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Reply to Summer of 2019 - Brunswick Washout

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Reply to Summer of 2019 - Brunswick Washout
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Gary M from Charlotte, NC on 3/18/2019 8:29:31 AM:
Reading the last post made me start to think of this summer. Does anyone local have a update on the Brunswick washout for this summer? "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"

Cenzo from Hatfield PA on 3/18/2019 11:06:12 PM:
Someone mentioned something about a path cut that goes down to the creek and arround the washout. Passable only when the water is low. I saw the video. I'd say, if no rain for 7 days give it a shot. Otherwise take the shuttle.

David Anderson on 3/19/2019 1:52:58 PM:
I am looking at alternate bypasses as well. Once in Brunswick, it seems do-able to cross the river into VA on 287, then take back-roads to 15, crossing over the river again back into MD at Point of Rocks. This route is only about 10 minutes longer than the actual distance on the C&O between Brunswick and POR. My only concern is whether there is access to the trail from the RT 15 bridge. I can't recall last time I rode through there. Anybody know?

John from Pittsburgh on 3/19/2019 4:38:13 PM:
David, looks like you should be good crossing back over at POR. Just turn right off the bridge onto Clay St. (Hwy 28) then a quick right into Commerce St. then another right onto Canal Rd. You will immediately cross over railroad tracks and then you’re there. There’s even a big C&O Canal parking lot and sign. Good luck!

Kate from Frederick, MD on 5/8/2019 12:12:49 AM:
Signage on the trail gives no specifics to a fix or timeline for the washout. The trail is closed a ways before on each side of the washout. We had a lot of rain this week - so I would recommend the shuttle and not trying to cross the creek for the time being. Also, route 15 is very dangerous. I would recommend against biking on it. But if you choose to do so, please be extra cautious - there are a lot of accidents on that highway. And it gets very busy with commuter traffic. Safe travels, everyone.

Cenzo from Hatfield PA on 5/8/2019 12:55:31 PM:
Do 6ou think there is a chance that the creek will be low enough to cross in the next 2 weeks?

Wayne from near Wash DC on 5/8/2019 10:14:29 PM:
On 5/6, Potomac was at flood stage: Whites Ferry ceased ops...I would not consider a time frame or period of no rain as a gauge to cross. The suggestion for RT287 is a stressful ride. You would take Rd 287 from Brunswick MD into VA, into Lovettsville, VA and turn onto Rd 672 (lovettsville RD) for 8 miles to Point of Rocks on RT 15, the bridge is right there and cross over and the end of the bridge turn right and then right again to get back on the C&O. But caution: Especially with a troop of boy scouts...You MUST realize this detour is a well paved road but a number of very steep hills and a number of blind curves with little to no shoulder and speed limit of 45mph...The NPS website even states that there is no viable detour due to road/traffic conditions. They are being very truthful. Get to Brunswick and shuttle around to Point of Rocks. River and Trail Outfitters has a great van and a trailer so depending on the size of the troop, this may be better than biking on RT287 and RT 672 to Point of Rocks. I have biked the C&O for years and on RT672 and even 287 is heavy on traffic-real heavy...take the shuttle or use yours. I am getting ready to bike with 12 others from Yorktown VA to Oregon. We are coming up to DC in 4 days of biking and getting on the C&O to Cumberland on the GAP and we are using the shuttle services. From Pittsburg we go to Wheeling WV thru Ohio, IL, IN into Ks and to Denver, and so forth...Again suggest you check with NPS website for updates on the wash out.

John from Pittsburgh on 5/9/2019 11:49:30 AM:
According to the C&O NPS alerts I found this piece of info: “Due to repeated flood events, attempts to install a temporary bridge have been halted. The park is working on a long-term solution.” Doesn’t look hopeful for this season. I would just take shuttle. It’s shame they can’t find a way around it safely.

Jim M on 5/9/2019 1:33:04 PM:
Has anyone tried riding the Point of Rocks Road (HWY 464) to Lander Road and then down to the towpath near lock # 29?

Wayne from near Wash DC on 5/9/2019 7:18:38 PM:
Hi Jim M. I am local....under no circumstances would I considered 464...this is 50 mph, curves, worse hills than 287/672 on the Virginia side....I have never seen anyone bicycle on 464...there are a few very steep hills...no shoulder but also there is a one very long stretch the guard forces you to bike in the road. If forced to bike from Brunswick to POR....and it is a an early Sat or Sunday...roll the dice and use the VA side...one hour detour...but again....depending on the size of the Canadian Boys Scout troup....decide based on that...and my advice all along has been has been towards the youth. If a solo or a pair of bikers come in Brunswick it is only a short trail ride to the washout out. From POR it is 6 miles or so before you can consider crossing the creek down by Potomac River or turning around and use 672 to 287 Lovettsville Rd to Brunswick. or sit, relax and wait for the shuttle you called to come and get you. An hour wait tops..?

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 5/9/2019 9:21:59 PM:
Wayne: Can you comment on riding on Rt 287 from Brunswick to Lovettsville in route to Purcellville to pickup the WOD on to DC? Looks like about +3% average grade for 2 miles leading into Lovettsbille with a max grade of 5.5% for a short distance. Google Earth appears to indicate it as a 2-lane highway with a narrow shoulder. Once reaching Lovettsville, Google Maps' primary bike route takes me off Rt 287 on some other roads in lieu of continuing on 287. They appear basically flat in into Purcellville.

pappy from western pa on 5/11/2019 9:06:59 AM:
Not sure why the NPS is not holding the railroad partially responsible for the Brunswick culvert washout? I passed thru that part of the trail a year prior to the flood, and the culvert under the railroad tracks was 90% obstructed with trees, mud and misc debris. In my opinion, when the waters backed up in front of the railroad culvert, it eventually overflowed the tracks causing a huge waterfall type effect and that is what caused the wooden trail bridge to wash away. If the railroad had done proper maintenance at their culvert (keeping it clear of debris) I don't think the degree of damage would have been as devastating as it turned out to be. I worked as a civil engineer for 35 years and I have seen the force of flood waters and the damages they can create. The very least the railroad should have done was to provide controlled access to the railroad tracks that would allow bikers to safely cross the railroad tracks during certain hours of the day. This washout has deterred many people (including me) from enjoying the unique beauty and solitude of this national treasure and I would love to see it back to some degree of normalcy. Sorry for venting, had to get it off my chest.

Velocipede from Bethesda on 6/1/2019 6:41:53 PM:
I rode 464 from Point of Rocks to Brunswick on Dec 18. It didn't strike me as too bad. Looking at a map now, it looks like one could cut the time on 464 down to about 4 miles by accessing/leaving the the C&O at lock 29/Lander Rd.