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C & O Canal

Washington DC, DC (National Mall)
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Ranked #75 of 249 attractions in Washington DC
Type: Bodies of Water
Activities: Running
Description: A 185-mile canal which runs from D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland.
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18 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014 NEW

Our ride didn't start in Washington, but rather further inland in Harpers Ferry. The bike path is accessible from Harpers Ferry by walking over a railroad bridge (yes, a train passed right beside us) and then carrying our bikes down a spiral staircase to the canal path. I don't recommend this approach to anyone who would be unable to carry... More

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Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
25 attraction reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

A fun bike trial! We rented bikes from the Bike and Roll Union Station $35 / day (helmet/lock provided). We rode down thru the National Mall starting at the Capital head towards Memorial Tower where you then headed north towards downtown until "H" street and headed west, pass the White House to Georgetown. Rode thru Georgetown downtown to the end,... More

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Shoreview, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
16 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

Interesting to step back in time and travel the canal by barge and mule. Would never have stumbled upon it, you must know where you are going. (It's in Georgetown). Kind of slow but the history is interesting,

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Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
40 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

This gem is accessible from several places in Virginia, Maryland and DC. The locks are fascinating, and the footpath is patrolled so that women alone feel safe (during the day). Since the path is flat, those of us with canes find it easy for walking. Cyclists and joggers love it too. So green! Turtles, dragonflies, history!

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Alexandria, VA
Top Contributor
309 reviews 309 reviews
130 attraction reviews
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

This C & O was built as a result a vision to connect inland waterways with the Atlantic Ocean. It stretches from Western Maryland to Georgetown with a delightful historical discovery at every point along the way. The locks are fascinating in their attempt to move water to different levels to provide safe passage to boats on their way south.... More

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Bainbridge Island, Washington
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
47 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2014

This historic canal is beautiful and a fun outing from all the monuments in DC. We rented bikes and rode for 15 miles to beyond the Great Falls which were stunning. We turned around at a park visitor center which had canal boat rides and food available. The locks and the old canal houses were interesting and we saw turtles... More

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
1,404 reviews 1,404 reviews
709 attraction reviews
734 helpful votes 734 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

The C&O is a fantastic trail that you can enjoy on a sunny afternoon. You can depart from georgetown and go as far as you like (it goes for miles). The beginning is close to baked and wired so you can take a few goodies to fuel-up your trek (check my review of baked and wired)!

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northern virginia
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
17 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

I love to ride my bike on the c & o tow path...and my husband has run there occasionally, too. We have done an overnight bike-camping trip toward the Maryland end of the trail that is one of my fondest memories. It is easy to plan as short or as long an adventure as you may want to have. There... More

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Silver Spring, Maryland
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

The C & O canal is amazing. You can start out in Georgetown and cycle all the way to Philly! There is a wide compact dirt path that stretches for miles along he Potomac river. There are many activities to do along the river. You can rent a bike-I recommend a hybrid or mountain as the path is not paved.... More

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Salem, Oregon
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

The canal is so long and varied that one review cannot cover all there is to do. We were interested in the history and doing something different than more monuments. We were disappointed that the visitors center in Georgetown was closed. But we had a nice lunch and short walk next to the canal. I was very surprised it was... More

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