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Anonymous on 3/2/2023 1:35:32 PM:
I'm planning on hiking the trail from Cumberland to Georgetown starting about mid March, and wondering... with the recent warm weather Cumberland and the surrounding areas have had, will the pump handles go on sooner, or will I still need to carry water for the time being.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 3/2/2023 7:22:17 PM:
Typically the National Park Service returns the pump handles at the H/B sites in mid-April. The NPS C&O website lists the status of these remote water faucets on their website. You can check their status there. They are all currently shown as "off" as expected.

I would certainly plan on carrying water and augmenting/refilling it at commercial outlets along the way. You may get lucky if the pump handles are returned early but I certainly wouldn't plan on it unless you see such on the NPS website.

You could also filter the river water if that's something you are comfortable doing with the right filter equipment.