C&O Canal Towpath: Rileys Lock to Swains Lock

EASY 44 reviews
#3 of 13 trails in

C&O Canal Towpath: Rileys Lock to Swains Lock is a 17.3 mile out and back trail located near Poolesville, Maryland and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 17.3 miles Elevation Gain: 144 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

walking

running

Good ride trail is dry and cool weather

This is a great trail for a novice cyclist like me! It’s flat pretty much the whole way and the trail is well kept. The trail is hard pack dirt and some lose gravel so road bikes won’t work but my hybrid and mountain bikes are fine. This could be a whole day event or just a half hour. From here you can bike to Great Falls National Park (about 10- 11 miles) if you head south. It’s scenic, not a lot of people until you hit great falls (based on an introverts opinion). Great for families and dogs are allowed.

mountain biking
Fri Jun 01 2018

Great day hike, packing route. Plenty of campsites to stop along the way or call for the night. Great views of the Potomac, some fishing opportunities on both the Canal and the River. Great family hike. No noticeable slope, packed terrain. North of Seneca Landing gets bad after rainy weather. Going to try an overnight bike ride soon

hiking
Sun Mar 11 2018

we only walked half yesterday, but will go back and finish the rest. I love walking and biking the C&O and plan on doing all of the C&O before the summer is out. Very easy walking, very clean trail, beautiful view of the river and the canal.

hiking
Sun Aug 02 2015

Beautiful path! Didn't complete the entire trail but will definitely be back for it!

paddle sports
Sun Nov 06 2011

This area actually has a lot to offer the experienced and casual out door enthusiast alike. We are fortunate to have such natural beauty and easy access to enjoy this natural resource so close to home. One of the attractive things for me is, the canoe/kayak/boat launch ramp so close to the parking lot and historically scenic attractions. I recommend this location to anyone who wants a quick escape from the concrete jungle and be able to make it home in enough time for dinner...or you can hang out and watch the sunset over the tree line on the Potomac.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

recorded Recording - Sep 03, 1:37 PM

hiking
2 months ago

recorded Recording - Aug 11, 7:05 PM

hiking
3 months ago

road biking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

mountain biking
5 months ago

mountain biking
5 months ago

recorded Recording - May 19, 5:43 PM

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

road biking
6 months ago

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