It might be hard to imagine nowadays, but back in the 1800s, traded goods between Cumberland, MD and our nation’s capital had to be transported on a 185-mile towpath known as the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. Mules were hooked up to the coal boats, which they pulled alongside the path, led by the boat owners and their families.
Today, you can visit the historic canal, and canoe, kayak, hike or bike along the path. It is amazing to walk among history and leave your footprints in the same dirt road that was used by President John Quincy Adams in 1828.
In addition to the towpath, Potomac, MD has much more to offer for the rock-climbers and adventure-seekers. From the Great Falls Tavern Visitor’s Center, you can access the towpath as well as additional hiking trails.
A map of the entire C&O Canal can be found here.
For any questions, stop by the office and we will be happy to help, or visit the National Park Service website here.