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C&O Canal Towpath between Point of Rocks and
Eagle Island Campsite, MD Recon

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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 Lock 28 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
Sign at MARC station.
Calabrese Boys Selfie
Calabrese Boys Selfie.
The Point of Rocks
The Point of Rocks.
Potomac River
Potomac River
US15 Overpass
US15 Overpass.
Storm Damaged Tree
Storm Damaged Tree
Lock 28 Lockhouse
Lock 28 Lockhouse.
Lock 28
Lock 28.
Water Pump @ Campsite
Water Pump @ Campsite.
Eagle Island Campsite
Eagle Island Campsite.

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Posted By Mike C on 06-25-2020   |    See All Posts   |   View/Add Comments(0)

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