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The C&O Canal Towpath Trail and Great Allegheny Passage

GAP or C&O

Lisa from Phoenix on 12/28/2021 1:58:23 PM:
Hello, Our group of 6 is planning to ride the trails in Sept. 2022. Originally we planned the entire Pittsburgh to DC route. However, after consideration we decided to do one of the other. For those of you who have experience with the trails, which do you consider the best and for what reasons? I understand Whites Ferry is closed with no information about re-opening and causes a bit of re-routing at the end of the C&O. Any information will be helpful.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 12/28/2021 4:05:11 PM:
This is a well-travelled topic. In my opinion I’d ride the GAP from Pittsburgh to Cumberland if this is your first time on the trails unless you want to visit DC. The GAP trail is generally better condition particularly if you encounter rain. There is better access to water, food and lodging also. Depending on construction progress it is also possible that the Paw Paw Tunnel may not have reopened making the C&O Towpath trip a little more difficult. I’m sure others will have their opinions as well with other reasons.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 1/14/2022 11:52:24 AM:
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Rick from Grafton, Va on 1/16/2022 8:54:49 AM:
If you have the time I'd rethink doing a complete route. The Gap is a great route but so is the C&O. The Gap is a bit more civilized but the C&O offers history and actually more overnight choices if staying indoors. Sure you have to push-a-bike over Paw Paw and and the Ferry crossing is a problem but you can adjust your daily travel to account for that. Cumberland to Hanock is appx. 60 miles and the section from Little Orleans is remote. Overnight options are a bit tough if your staying indoors. If camping less problems.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 1/16/2022 4:29:44 PM:
To be clear and as others have noted, the C&O itself does not cross over the Potomac River so operation of Whites Ferry is not necessary to complete the trip from Cumberland to DC.