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The C&O Canal Towpath Trail and Great Allegheny Passage

Harpers Ferry to Purcellville

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DL from Alexandria Va on 11/13/2022 1:49:47 PM:
Planning a GAP trip for 2023! Pittsburgh to DC. As part of the route, would like to overnight in Harpers Ferry then head to Purcellville for a return to DC via the WO&D. Looking for suggestion for bike route out of Harpers Ferry to Purcellville with low traffic and with limited gravel roads. Similar to route out of Brunswick published by KirkR (great route - but want to visit Harpers Ferry and leave from there).
Thanks to all for the great info on this site!

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 11/13/2022 4:43:16 PM:
I’ve ridden self-supported from Harpers Ferry to the train station at the end of the W&OD in Purcellville a few years ago. I followed the bicycle route that Google Maps yields between these two locations which is:

Union St
Rte 340
Rte 671
Rte 9
Rte 611

(There aren’t a lot of options.)

Rte 340 was easily the the diciest, albeit the shortest route, of all with heavy, high-speed traffic and rubble in the shoulder. The others were country highways with less traffic and rolling hills.

Perhaps other forum contributors can offer some other options or feedback.

Although not directly related to your question and you likely already know, you’ll need to carry your bike up the stairs from the C&O Towpath to the railroad/pedestrian bridge to Harper’s Ferry.

DL from Alexandria Va on 11/13/2022 7:41:43 PM:
Thanks for this info (and all of your contributions!). Definitely not planning to do steps twice which is why we hope to leave from Harpers Ferry side. Soooo…Hoping to find the safest, but not necessarily the fastest route to Purcellville. Seems that Louden County has lots of back roads that you can’t really check out on google maps. Plan to stay in-or close to Purcellville so have all day to do it. Hopefully others have considered this paved alternative to the lower C and O. Am particularly concerned about 340 out of Harpers Ferry….appreciate any additional feedback from folks who have ridden this way.

John J from Leesburg, VA on 11/18/2022 1:48:18 PM:
What about 340 to Harper's Ferry Rd (671) to 9, to 690 Hillsboro Rd that goes into Purcellville?
Or if you can stay on 9 a bit longer then take a right onto Purcellville Rd, which is very low traffic/ some gravel, small road and goes right into P. Ville? We had no traffic at all when we used this road.

Or the standard, C&O to Brunswick and get on 287 Berlin Turnpike that goes all the way down to P. Ville with a short part on the W&OD headed West to get into P.Ville?