C&O Canal Towpath: Carderock to Great Falls

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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

C&O Canal Towpath: Carderock to Great Falls is a 6.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bethesda, Maryland that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.3 miles Elevation Gain: 141 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

cross country skiing


mountain biking

road biking

bird watching







1 month ago

An easy flat trail with nice views.

5 months ago

Billy Goat A and C. Perfect hiking day.

We did Billy Goat A and C. B was closed. A involves a lot of rocky hiking and a little climbing. C is much easier. Both have great overlooks of Great Falls. Get there early on the weekends as it gets crowded later in the day.

7 months ago

8 months ago

Flatwalk. Nothing exited

Great ride

mountain biking
8 months ago

Fun fast ride this morning

mountain biking
10 months ago

Quick evening ride

Great relaxing trail despite the construction

Sun Nov 11 2018

great day walk

Thu Jul 26 2018

Great for running! easily accessible. Nice and flat.

Wed Jun 28 2017

A beautiful hike with great scenery, ample wildlife, and interesting insights into the history of the canal.

Fri Aug 12 2016

Flat and fun!

Fri Jul 01 2016

Great walk

Mon Mar 28 2016

Great day for a hike. The falls looked very powerful today. Glad I got there early because on my way back there were a lot of people headed out to the trail.

Sat Feb 27 2016

I took the Billy Goat session B and C on the way. This way I had hiking instead of just walking. Love the trails.

Sun Aug 02 2015

Love running the towpath. Haven't completed the entire trail but it's in my to-do list.

Fri Dec 05 2014

Very nice views! Can get a bit crowded the later you go.

Fri Jun 13 2014

I've only run it in preparation for a race or the race itself. I keep telling myself to go back and hike it. I see some beautiful settings that I want to capture thru my camera lens and I keep putting it off. Well, the weather is nice again, so I'll have to get it done.

Sun Aug 19 2012

Very cool pathway for running!!! My husband and I were amazed by the beauty in the area :-).

Sat Apr 28 2012

I used to hike the Georgetown to Rock Creek section daily. one the the best urban hikes. able to see deer, beaver and now the occasional coyote! Very easy, minor grade and a great biking trail. Take it all the way to MD.

Sun Oct 23 2011

I never tire of hiking the C&O! A path for all seasons, all ages, all fitness levels. Gorgeous views, peaceful and inspiring.

Sat Jul 16 2011

Great hike on the towpath all the way to the Great Falls.

Sun Jul 10 2011

Breathtaking views of river. Didn't do the entire trail (it's 11.7 miles) but did about half and tossed in the Billy Goat trail. Long but very good day! If you stay on the path that follows the canal, there isn't much protection from the sun, so wear some sunscreen and bug spray and take plenty of water. This path had lots of people on it... dog walkers, hikers, runners, and bicyclists, but the view is worth dealing with all the people.

road biking
4 days ago

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