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Reply to White's Ferry to Leesburg

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Reply to White's Ferry to Leesburg
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M Derby from Atlanta GA on 9/13/2019 12:10:42 PM:
Hello - Hoping for some insight / advice - My friend and I are riding the C&O in early October and staying at Lockhouses along the way. We really wanted to take the ferry and ride into Leesburg. I've read that while there are plans to widen Rte 15 and add bike shoulders, currently there are several spots where there is absolutely no shoulder on this 4mi stretch and that it is very dangerous? How safe / dangerous is this ride - We will have touring gear etc on bikes, and while it would be nice to ride to town for a good meal and visit, don't want to get creamed by a car to do it. Thoughts? Thanks so much in advance!

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 9/13/2019 7:20:45 PM:
I've ridden that road a couple of times in route to overnight lodging. It is indeed a busy highway. If you choose to do so, hopefully you have a mirror to keep an eye on the traffic coming from behind. Also, you are well advised to make yourself as visible as possible while on the road with bright colors and blinking lights. If possible, you'd be well advised to avoid rush hours on the road. Lastly, you can avoid riding it twice if you elect to ride from Leesburg to Washington on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail rather than return back to the C&O on Rte 15 from Leesburg.

 
John from Pittsburgh, PA on 9/13/2019 8:40:51 PM:
I second Rivnuts suggestion for W&OD Trail. A nice alternative to the mud of the C&O. It's an MUP that is really well marked. The only downside is you will miss Great Falls if you take this from Washington DC to White's Ferry. For some people that's a deal breaker (and an understandable one). Also, don't forget the Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) before and after Hancock, MD. Look for the map online as it will have the switch off points so you can connect back to and from the WMRT/C&O. 28 miles of paved goodness.

 
Willy from Alexandria VA on 9/14/2019 10:35:37 AM:
Just crossed Whites Ferry coming back from my Alexandria to Pittsburgh and back trip just last Tuesday. Whites Ferry Road doesn't have any shoulder, but little traffic if not at rush hour(~1 mile). Route 15 has a wide shoulder (~5ft) while traffic passes you at 50 mph until the turn off to business 15 from 15 bypass (~2 limes). Then its minimal to 2ft shoulder the next mile into Leesburg (but at least the speed limit is posted at 25-35 mph). I find this section from Whites Ferry to Leesburg and the connection to the WOD trail as less dangerous than my commute through DC and Arlington 5 days a week.

 
M Derby from Atlanta on 9/20/2019 3:22:43 PM:
Thanks folks!!