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The C&O Canal Towpath Trail and Great Allegheny Passage

Reply to general condition (other than detours)

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Reply to general condition (other than detours)
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Kim from Polk City on 5/11/2019 4:06:51 PM:
We are planning on riding from Cumberland to Washington D.C. using touring bikes. We will starting on May 20th. What is the general condition of the towpath concerning the surface (mud or soft areas)?

Rivnuts from Homestead. PA on 5/11/2019 9:28:18 PM:
Without being flippant, if you can identify what the weather will be on May 17, 18 and 19 before you depart, one could perhaps provide a reasonable estimate of the conditions along the trail. If it has rained a lot in those preceding days, you can expect a fair amount of mud and puddles. My experience is that the trail conditions are worst after rain between Cumberland and Paw Paw with trail conditions generally better as you approach DC. In those muddy sections, you may likely incur lots of mud under the fenders albeit better there than on your back side.?? Other forum members may have a different opinion especially those local to various sections along the way.i If you have not reviewed earlier forum posts, you should read those pertaining to the washout beyond Brunswick, MD to determine how you wish to deal with that damage to the trail. It may affect your plans.

Kim from Polk City on 5/16/2019 10:28:29 AM:
Thanks-Sounds like the first leg of the trip could be a mud-slog if there is some rain. We have made the C&O a part of a few vacations, but have never biked the whole way and those visits were a few years back. We know there have been improvements and weren't sure how many. I am wavering between "just going for it" and "wimping-out" by biking from a couple of towns along the way.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 5/18/2019 3:06:06 PM:
Just arrived in Cumberland from DC today. I didn’t see any “improvements” on the towpath from Harpers Ferry. The trail showed all the signs of spring rains but I’ve seen worse.

Cycle Chick from Portsmouth, OH on 3/13/2020 12:43:26 PM:
Suggestions for getting from the bike trail to visit Fallingwater needed. No Uber, Lyft or taxi service offered from what I see and I remember the location as being way up a hill. I dislike steep hills!