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Reply to Obligatory “Is the Paw Paw tunnel open?”

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Reply to Obligatory “Is the Paw Paw tunnel open?”
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BigEv from Pittsburgh on 7/11/2021 9:42:21 PM:
Will be riding from Cumberland to Hancock on Wednesday 7/14 - anyone know the latest on the Paw Paw tunnel closure? It seems like up to this point that it’s been passable, any update on if that’s changed in the last few days?

 
BZ from Hesperus CO on 7/14/2021 12:54:14 AM:
We are be riding thru on Thursday July 22. Any word on status of Paw Paw Tunnel? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 7/14/2021 3:03:44 PM:
Still open. Plan on going through and avoid the detour. Make sure to ask all passers-by as you approach the tunnel if they went through, they’ll have the latest. I must have had 10 people tell me to go through and ignore the detour. John

 
BigEv from Pittsburgh on 7/14/2021 6:35:24 PM:
I breezed right through today, no issues

 
BZ from Hesperus CO on 7/15/2021 12:26:16 AM:
Thanks for feedback.

 
AM from PA on 7/23/2021 10:55:04 PM:
Tunnel section is wide open. I went through two days ago (7/21) and there is no construction, nor any construction equipment set up. My guess is because MD DOT is rehabilitating the MD-51 bridge over the towpath (about a half a mile south of the south tunnel entrance), that the NPS has decided to postpone the tunnel scaling project until the bridge work is complete. In any event, the tunnel section is wide open so there is no need to go up and over.

 
Rey from Concord Ma on 7/26/2021 7:09:41 PM:
It’s the 26th and we just went through the tunnel- no problems. Going west there are signs saying it’s closed and some detour signs, but it’s not. They may have already done the work they planned on doing. From what a local said. Enjoy!!

 
Rey from Concord Ma on 7/27/2021 11:39:40 AM:
It’s the 26th and we just went through the tunnel- no problems. Going west there are signs saying it’s closed and some detour signs, but it’s not. They may have already done the work they planned on doing. From what a local said. Enjoy!!

 
SleepU56 from Richmond, va on 8/1/2021 1:59:14 PM:
Planning a 4-day ride from Cumberland to DC in a party of 9. Mixed experienced riders. Curious about PawPaw tunnel, of course, but wonder about challenging stretches. Thankful for any input. Travel dates 9/26-9/30.

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 8/1/2021 3:32:58 PM:
Tunnel has been open all summer so plan on ignoring the detour and just go through. As you are approaching the tunnel, ask passers by if they went through, they will know. The most challenging stretch is Cumberland to Hancock. I classify it as rustic and remote. It’s basically old mule paths. If it’s rained in the last few days there will be puddles and mud slicks. You will get a bit muddy. They’ve begun resurfacing at Shepherstown so it has the crushed limestone rail trail type surface which is much nicer. Don’t forget, you can hop on the Western Maryland Rail Trail at Little Orleans which parallels the C&O for 27 miles and is paved. After Mile 1 of the WMRT be on the lookout for Ernstville Rd. Turn right, go 100 yards to the dirt path, that puts you back on the C&O. John

 
Shaena from Pittsburgh on 8/3/2021 10:26:49 AM:
Hi, just trying to make sure we don't get stuck when we try to ride through next week with our kid -- if the Paw Paw tunnel does close, is the detour trail doable with a Burley trailer? We are experienced cyclists but would have trouble with our setup if it's rocky singletrack. Thanks!

 
John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 8/3/2021 5:54:54 PM:
Hi Shaena: I guess single track is how others have described it. In fact, most say you cant even ride *down* it. If you take the detour you will be pushing your bike and all the weight up the hill and walking down with the brakes on. :-) Definitely rocky but doable. I wouldn’t worry though, the tunnel has been open all summer. Good luck!