C&O Home  GAP Home
The C&O Canal Towpath Trail and Great Allegheny Passage

Have a water plan, or bring a filter

Brian from Lexington KY on 9/29/2021 2:52:48 PM:
I rode from Cumberland to DC last week (Sept. 20-24th, 2021), and much to our group’s dismay, we found that many of the water pumps were not working. A lot of them had the handles removed, but even several of the ones with handles were not pumping water. Fortunately, we all brought filters because we had to pull straight from the Potomac when we found ourselves in a pinch. I’m not sure if it’s pandemic-related (not enough staffing for maintaining the pumps), but it’s something to keep in mind. I remember doing the C&O back in 2014 and nearly every pump worked. I’m glad I didn’t put my confidence in that prior experience!

Lammetrack from Monona, WI on 10/5/2021 5:59:29 PM:
We rode the C&O west to east on September 15-17. We also found many pumps not working. We did bring a water filter for an emergency, but did not have to use it. We were not camping, so we decided to each carry enough food and water to get us our 60 miles or so for the day. That worked out fine for us in the warm, but not hot weather. There are not many places to stop and get refreshments between Cumberland and Hancock (at least we didn't fine them) so be prepared.