C&O Canal Towpath between Point of Rocks and
Eagle Island Campsite, MD Recon
On Thursday, June 25, 2020, my cousin Ron Calabrese and I did a reconesence
hike of a 2 mile up and 2 mile back section of the C&O Canal Towpath
between Point of Rocks and Eagle Island Campsite in MD for an upcoming
POPUMC Hiking Group hike.
Ron and I decided on hiking this section of the C&O Canal Towpath because
the distance was about the same from my house in Manassas, VA and his house in
Owings Mills, MD. So we met at the MARC Station Park & Ride near the
intersection of US15 and MD28. We then discovered that there was a road that
led to a dedicated parking lot for the C&O that held about 50 cars. So
after waiting about 10 minutes for a very long train to pass we crossed the
railroad tracks, proceeded to the dedicated parking lot, parked our vehicles
and then started the hike.
One could do a 2 mile up, 2 mile back from Point of Rocks to Eagle Island
Campsite. Or one could do the 3 mile up, 3 mile back hike from Point of Rocks
to Lock 29 Lander Lock. We opted for the 4 mile round trip. The weather was
overcast. Temps were in the 60's when we started and would get to the mid
70's when we finished. The humidity got worse as the morning progressed.
This was an easy up and back hike. Our initial direction was west on the
C&O Canal Towpath. There were other people hiking, running and
cycling but the trail was not crowded. We passed under US15, then passed
Lockhouse. It is possible to rent these old lockhouses. That might be a
neat thing to do for an overnight trip or as part of a section/thru hike or
bike of the C&O Canal. We heard frogs, saw turtles and birds and observed
the Canal in various states. The adjacent Potomac was muddy and appeared high.
Ron and I talked about this and that along the way. We have known each other
since we were kids. Ron's grandfather and my father were brothers. We have
been communicating via phone and email as well as going out to dinner or having
one over to the other's house for over 10 years. But this is the first time
that we have hiked together. It was great.
When we got to the 2.1 mile mark and the Eagle Island Campsite we used the
portapotty, took a short break and then turned around and started the return
trek. These campsites have a portapotty, a water pump (which was not
functional) and a nice flat mowed area to tent on. They are spaced about every
10-15 miles on the towpath. One could conceivably
backpack the C&O in about 15-20 days or bike it in about 3-4 days if one
was in shape.
We started at around 8:30 AM that morning and got done by 10:30. 2 miles an
hour, not bad. We agreed that this would be a nice hike for the
POPUMC Hiking Group. We also agreed that we would hike together next month at
Soldier's Delight State Park near Owings Mills, MD. It was a fantastic day
hiking with my cousin Ron today!
Sign at MARC station.
Calabrese Boys Selfie.
The Point of Rocks.
Storm Damaged Tree
Lock 28 Lockhouse.
Water Pump @ Campsite.
Eagle Island Campsite.