Explore the most popular river trails in Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike along the canal. A lot people riding bikes and few people walking dogs. The southern part their was mud and bugs.

Very nice easy trail. The train came by twice and tooted its whistle! Bikers campers and runners all passed us by as we strolled our way by the river.

The climb up to the overlook hidden behind the graffiti covered bridge abutment was steep and overgrown in most spots but the view once at the top made it worth while. Be careful crossing the train tracks, they are active and heavily used.

Hiked this trail last week, before the rains. I found it moderately challenging due to distance and timeline. The scenery was okay to view. I totally agree with other readers comments that this is an excellent biking trail. It is on my go to list when needing a change of scenery from Sugarloaf Mountain Trails and Gambrill State Park Trails.

Flat terrain beautiful scenery light bike traffic.

Easy flat paved, for a light rest day.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Wonderful trail. Smooth pavement. The western half is prettiest. Follows along the canal in a nice canopy of woods. The eastern half from Big Pool to Hancock is. Ice. Has some good views of the water. But several miles of it is so close to
Route 70 that it is noisy with traffic.

Relaxing and easy stroll along tow path between the Potomac River and C&O canal.

hiking
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A nice walk in the woods, but with little of interest for hikers until you reach the aqueduct. The trail is far better suited for biking.

mountain biking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fabulous hiking, biking and walking. Packed dirt ride, mostly flat or gentle elevations. Beautiful views along the river and plenty of wildlife to be seen.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Short and steep, views are worth every bit of it.

hiking
Sunday, February 19, 2017

I did the quick scramble up the mtn for amazing
views

nice easy stroll along the river. should be easy not moderate.

walking
Thursday, January 12, 2017

This is a very easy trail. Not sure why so many people rate it as moderate. It's flat the entire way and follows the river. Great for dogs as long as they're on a leash because it gets crowded!

mountain biking
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Nice ride. We had carried a lunch which we ate at the mill

mountain biking
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

History lesson and a nice ride, all on the same day.

hiking
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Very nice jaunt on a warm November afternoon. Fall colors still around. I followed the directions to scrabble up the hill overlooking the bridge - very pretty views. 3 or 4 trains came by for a little interest. Nice spot!

Going up to the rock overlook (called "The Point") above the Potomac River bridge is a short, steep hike, but doable by most average hikers. The really steep part is a few 100 feet long, so not too bad. I went up with my wife, two 12 year old boys, and two dogs. Coming down is a bit more challenging if you don't have on good hiking boots because you tend to slip on the steep, loose trail. To reach the trailhead, go north from the Point of Rocks parking lot on the towpath till you're under the car bridge, and then turn right to walk through the old canal over to the railroad tracks. The tracks are very active and 3 trains came by while we were there. Once you cross the tracks, just look for the graffiti on the concrete bridgeworks and there's the trailhead going uphill to your left. It's about 25 yards in front of the train tunnel. Once up top, the view is spectacular of Virginia, Maryland, and the river. Then the trail peters out quickly into the woods, so just turn and come back down the same way you went up. Can't beat the views on this hike!

hiking
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Awesome view once you reach the top. For a shorter hike you can park at the boat ramp and walk up the trail by the Parking lot, then cross the train tracks under the bridge. It's extremely steep for the first couple hundred feet but after that it's a steady incline

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Easy straight walk

hiking
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Definitely worth the drive!!!

hiking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

Nice trail within reach of Washington DC. The trail is hilly when you start at Chain Bridge and head west and eventually flattens out as it runs by the river. The trail was well marked and ran along side GW Parkway for a short distance and at one point you have to cross a road. The trail starting from about 3 miles west of Chain Bridge looked less used as there were many trees that had fallen across the trail that you had to climb over. At one point, within about a mile from Chain Bridge, you have to cross a stream by hopping stones if you don't want to get your feet wet. Overall an enjoyable hike and not very crowded, especially if you go earlier in the morning.

hiking
Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Very local to me. Great area, super easy. Almost completely flat. Nice views.

mountain biking
Friday, May 20, 2016

Excellent, very little elevation. Dirt and crushed rock. Beautiful with plenty of wildlife and many miles to cover. Majority of the ride is within sight of the river through some foliage. Dam 4 & 5 are a short distance in either direction.

mountain biking
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

This was an unforgettable experience. I am remembering back to 2012 that it took us a day longer than we planned but all the better not to be rushed.

mountain biking
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

We bike camped this trail about three years ago. I think the pictures were on a camera that got stolen. That may explain why we forgot to review the trail. I loved it that there were plenty of campsites the entire route.

walking
Sunday, February 07, 2016

Spent a very enjoyable day walking with the dog on the section of the towpath from Dam 4 to McMahons Mill. Its a nice 8 mile walk for an afternoon on a nice flat path. You can bring your lunch to enjoy at the Mill then turn around and head for home. Makes for a great day.

hiking
Sunday, October 25, 2015

Found the ultra secret local trail to the lookout point on the rocks. Cross tracks under the bridge from the C & O trail parking lot and you will see a path that goes straight up at the base of the bridge. Pretty steep climb so not for everyone. But the view is awesome and worth it.

There is not a defined trail to the top of the rocks. Park at the C&O Canal parking lot. Walk over to US 15, cross the road and start climbing upwards. Use a GPS to guide you to the top. At the top, there's a hint of a trail. Follow it towards the east to the overlook.

walking
Thursday, July 23, 2015

A flat but expansive trail. I really enjoyed the scenery. Definitely going to visit again

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