Popular Trails to Explore along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath

Private Tour Guide Washington DC

Washington Tourist Attractions

The towpath of the C&O Canal spans a shy below 185 miles and starts from Georgetown neighborhood to Cumberland in Maryland. In fact, you can choose to trek the first few miles along the Potomac River starting from Georgetown to up to Great Falls Tavern. This mile-long stretch just behind M Street is rife with low-slung, brick-lined buildings with traces of colonial past of the neighborhood in Washington DC. This towpath would pass into a swampy area a few miles down the line, which is when trekkers used to take a diversion to the Capital Crescent Trail.

It heads past the Fletcher’s Boathouse, which offers kayaks, canoes, and bikes for rentals to the sightseers here to explore the canal towpath. If you choose to continue to go past the boathouse in your preferred way of sightseeing when on a Washington DC tour, you will come across a stone sign that serves as a reminder of the canal’s existence. Note that the Capital Crescent Trail is undergoing renovation works to pave way for the Purple Line in Maryland, so you would to have trek, rollerblade, and do other stuff elsewhere for the time being.

Another popular trial along the now defunct Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is the one that falls amidst Old Angler’s Inn restaurant and Great Falls Tavern. While walking through that particular portion of Billy Goat Trail, you will come across an artificial body of water that is similar to an alpine lake. A particular section of the said trial diverts from that section of the canal towpath leading up to the massive tavern, which is worth admiring even from afar. Without a persisting need to get around the waterways while trekking there may not even have a purpose to the C&O canal, which closed operations during early 20th Century.

The canal towpath still attracts millions of visitors each year including joggers, people staking on rollerblades, and others exploring the towpath on bicycles. The canal run by the National Historical Park used to be the channel for erstwhile Americans, who used to live in and around the Potomac River to bring lumber, fresh produce, and coal to the market. Nowadays, it carries the status of being a pathway that lets sightseers discover the natural treasures in the capital city.

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