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Reply to Washington and old dominion or C &o to Brunswick mid April?

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Reply to Washington and old dominion or C &o to Brunswick mid April?
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Mrshobiejoe from Dartmouth, England on 3/15/2019 6:03:26 PM:
Hi all, I’ll be cycling from Arlington/DC on 15 April. Obviously it isn’t clear yet what the conditions will be but I’m leaning to using the Washington and Old dominion to Leesburg and then travelling across country to Brunswick to pick up the C & O. Interested to hear views. This is the beginning of a transamerica for me so I’d like to have a smooth and manageable start.

 
Richard from DC on 3/16/2019 6:19:59 AM:
That sounds like a great adventure. I am not a big fan of the W&OD trail. It's asphalt and fast but boring. Although there are some nice spots on it, the trail goes through the suburbs. It's a strip of green, and power lines, with houses on both sides. The best part of it is from Leesburg to Purcellville. The C&O Canal out of Georgetown, on the other hand, has views of the Potomac on one side and woods and rock cliffs on the other. It's macadam and slower of course, but at least you get to see Great Falls, which is better than any sight on the W&OD. The stretch of the canal from Georgetown to Seneca is the best-maintained too. If you do take the W&OD to Leesburg, you can get onto the C&O at White's Ferry. It's about one mile on Highway 15. The road carries high speed traffic, but it has a wide shoulder for a bike. The ferry is $3 for a bike, and the crossing only takes a few minutes. Leesburg is a quaint old-Virginia town, but if you are crossing the U.S., I doubt you'll want to tarry there at the beginning of the trip.

 
Mrshobiejoe from Dartmouth,England on 3/16/2019 5:30:17 PM:
Thank you Richard. I’ll keep an eye on the weather and trail conditions before making my final decision-seeing the falls would be nice but I don’t want to be bogged down in the infamous mud! If it’s wet! I ran the numbers through the route planner and the ferry would be nice and i have jotted down a further option of going cross country to Harper’s ferry to join the c and o. Next question- what is the situation with cash v card on the various trail services ie groceries, accommodation and restaurants/cafes? I’m assuming that most places take cards as I can’t see many options to get cash although I assume the larger towns will have an atm. I’ve travelled in the USA before and have cards that work although I mostly use Apple Pay at home these days.

 
Richard from DC on 3/17/2019 6:05:34 AM:
The C&O Canal from Georgetown to Seneca won't be muddy. Maintenance is good on that stretch. The problems are farther up. You are braver than I am about riding on backgrounds without shoulders. I always imagine a drunk in a pickup truck coming over a hill behind me and not seeing me on a bike until he plows into me. Everyone takes Visa and Mastercard. Some merchants don't like American Express because the fee is higher. Apple Pay will only work at supermarkets and bigger stores. I've never seen anyone use it at a restaurant.

 
Willy from Alexandria VA on 3/17/2019 8:53:00 PM:
Ok You can avoid the washout at mm52 before Brunswick by using the WOD past Leesburg to almost Purcellville. Look at google maps. Take Rt 287 and go north to Brunswick past the washout on the C&O. Then run the C&O to Cumberland. If the washout isn't fixed by the next time I go to Pittsbrgh in September. That is what Im thinking of doing. Willy

 
Mrshobiejoe from DARTMOUTH, England on 3/19/2019 12:33:26 PM:
Thanks Willy, I was thinking of staying in Hillsboro (just south of Purcellville) if I do that route and taking the country route parallel to 287. I think I want to avoid washouts etc on day one as I get myself sorted out for the longer trip. Funnily enough I am 50:50 between suburbia and scenic charm- suburbia has its benefits aka bakeries etc!