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Reply to trail conditions to expect in mid March?
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Megglands Best from Durham, NC on 12/19/2018 2:04:12 PM:
Hi, my friend and I have been wanting to ride the C&O from DC to Cumberland for a while, and it seems like mid-March 2019 is the best time for our schedules. Does anyone have experience or advice for this time of year (even if the advice is "don't do it!").

We had hoped to camp, but the more I read the more that seems like a bad idea, between the freezing cold (would have to lug tons of gear) and the water pumps being shut off til April. So we're fine with finding lodging, but I'm wondering what to expect for trail conditions? For example, I know in the summer the tree cover and river keep the trail shaded and cool -- are these trees all bare in winter and letting sunlight in, or should we expect trail temps to be even colder than the forecasted temperatures? It seems like the temps range from 40s-60s during the day and only a little chance of rain, so I'm hoping the silver lining might be that we can avoid the numerous trail washouts. Is the scenery still worth seeing at the end of winter? Any other obvious reasons why I can't find a single report by someone who's done the trail in March? :)

Thank you for any insights you all can share!

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 12/25/2018 5:22:03 PM:
Most trips are taken from May to October. Depends how wet the winter was and if it gets time to dry out when the warmer weather finally arrives if a March trip is in the cards. It's a crap shoot really. Last year may have been the worst I've ever seen it with regards to rain during the summer. So many people cancelled trips. Hopefully it's a one off. It's probably gonna be cold and wet in March but you never know if it will get warm or not. I wouldn't go at this time personally as it could still be in the 30-40-50's if a late system comes through. It can be done...hey people get muddy and wet in the heart of summer...but getting muddy and wet in March could be dangerous especially if you have a mechanical or physical breakdown and get struck in some of the more remote areas. I would just say proceed with caution and be prepared for anything. John