figured it would be bad on the trail. Thanks goodness for bug spray. Thanks for the advice. If we get a chance, we will check out Hancock, MD.
Check Bikewashington.orgMB1
Aug 5, 2003 5:56 AM
by far the best website for information on riding the C&O Canal towpath.

I live and work in Georgeown and love to ride the towpath but this year it is in really bad shape because of all the rain we have had and are still having. Honestly I would suggest that you do it another year unless you really like mud. Lots of mud, really awful mud, more mud than you will ever want to see again.

There is a touring company that will drive you and your bikes to Cumberland for around $300 a van load. If you cannot find them on the web I can probably track them down.

However, if you have more questions or want specific information contact me at
Check Bikewashington.orgcoifmo
Aug 5, 2003 7:32 AM
Several bike shops in DC directly on, or w/in easy ride of the canal...Revolution Cycles and one other on Georgetown; City Bikes in Adams Morgan (connect to canal off Rock Creek Pkwy).

Haven't ridden the canal this hear, but the sections close in to DC look to be in decent shape. It's mostly packed clay/gravel all the way up -- and apparently mud according to earlier post. Double-track width in most places.

There is a 100-yard stretch at Great Falls where you will have to portage your trailer over a number of small but unrideable rock outcroppings.
Be advised...Becky
Aug 5, 2003 11:49 AM
...that the section around miles 84-88 is still washed out. As of last summer, this section was missing and involved a rather hilly road detour. Not a big deal really, but quite a shock if you're not expecting it and doing a loaded tour on 100-degree days...
Have a great trip!