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  1. #1
    Crash's Avatar
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    Thumbs down C&O Canal - bad news

    It could've been great fun but.....

    1-Too many sites overrun by numerous kids. Weren't organized groups supposed to be in the Organized Group specific campsites?
    2-Many sites the well pump did not work or were so slow or tasted of the idodine the NPS sometimes puts in.
    3-[I] "they chopped down paradise and put in a campsite"![/I] It was difficult to hang in most sites because there are no close trees. NPS did this for the ground dwellers.
    4- Bugs don't bother me, but many of the sites I could of used a shotgun to take 'em down. Deet did not help at all.
    5- Potholes in the trail. The NPS in their infinite government wisdom are "fixing" the pot holes. INSTEAD THEY ARE DESTROYING THE TRAIL. They put down tons of gravel which makes a real bad surface to ride a bike on. Do they not know what they are doing?!! Its like hitting a quicksand trap and swallows up your tires.

    Would I do the C&O again? - NO.

    But I did meet many wonderful people on the trail. Stop in Paw Paw, WV on saturday mornings for the local farmer's fruit & veggies. With so many places to stop, you don't have to bring much food.

    The Western Maryland Rail Trail runs parrallel to the C&O for 25(?) miles near Hancock, MD. Now I can say its a great paved trail, nicely done and maintained. The trail goes downhill from milepost 0 going west. It goes thru the heart of Hancock, Md. I did it eastbound uphill. About 5 miles in some local homeowner put out a cooler with cold water bottles in it for a $1 donation. He also had a sign for rides back to Hancock. You have to camp on the C&O unfortunately since there's no camping on the WNRR.
    Last edited by Crash; 07-18-2010 at 22:02.
    "Courage Grows Strong at a Wound" - Stewart Clan Motto

  2. #2
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    Crash, Thanks for the report. I was planning to ride the C&O / GAP in conjuction with the Fall MAHHA Hang. The plan was to start Pittsburgh on the GAP and then jump off the C&O at Point of Rocks and do the Fall hang and afterwards continue on down the C&O to Georgetown. But after reading your report. I think that I am going to have to take a serious look at revamping my plans. I really appreciate the timely input.
    Terry

  3. #3
    Crash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poppabear View Post
    Crash, Thanks for the report. I was planning to ride the C&O / GAP in conjuction with the Fall MAHHA Hang. The plan was to start Pittsburgh on the GAP and then jump off the C&O at Point of Rocks and do the Fall hang and afterwards continue on down the C&O to Georgetown. But after reading your report. I think that I am going to have to take a serious look at revamping my plans. I really appreciate the timely input.
    The bugs should be better by then. Just be carefull of the water situation. I found that stopping into towns was helpful. Paw Paw, WV is small with a convienience store, Hancock, Md had many stores and restaurants and bike shop. Everyone I spoke to had a great time on the GAP. The only complaint was so few free camping sites. You have a great idea and I wish I could join you.
    How you getting back home from DC? People told me that Amtrak requires bikes to be boxed and only drop off at certain locations.

    Having a serious look at Destinations beforehand can really help a person avoid problems on their trip and revamp plans accordingly. This is stuff you can't find on official locations websites, i.e.: wellpumps not working, sites without trees to hang from.
    "Courage Grows Strong at a Wound" - Stewart Clan Motto

  4. #4
    Frawg's Avatar
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    FWIW, I added the tag "destinations" to this thread.
    - Frawg

    {generic tagline}

  5. #5
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Did you take any IX on this trip?

    - MacEntyre
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  6. #6
    Crash's Avatar
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    IX has come.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacEntyre View Post
    Did you take any IX on this trip?

    - MacEntyre
    It came while I was on the trip. It was so hot that I slept on my sleeping bag.

    I can't wait to try it out! Its so light.
    "Courage Grows Strong at a Wound" - Stewart Clan Motto

  7. #7
    kayak karl's Avatar
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    2 trees

    Did you hang every night or did you have to go to the ground?

  8. #8
    Crash's Avatar
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    hanged

    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    Did you hang every night or did you have to go to the ground?
    I kept going until I found a campsite I could hang at. I had to pass quite a few campsites. Going to the ground would have a very last resort.
    "Courage Grows Strong at a Wound" - Stewart Clan Motto

  9. #9
    Senior Member cavscout's Avatar
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    If you can recall which sites were "Hammock Friendly" and note them on this list, that would be a great resource for the trail. For those who might not know, H/B stands for "Hiker / Biker" campsites which are located roughly every 5 miles and are free but first come first serve.

    Campsites along the Towpath

    Mile Name Info

    11.6 Marsden Tract Campground (map) 301.299.3613: PERMIT REQUIRED - reserved for civic/scout organizations only. $20/night
    16.6 Swain's Lock #21 Five Campsites - nearby vehicle access
    26.0 Horsepen Branch H/B (map) 1.2 miles from vehicle access at mile 27.2
    30.5 Chisel Branch H/B (map) 0.3 miles from vehicle access at mile 30.8
    34.5 Turtle Run H/B (map) 1.0 miles from vehicle access at mile 35.5
    38.1 Marble Quarry H/B 1.5 miles from vehicle access at mile 39.6
    42.4 Indian Flats H/B 0.3 miles from vehicle access at mile 42.1
    47.6 Calico Rocks H/B 0.8 miles from vehicle access at mile 48.2
    Located near busy railroad. Subject to noise.
    50.3 Bald Eagle Island H/B 0.5 miles from vehicle access at mile 50.8
    Located near busy railroad. Subject to noise.
    54.0 Brunswick Family Campground (map) 301.834.8050: Private Campground - Showers. Located between Towpath and River, with Shower Facilities. Appears to be VERY popular but expect railroad noise.
    58.0 Harpers Ferry Hostel (map) 301.834.7652: On Maryland side across from Harpers Ferry. Cross RR Tracks and make first left. One mile up hill to corner of Keep Tryst and Sandy Hook Roads.
    62.9 Huckleberry Hill H/B Remote Campsite - No vehicle access
    69.4 Antietam Creek Recreation Area (map) Easy vehicle access - 20 Campsites - Fee Area: $10/Night
    75.3 Killiansburg Cave H/B (map) 1.3 miles from vehicle access at mile 76.6
    79.9 Horseshoe Bend H/B (map) 1.1 miles from vehicle access at mile 81.0
    82.5 Big Woods H/B (map) 1.5 miles from vehicle access at mile 81.0
    88.1 McMahons Mill (Bike Detour) RV and Tent Camping
    90.9 Opequon Junction H/B (map) Remote Campsite - No vehicle access
    95.2 Cumberland Valley H/B (map) Remote Campsite - No vehicle access
    99.4 Jellystone Park (map) 301.223.7117: Private Campground - Full Service RV and Cabins. Located 2 Miles south of Williamsport along Route 68. Showers, pool, camp store.
    99.4 Hagerstown KOA (map) 301.223.7571 : Private Campground - Full Service RV and Cabins. Located 3 Miles north of Williamsport along Kemp Mill Rd. Showers, pool, camp store.
    101.2 Jordan Junction H/B (map) 1.9 miles from vehicle access at mile 99.3
    109.6 North Mountain H/B (map) 0.4 miles from vehicle access at mile 110.0
    110.0 McCoys Ferry Recreation Area (map) Primitive RV and Tent Camping - Fee Area $10/night
    112.4 Fort Frederick State Park (map) Massive pre-revolution Fort. Easy access from towpath
    116.0 Licking Creek H/B 1.5 miles from vehicle access at mile 114.5. Located Near I-70 - Subject to traffic noise.
    120.4 Little Pool H/B (map) Remote Campsite - No vehicle access. Located Near I-70 - Subject to traffic noise.
    126.4 White Rock H/B (map) 1.2 miles from vehicle access at mile 125.2
    129.2 Happy Hills Campground (map) 301.678.7760: Private Campground - Full Service RV and Tent Camping (200 Sites). Cabins and Horse Stables available. 12617 Seavolt Rd
    129.8 Leopards Mill H/B (map) 0.9 miles from vehicle access at mile 130.7
    133.6 Cacapon Junction H/B (map) Remote Campsite - No vehicle access.
    139.2 Indigo Neck H/B (map) 1.6 miles from vehicle access at mile 140.8
    140.8 Fifteen Mile Creek Recreation Area (map) Fee Area: $10 to $20. A Drive-in site with RV and tent sites (Primitive Facilities - No RV Hookups)
    140.8 Little Orleans Campground (map) 301.478-2325: Private Campground - RV and tent sites 1/4 mile from the towpath. Showers, pool, camp store.
    144.5 Devil's Alley H/B (map) Remote Campsite - No vehicle access.
    149.4 Stickpile Hill H/B (map) Remote Campsite - Rough access point 0.6 miles away at Mile 150
    154.1 Sorrel Ridge H/B (map) Remote Campsite - Rough access point 0.7 miles away at Mile 153.4
    156.2 Paw Paw Tunnel Campground (map) Easy vehicle access - Tent Campsites - Fee Area: $10/Night
    156.9 Purslane Run H/B (map) 0.7 miles from vehicle access at mile 156.2
    162.1 Town Creek H/B (map) 0.2 miles from vehicle access at mile 161.9
    164.8 Potomac Forks H/B Remote Campsite - No vehicle access.
    166.7 Camp Potomac (map) 301-729-1300: Private camping facility 1.5 mile from the canal. Open to scouts and other youth groups. Two cabins and eight campsites available. Email bsapotom@gmail.com for reservations.
    169.2 Pigmans Ferry H/B (map) Remote Campsite - No vehicle access.
    173.3 Spring Gap Recreation Area (map) Primitive RV and Tent Camping - Fee Area $10/night. Store located on Route 51.
    175.4 Iron Mountain H/B (map) Access from nearby Route 51. Located near railroad trestle. Subject to noise.
    180.0 Evitts Creek H/B (map) 0.7 miles from vehicle access at mile 180.7
    Last edited by cavscout; 07-20-2010 at 23:13.

  10. #10
    Crash's Avatar
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    These are the ones I rememeber:
    MP180.0 - Evitts Creek H/B - BUGS & MOSQUITOES!
    MP169.2 -Pigmans Ferry H/B - 1 spot to hang from but the pump was not working right,
    MP156.9- Purslane Run H/B -I found 2 spots to hang from. Good water from the well pump.
    MP144.5 -Devil's Alley H/B Remote Campsite - NO TREES TO HANG FROM.
    MP139.2 Indigo Neck H/B - pump did not work.
    MP101.2 -Jordan Junction H/B NO TREES TO HANG FROM.

    So if you do decide to do the Towpath be prepared to put in more miles in case you can't find trees or water. Many of the sites are huge, so many people can use the campsite. Then have your earplugs ready.

    Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, I was out of town.
    "Courage Grows Strong at a Wound" - Stewart Clan Motto

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