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C & O Canal Towpath Trail, Section #4

MODERATE 8 reviews

C & O Canal Towpath Trail, Section #4 is a 43.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Little Orleans, Maryland that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 43.8 miles Elevation Gain: 885 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dog friendly



cross country skiing


mountain biking

nature trips



bike touring

bird watching





wild flowers


Bike or hike the history, scenery & wildlife of this fabled, classic trail from Little Orleans, MD to Cumberland, MD. This western section of the famous C & O Canal Towpath trail includes remote stretches along the Potomac River. In addition to the abundant wildlife, numerous campgrounds, and excellent biking & hiking, trail users will enjoy the incredible Paw Paw Tunnel, one of the most famous canal tunnels in the world. Other unique and interesting stops along the way include numerous canal locks, historic lockhouses, the old Pollock Cemetery, and the town of Cumberland Maryland. In Cumberland, the C & O trail joins the Great Allegheny Passage trail. Combined, the two trails span all the way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. and make up one of the longest continuous biking trails in the world. The C & O trail can be used all year long but is a special treat in the fall when weather conditions are ideal, trail traffic is lighter, and Mother Nature provides a beautiful display of fall colors.

washed out
3 months ago

Friday, October 06, 2017

Biked in fall of 2015 and enjoyed with caveats. First it’s flat and straight. Some nice views along the way and a lot of history to check out, and it’s mainly in the shade. But the trail maintenance is poor, lots of roots to discover and if it’s wet, the mud will be miserable. Discovered that it turns to cement when built up between tire and fenders. Like a third brake. Paw paw tunnel was really “cool” and dark. Nice camping spots along the way as well as lock houses that can be rented. Just finished the Gap Trail this fall and what a difference. This followed the rail lines to Pittsburgh over the continental divide and you’d never know you were climbing 1800’ in a half days ride. No roots to wake you and mostly in the shade. Nice views along several different rivers. Viaduct was spectacular as was Big Savage tunnel. And Amtrak will bring you and your bike back to Cumberland! Much better ride than C&O.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

this was long and flat and boring. I did the longest day hike with the sierra club 100k so out and back and the highlight of the day was a thunderstorm. this would be fun for bike packing or a long walk with the fam but as a hike it left a lot to be desired. take extra precautions if you're allergic to poison ivy/oak/sumac because it's rampant.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Easy trail for me and my 14 year old dog. Also lots of cool things to discover along the way

mountain biking
1 month ago

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

mountain biking
Thursday, October 18, 2012

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