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Which direction
dan from Austin, TX on 04/01/2011 08:01 AM
Planning on riding Washington to Pittsburgh or Pittsburgh to Washington in late May. Which direction is preferable - either?

Boo from DC on 04/05/2011 04:57 PM
Pittsburgh to DC is slightly downhill, and I think the more common direction.

vabiker23518 from Williamsburg, VA on 04/07/2011 02:31 PM
Take a look at the Bike Washington and GAP webpages. From Cumberland to the Eastern Continental Divide is the big rise, heading west. I've done it both ways, and for me, best to go west. That way you get the pain over with relatively quickly. When heading east, the gentile rise from Ohiopyle to the C.D. seems never ending!

Clarence M. Johnaon from Whitsett, Pa on 03/31/2011 02:46 PM
The WFYTC of the RTC is the member organization that maintains the trail from milepost 41 to 46. join us with a membership. Forward address and name to receive membership information. We are volunteer group. Thanks.

Backpacking C+O and GAP
Paul A on 02/19/2011 09:07 PM
I'd like to do a backpacking trip the length of the combined C+O canal path and the GAP. The problem as I see it is that the distance between camping places on the GAP is too far apart. Am I missing something? I might be able to crank out one 30 mile day but to do 5 in a row would be impossible for me. The only alternative I can think of is to hike to Cumberland and then finish the trip on a rented bicycle. any other suggestions?

keith from maryland on 02/20/2011 06:38 PM
i`ve been thinking about the same thing. I plan on riding my bike from Cumberland on up. Campgrounds are far apart and even the commercial ones are seldom not close to the trail. This will take some planning on my part as far as what I want to do. There are B&B`S along the way I was also looking at. But then the price of a small vacation goes up.
Hope your plans go well for you...good luck

Paul A on 02/23/2011 09:09 PM
I've been doing more research on http://www.atatrail.org/index.cfm and found that there are some private campgrounds,as well as hostels. While not as good as free they are cheaper than a B+B or hotel/motel

Rick Hancock from Grafton, Va on 03/27/2011 06:34 AM
I mostly bike the Gap/C&O so I'm able to go further between stops. Your right, the Gap isn't as hiker friendly as the C&O for camping. There are a few private campgrounds some are pretty close to the trail and others are a couple of miles away. Some will shuttle you for a small fee. Most of the "bigger" towns have hostels or B&B's the hostels are usually not too expensive. As you mentioned maybe renting a bike would be your best bet but you would need to arrange for panniers to be included, it's not much fun hauling gear on your back while biking.

Trail conditions help
Tom Jones from Pittsburgh on 02/24/2011 01:18 PM
I hoping to ride the entire length of the C&O in the 3rd week of March. I know this trail can be very wet at times. Is the trail ride-able at this time of the year.? THX

Rick Hancock from Grafton, Va on 03/27/2011 06:12 AM
It's been a hard winter, lots of snow and rain so I'm betting the trail is going to still be pretty wet/muddy. If you can post pone a month or so you might have more enjoyable ride. I can't believe I'm really saying this. I can't tell you how many times I've had Rangers etc. say the same thing and I went anyway. Sometimes I had a great time and other times I wish I'd listened! Like I said the trail right now could be in pretty rough condition. If your staying indoors at night you can get clean, if your camping you'll ride in mud, camp in mud, cook in mud, etc. Have a great ride

Biking with a Road Bike?
Nate Wineland from Glenside Pa on 03/01/2011 01:12 PM
This summer I am biking from Baltimore Maryland to Portland Oregon on behalf of 4K for Cancer, an organization that aims to spread awareness, inspire hope, and unite communities across the country in the fight against cancer.

I am in change of planning the fist 1/3 of the trip and so far our goal is to bike from Baltimore to Washington DC and then up to Pittsburgh. My fellow riders are I have been provided with Jamis Auroa's for our trip and I am wondering if a road bike will be able to survive on the trial, or if their are easy ways around the rough parts of the trail where we could bike on paved roads.

Any information that anyone could provide for me would be greatly appreciated.

wayne from Williamsburg, VA on 03/24/2011 02:47 PM
I've used 700 X 32 on both C&O and GAP...C&O is harder on road bikes due to mud and ruts, GAP is generally much better (after all, it was a rail bed, not a mule path!). Never had a problem with the 700 X 32.

Biking with kids
Dianne on 03/06/2011 11:03 AM
Planning to bike from Cumberland to DC in late spring/early summer with two kids ages 9 & 12. We plan to do about 20 miles a day. Would love to hear from anyone who has attempted the trip with kids. They are very fit, but we aren't under any time constraints. Any suggestions?

Paul A on 03/06/2011 04:56 PM
Having done bicycle camping trips with my sons and backpacking trips with my nephews I've got a couple of suggestions.
1 Make sure they get time to play everyday
2 If they see something that interests them stop and look at it
3 Let them make some of the group decisions, as appropriate.

I hope you have a good, no, great trip. You'll be making memories that you will share with them for a life time. Even though both of our sons are adults now we still do the "remember on our bike trip when......"

Marvin from Little Rock on 03/19/2011 03:02 PM

I'd be interested in your plans as far as how far to go each day. I'm thinking of doing the same with my 3 boys -they will be 8, 12 and 15.
My wife does not ride so we have great SAG support.
We have ridden across a state together each of the last 3 years and they are looking forward to our next adventure.

Here is a link to a blog we did for the first one when they were 5, 8 and 12.

Dianne on 03/24/2011 01:05 PM
We are planning on 20 miles a day most days, but we are kind of playing it by ear. On previous weekend trips they have gone 25-30 miles in a day on trails similar to the C&O Canal Trail, but we were not hauling our camping equipment. It's kind of tough to plan out; I don't want to wear them out, but on the other hand dragging the trip out to about 8 days or so could be tiresome too. Your blog link didn't show up. How many miles per day have you gone on your previous trips? Thanks for responding - I haven't found too many people who attempt these kinds of trips with kids and every bit of info I can get is appreciated.

Great Falls Overlook in Potomac
Ray (webmaster) on 03/16/2011 06:04 AM
Great Falls Overlook, which had been closed due to high water, is now reopened

Trail completion to Homestead
Howard from Pittsburgh on 03/13/2011 04:19 PM
Was going to bike to Maryland on the GAP the end of June. I live in Squirrel Hill in Pgh. and could easily access the trail through Frick Park and over the Homestead High Level Bridge. Does anyone know when the trail will be done to that point?

Mommer's Diner in Brunswick
allison from dc on 03/07/2011 03:35 PM
the service was terrible, they were out of at least 1/2 of the menu (at 1:00 on a sunday, so no excuse!) even worse, we both felt sick afterwards and I spent the night throwing up (either from here or "better choice bakery" bagels from around the corner which I realized too late were moldy ON THE DAY OF PURCHASE.) brunswick is a total disappointment, unless you're looking for antiques, which you're probably not if you're hiking the C/O.

Montour Trail info
BR on 02/22/2011 07:53 PM
Looking to ride the GAP next month and looking for info on the Montour trail to extend the ride. Is the trail open all the way from Coraopolis to McKeesport and are there camping spots on the Montour?

long term car parking
Pat from Barre, Vermont on 05/25/2010 07:58 PM
I hope to bike a few days around the Harpers ferry area and would like to leave my car in a safe location. Any suggestions on long term parking?

Paul A on 02/19/2011 07:26 PM
I'd bet this too late for the original poster, but, the National Park Service has a large lot at Harper's Ferry. If I remember correctly the charge to park, and leave, your car there is $6

bike selection
smitty from virginia beach on 01/30/2011 06:36 AM
opportunity knocks...been wanting to ride the trail from Pitt-DC for a few years...now I have the opportunity to do so in June 2011...the problem is I will be in the area to do so because of a different event and hence will have my road bike. My question is, would I regret riding/attempting this with a road bike?

vabiker23518 from Williamsburg, VA on 02/02/2011 03:02 PM
What size are your tires? My wife and I have ridden with 700 X 32 and it was a non-issue.

Paddling from Cumberland to DC
Ray (webmaster) on 01/07/2011 12:18 PM
Interesting discussion from Yahoo answers:
A friend of mine and I were wondering if its even possible to canoe from Cumberland, MD to Washington D.C. We would have camping equipment with us. Would the river be calm the whole way? Are there lots of locks, waterfalls, or other obstacles to an easy ride down the river?

By Jessica on Jan 6, 2011

You cannot canoe or kayak through Great Falls. Below that you are clear to Georgetown. Above that I am not sure but I googled around a bit and it sounds like it’s doable. I would recommend doing much more preparation than posting on Yahoo! answers.

By Jack A on Jan 6, 2011

Jessica gives good information especially about getting the additional information. Above Great Falls there are great stretches above the dams, at least 4 of them, with calm waters. The dams were built back in the 1800s and are not very high but still obstacles. At Harpers Ferry, WV there is one of these dams. Below the dam especially around August there can be practically no water; so yeah you need lots more knowledgeable information than you will probably get here. You might want to check with the National Park Service since the C&O Canal National Park runs parallel to the river all the way from Cumberland.

By Cheryl G on Jan 6, 2011

Sorry, you can’t do it. There are falls, rapids and locks all along the river that impede you. The biggest impediment is Great Falls at Falls Rd. and MacArthur Blvd. on the Maryland side of the river. There are locks on the canal that will keep you from traveling by that waterway.

BUT, you can boat from Cumberland to Great Falls and the trip is well worth it. It isn’t all that far from Washington, D.C. You could get off the river, go around the falls and then get back on for the rest of the trip.

John Spalding from Bardstown, Ky on 01/20/2011 11:16 AM
I biked the canal path last spring, and tried to pay attention to the level of the river, because I was think of doing the same paddle. Late spring early June would work well. Just not right after a big storm. No doubt there are some portages but since the canal path is right there it wouldn't be that difficult. A couple of the dams along the way are washing machines, that would kill you if you got to close. However, if you scout and plan ahead it could be done and FUN.

Big Savage Tunnel (east entrance) in Meyersdale
Ray (webmaster) on 10/07/2010 09:26 PM
FYI, the Big Savage Tunnel is scheduled to close for winter on Dec 1, 2010.

Tony C from Connecticut on 01/18/2011 09:08 PM
Any idea when the tunnel will open back up. Planning on cycling from Pitt to DC in early April, but I don't want to miss this tunnel.


Verizon wireless in Confluence
Ray (webmaster) on 01/03/2011 04:53 PM
Verizon Wireless Expands 3G Wireless Network in Confluence, Pennsylvania
Here's a PR announcement, of interest to any Verizon customers who plan to pass through Confluence on the GAP.

Route 31 Board and Ski in Confluence
Disappointed on 12/29/2010 10:03 AM
We rented equipment and it wasn't even checked or fitted but we trusted that they knew what they were doing. When we went to leave one of the workers noticed that two of the same bindings were put on so they needed to adjust, they did and we went on to Seven Springs. Upon arrival after getting into all of our gear, we were unable to hit the slopes because they had given us equipment that didn't match up. They equipment was out of date and had not been made for years. After the amount of money we had already spent on lift tickets, we could not be refunded because we had rented from this wretched place. We called the place and explained what happened and they told us they would call us back. They never did, so we had to go to the place and explain what happened. Even the employees said that the equipment was supposed to be thrown away and never should have been there. They said that it was ridiculous and that it was there fault but proceeded to do nothing because the boss would not allow them to. After arguing we recieved our rental fee back but were still out our entire lift tickets and the two hours we traveled to get there. We now had to travel 2 hours back home, out of money, and upset. When we called the owner he told us too bad and had the nerve to hang up on us just becasue we asked if there was anything he could do. Craig is a real jerk and thinks that just because he owns fast good chains and this dinky rental shop that he can treat people like they are beneath him. When we got legal affairs involved he lied to them and had his employees lie for him as well. It was incredible the way he treated his customers and unfortunately we have not been the only ones. I would never rent from here again and it is a shame that people get away with treating other people badly. Because we could not get the equipment on (and we kept trying) I fell and am now seeing specialists due to a back injury...what a way to spend the holidays!

Extending the Tour de Canal Sept 2011
Anonymous on 12/19/2010 11:32 AM
I would be interested in meeting up with others riding from Pa to Cumberland in conjunction with the Alzheimers ride on the C&O Sept of 2011.

Poole's General Store to Close
Ray (webmaster) on 12/17/2010 09:19 AM
The family that gave Poolesville, Md., its name will close the doors of their 45-year-old family business this January.

Billie Poole and her husband Raymond have spent most of their lives selling farm fresh eggs, preserves, and other sundries to Montgomery County farmers.

"Its been wonderful," Billie Poole said. "We don't have customers, we have friends."

Economic hard times made it difficult for the Pooles to continue to extend credit for its goods, and the business has slowed considerably.

"Its sort of when old time business run into modern realities of credit and not paying their bills," said Bill Allnutt, a friend of the family and a local farmer.

The Poole's roots run deep in this county. They were here in 1972 when Hurrican Agnes swelled nearby Seneca Creek and flooded the store. After the flood, the Montgomery County Department of Parks bought the property and rented the store to the Pooles. That lease will run out Dec. 31.

Although a petition was started for "the Continuted operation of Poole's store," the family itself seems resigned to end this chapter of their lives. Outside the store, staff threw old business records into a fire.

The county is hoping to find a new tenant to move in to the commercial property. It is unclear what will come next, but the era of locals gathering for hot soup and chili made by the Pooles will end this month.

"I've been here for quite a while and I've enjoyed all of it," 84-year-old Raymond Poole said. "I hate to leave it. Every good thing comes to an end they say, so this is it."

First Published: Dec 16, 2010 6:41 PM EST

Source: http://www.nbcwashington.com/around-town/shopping/Pooles-General-Store-to-Close-in-Montgomery-County-112032059.html

Jeffrey A. Stunja from Whitsett on 12/14/2010 06:52 AM
I am the President & Founder of the Whitsett Historical Society. This historical society is on Facebook and has many old photos of Whitsett.
The Facebook website is: Whitsett Historical Society/Whitsett,PA My phone # 724-736-0519.

Bike/tire selection
Anonymous on 11/29/2010 09:19 PM
Planning ahead for a ride from DC to Pittsburgh. Should I be thinking about riding my cyclocross bike with 700 x 32 tires or my 29er with bigger and wider tires? What would you recommend, or does it really matter?

vabiker23518 from Williamsburg, VA on 11/30/2010 03:46 PM
I've done both trails with 700X32 and never had a problem.

Canal Quarters program houses > 1,200 visitors
Ray (webmaster on 11/20/2010 08:33 AM
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

by Cody Calamaio, Gazette

Potomac, Md. — You won't find wireless internet, or even running water, but for those looking to experience a day in the life of the bygone era of the C&O Canal, there are no better digs than a historic canal lockhouse.

In its first year, the Canal Quarters program has had more than 1,200 guests from 31 states stay in one of three historic lockhouses, far exceeding organizers' expectations, said Matt Logan, president of the C&O Canal Trust, a nonprofit that operates the program.

"It was really a risk, because nothing like it has been done in a national park system," Logan said.

Conceived of as a way to provide visitors of the C&O Canal with a unique and educational experience, there are now three historic lockhouses in Bethesda, Potomac and Clear Spring that can house guests overnight. The first year was so successful that plans are in the works to open three more lockhouses in 2011.

Built in the 1820s, each of the lockhouses was once occupied by lock tenders who operated the locks that moved boats up and down the C&O Canal, Logan said. The locks ceased operation in 1924, but some houses remained occupied until the 1970s.

All of the park's 26 lockhouses are on the National Register of Historic Places and are just some of the park's 1,300 historic structures, said Sam Tamburro, the park's cultural resource program manager for the National Park Service.

Not only are the two-story buildings historic, complete with either stone....

Full article at http://www.canaltrust.org/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=179&cntnt01returnid=109

Mckeesport to Amtrak station
cathy from farmington, nm on 07/10/2010 04:46 PM
Is there a good bike route from the end of the trail to the Amtrak station in Pittsburgh? Thanks for any information!

Cass from Falls Church, Va on 07/14/2010 12:42 PM
not that I found- did that two days ago- it was quite harry. Had to carry the bikes down some freeway stairs at some point, and got all spun around near some cadmium processing facility. Eventually found a spot to carry the bikes across the train tracks back on to the trail that gets you all the way into the city via the hot metal bridge. It's definitely doable, and I wish I'd have actually looked at Google Maps or something first and written it down, but it's not for the faint of heart. Good luck!

cathy from farmington, nm on 10/31/2010 09:27 PM
thanks...I think we'll get a shuttle!

Cumberland Trail Connection in Cumberland
jeff on 10/31/2010 08:38 PM
Supper crew and a welcomed cup of coffee after a below freezing start at Paw Paw. Definitely got the stuff you need

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