post

C&O Canal – Camping and Lodging Guide

0
co-map

Click to enlarge

If you are planning to travel by bicycle the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, also known as the C&O Canal, you will need some places to sleep. This article gives the location of the camgrounds and other lodging facilities according their mile marker.  Rev Johannes Myors biked the C&O canal several times and it is one of his favorite route in the USA.

There are plenty of camping options along the towpath. Rustic “Hiker/Biker” Campsites (H/B) are provided about every 5 miles beginning at Mile Post 16. Each camp site has a water pump, Jiffy John (port-a-toilet), grill, and a picnic table. Officially, these sites are “First Come, First Serve” and only one group is permitted at each site (up to eight persons). Depending on what time of year you take your trip, the pumps might take a brief number of pump strokes to get the pump primed and the water flowing or it could take a large number of pump strokes. The water is drinkable straight from the pumps but some water might be a little dirty looking and the use of a portable filtration system might be in order. Water from the pumps is not available in Winter.

Some of the campsites are down steep embankments so care needs to be taken to get down from or up to the towpath trail. Most of the campsites are not grassy glades so be prepared to deal with dirt or rocky surfaces. Also, some sites are located next to a railroad or interstate so don’t expect a good night sleep at these locations.

Fires are restricted to fire rings and grills in all H/B campsites. Portable off-ground grills are also permitted but coals must be removed from the park after use. Dead wood may be collected solely for use in campsite fires. Wood can not be removed from the park.

Note: Fees are required at Drive-In campsites. Fees are charged on a per site/night basis and apply even if you do not drive in. All other hiker biker sites are free.

Campground and Lodging Guide

CAMPSITES starting from Georgetown, Maryland

Mile 11.6 Marsden Tract Campground (301) 299-3613 : PERMIT REQUIRED – reserved for civic/scout organizations only. $20/night. Note: I camped here the day after Labor Day, 2010 and I was the only person there.

Mile 16.6 Swain’s Lock #21 – Five Campsites – Nearby vehicle access of of MD 190.

Mile 26.0 Horsepen Branch H/B – This is the first official H/B campsite. It is between the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area and the Seneca Creek Aqueduct. Vehicle access is 1.2 miles away at mile 27.2 .

Mile 30.5 Chisel Branch H/B – . Near Lock #25. Vehicle access is 0.3 miles away at Mile 30.8 at the Edwards Ferry Boat Launch.

Mile 34.5 Turtle Run H/B – Vehicle access 1.0 miles at Mile 35.5 at the historic Whites Ferry across the Potomac River and Whites Ferry Road (MD 107) to Poolesville.

Mile 38.1 Marble Quarry H/B – Vehicle access 2.6 miles at Mile 35.5 at the historic Whites Ferry across the Potomac River and Whites Ferry Road (MD 107) to Poolesville.

Mile 42.4 Indian Flats H/B – Vehicle Access 0.3 miles at Mile 42.1 at the Monocacy Aqueduct Boat Launch.

Mile 47.6 Calico Rocks H/B – Vehicle Access 0.8 miles at Mile 48.2 at Point Of Rocks and U.S. 15.
Note : Located near busy railroad and subject to noise.

Mile 50.3 Bald Eagle Island H/B – 0.5 miles from vehicle access at mile 50.8 . Note :Located near busy railroad and subject to noise.

Mile 54.0 Brunswick Family Campground (301) 834- 8050 : Private Campground – Showers. Located between Towpath and River. Note: This appears to be VERY popular but expect also railroad noise.

Mile 58.0 Harpers Ferry Hostel (301) 834-7652: From the Maryland side of the Potomac River, cross RR Tracks bridge and take the first left and go one mile up hill to the corner of Keep Tryst and Sandy Hook Roads.

Mile 62.9 Huckleberry Hill H/B Remote Campsite – No vehicle access. Note: You need to carry in water since the pump was broken without a handle. It is best to fill up your water bottles at the pump near Lock 34 .

Mile 69.4 Antietam Creek Recreation Area – Easy vehicle access – 20 Campsites – Fee Area: $10/Night

Mile 75.3 Killiansburg Cave H/B – Vehicle access 1.3 miles away at Mile 76.6 .

Mile 79.9 Horseshoe Bend H/B – Vehicle access at Mile 81.0 at the Taylors Landing Boat Launch.

Mile 82.5 Big Woods H/B – Vehicle Access 1.5 miles at Mile 81.0 at the Taylors Landing Boat Launch.

Mile 88.1 McMahons Mill (along the Bike Detour) RV and Tent Camping.

Mile 90.9 Opequon Junction H/B – Remote Campsite – No vehicle access.

Mile 95.2 Cumberland Valley H/B – Remote Campsite – No vehicle access.

Mile 99.4 Jellystone Park (301) 223-7117 : Private Campground – Full Service RV and Cabins. Located 2 Miles south of Williamsport along Route 68. Showers, pool, camp store.

Mile 99.4 Hagerstown KOA (301) 223-7571 : Private Campground – Full Service RV and Cabins. Located 3 Miles north of Williamsport along Kemp Mill Rd. Showers, pool, camp store.

Mile 101.2 Jordan Junction H/B – Vehicle Access 1.9 miles at Mile 99.3 at the Williamsport Visitor Center – Cushwa Basin.

Mile 109.6 North Mountain H/B – Vehicle Access 0.4 miles at Mile 110.0 at the McCoys Ferry Recreation Area and Boat Launch.

Mile 110.0 McCoys Ferry Recreation Area – Primitive RV and Tent Camping – Fee Area $10/night

Mile 112.4 Fort Frederick State Park – Massive pre-revolution Fort. Easy access from towpath – Fee Area $10/night.

Mile 116.0 Licking Creek H/B – Vehicle Access 1.5 miles at Mile 114.5 at MD 9. Note: Located Near I-70 and subject to traffic noise.

Mile 120.4 Little Pool H/B – Remote Campsite – No vehicle access. Note: Located Near I-70 and subject to traffic noise.

Mile 126.4 White Rock H/B – Vehicle Access 1.2 miles at Mile 125.2 . Note: railroad noise from across the river.

Mile 129.2 Happy Hills Campground (301) 678-7760 : Private Campground – Full Service RV and Tent Camping (200 Sites). Cabins and Horse Stables available. Located at 12617 Seavolt Road.

Mile 129.8 Leopards Mill H/B – Vehicle Access 0.9 miles at Mile 130.7 .

Mile 133.6 Cacapon Junction H/B – Remote Campsite – No vehicle access.

Mile 139.2 Indigo Neck H/B – Vehicle Access 1.6 miles at Mile 140.8 at Little Orleans.

Mile 140.8 Fifteen Mile Creek Recreation Area – Fee Area: $10 to $20. A Drive-in site with RV and tent sites (Primitive Facilities – No RV Hookups)

Mile 140.8 Little Orleans Campground (301) 478-2325 : Private Campground – RV and tent sites 1/4 mile from the towpath.
Showers, pool, camp store.

Mile 144.5 Devil’s Alley H/B – Remote Campsite – No vehicle access.

Mile 149.4 Stickpile Hill H/B – Remote Campsite – Rough access point 0.6 miles away at Mile 150 .

Mile 154.1 Sorrel Ridge H/B – Remote Campsite – Rough access point 0.7 miles away at Mile 153.4 .

Mile 156.2 Paw Paw Tunnel Campground – Easy vehicle access – Tent Campsites – Fee Area: $10/Night

Mile 156.9 Purslane Run H/B – Vehicle Access 0.7 miles at Mile 156.2 at Paw Paw.

Mile 162.1 Town Creek H/B – Vehicle Access 0.2 miles at Mile 161.9 at Green Ridge Road.

Mile 164.8 Potomac Forks H/B – Remote Campsite – No vehicle access. Note: By far in my opinion one of the best campsites.

Mile 166.7 Camp Potomac (301) 729-1300 : Private camping facility 1.5 mile from the canal. Open to scouts and other youth groups. Two cabins and eight campsites available. Email bsapotom@gmail.com for reservations.

Mile 169.2 Pigmans Ferry H/B – Remote Campsite – No vehicle access.

Mile 173.3 Spring Gap Recreation Area – Primitive RV and Tent Camping – Fee Area $10/night. Store located on Route 51.

Mile 175.4 Iron Mountain H/B – Vehicle access from nearby Route 51. Note: Located near a railroad trestle and subject to noise.

Mile 180.0 Evitts Creek H/B – Vehicle access 0.7 miles at mile 180.7. Note: Located near a very busy railroad switch yard and subject to noise.

LODGING (starting in Washington, D.C.)

Mile 0.1 Hotel Lombardy (http://www.hotellombardy.com/) (800) 424-5486 : Located in the Foggy Bottom Area at 2019 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Mile 0.1 Tabard Inn (http://www.tabardinn.com) (202) 785-1277 : Located in Dupont Circle Area. 1739 N Street, NW

Mile 0.1 Washington DC Hostel (http://www.hiwashingtondc.org/) (202) 737-2333 : Located at 11th and K Streets, NW (near the Convention Center).

Mile 1.0 The Inn of Rosslyn (703) 524-3400 : Inexpensive motel, Access via Key Bridge. Located at 1601 Arlington Blvd in Arlington, Virginia

Mile 5.4 Lockhouse 6 (http://www.canalquarters.org/) This is a new lodging option. Stay overnight in a real lock house.

Mile 12.3 Rockwood Manor (http://www.montgomeryparks.org/event_centers/index.shtm) 301.299.5026: County operated conference center with overnight accommodations for large groups (up to 100 persons). About one half mile up the hill from Angler’s Inn.

Mile 19.7 Lockhouse 22 (http://www.canalquarters.org/) This is a new lodging option. Stay overnight in a real lock house.

Mile 35.5 Norris House Inn (http://norrishouse.com/) (800) 644-1806: The inn is located in Leesburg, Virginia at 108 Loudoun Street SW about 10 miles from the towpath. It is accessible via the Whites Ferry and Business Route 15. A shuttle is available.

Mile 35.5 Best Western (http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern/priceAvail.do;jsessionid=5DD0E5E18825BF5AD3F803A6687B6222?propertyCode=47076) (703) 777-9400: The motel is Leesburg, Virginia at 726 E Market Street

Mile 35.5 The Leesburg Colonial Inn (http://www.theleesburgcolonialinn.com/) (800) 392-1332: The inn is located in Leesburg at 19 South King Street. This is 10-room Bed-and-Breakfast and centrally located in downtown Leesburg, Virginia. It is located two blocks from the W&OD trail and many nearby restaurants.

Mile 55.0 Georges Mill Farm Bed & Breakfast (540) 822- 5224: The bed and breakfast is located in Lovettsville, Virginia about 5 miles south along Route 287.

Mile 58.0 Harpers Ferry Hostel (http://www.hiusa.org/hostels/usa_hostels/maryland/knoxville/60075) (301) 834-7652 : On Maryland side across from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Cross RR Tracks and make first left. One mile up hill to corner of Keep Tryst and Sandy Hook Roads.

Mile 60.7 Hilltop House (http://www.hilltophousehotel.com/) (304) 535-2132 : Harpers Ferry, West Virginia – about 1 mile from towpath. (CLOSED INDEFINITELY.)

Mile 60.7 Comfort Inn (304) 535-6391 : Harpers Ferry, West Virginia – about 1.5 miles from the towpath.

Mile 60.7 The Town’s Inn (http://www.thetownsinn.com/) (877) 489-2447 : This recently renovated inn is the only lodging in Lower Town Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and closest option to the Towpath. 21 beds in 7 rooms. Located at 179 High Street.

Mile 72.8 Bavarian Inn & Lodge (http://www.bavarianinnwv.com/) (304) 876-2551 : Shepherstown, West Virginia – Directly across river via Route 34 Bridge

Mile 72.8 Thomas Shepherd Inn (http://www.thomasshepherdinn.com/) (888) 889- 8952: Shepherstown, West Virginia – Cross Route 34 Bridge. About 1/2 Mile past Bavarian Inn

Mile 72.8 Days Inn (304) 876-3160 : Shepherstown, West Virginia – Cross Route 34 Bridge. Right onto Route 45. Located on right at 2001 Maddex Square Drive.

Mile 76.6 Jacob Rohrbach Inn B&B (877) 839-4242 : Sharpsburg, Maryland – About 1 mile from trail near the Antietam Battlefield

Mile 76.6 Antietam Guest House (http://www.antietamguesthouse.com/) (301) 992-9767 : Quiet location in Sharpsburg , Maryland and one block off Main Street.

Mile 99.4 Red Roof Inn (http://www.redroof.com/reservations/property-detail.aspx?pid=00570) (301) 582-3500 : Williamsport, Maryland – Located about 1 Mile from the towpath, along Potomac Street (Route 11)

Mile 108.7 Lockhouse 49 (http://www.canalquarters.org/) This is a new lodging option. Stay overnight in a real lock house.

Mile 124.1 1828 Trail Inn (http://www.1828-trail-inn.com/) (301) 678-7227 : Hancock, Maryland – Bed & Breakfast located just one block from the trail.

Mile 124.4 Super 8 Motel (http://www.1828-trail-inn.com/) (301) 678-6101 : Hancock, Maryland – Travel one block away from river and turn left on Main Street. Hotel is located on far side of overpass.

Mile 124.4 C&O Bicycle (http://www.candobicycle.com/) (301) 678-6665 : Hancock, Maryland – Full Service Bike Shop, right next to the towpath on Penn Ave. Also offers overnight bunk house. Closed Tuesday.

Mile 140.8 Town Hill Hotel B&B (http://www.townhillbnb.com/) (877) 696-2794 : Located several miles from the Towpath on top of Town Hill Mt. A shuttle service is available, with multiple pickup points

Mile 140.8 Little Orleans Lodge (http://www.littleorleanslodge.net/) (301) 478-2102 : Located near the towpath in Little Orleans

Mile 140.9 Buck Valley Ranch (http://www.buckvalleyranch.com/) (717) 294-3759 : Offers a free shuttle to and from the towpath. Includes dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch.

Mile 156.2 Heritage Trail Bed & Breakfast (304) 947-7055 : Located at 107 Winchester Street in Paw Paw, West Virginia.

Mile 156.2 Grandma’s Country Kitchen and Inn (800) 580-4225 : Located at 103 Winchester Street in Paw Paw, West Virginia.

Mile 184.5 The Inn on Decatur (http://www.theinnondecatur.net/) (800) 459-0510 : Operated by the folks at Mountainside Bike Tours. Only 3 blocks from downtown. 108 Decatur Street, Cumberland, Maryland

Mile 184.5 Holiday Inn (877) 426-4672 : Located at 100 South George Street in Cumberland, Maryland

Mile 184.5 Fairfield Inn (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/cbefi-fairfield-inn-and-suites-cumberland/) (301) 722-0340 : Located at 21 Wineow Street in Cumberland, Maryland and located right along the towpath

Useful Websites

Related Article

Note from CycloCamping.com: If you would like CycloCamping to publish your article, reviews or any additional information, please email YOUR OWN WORK to info@cyclocamping.com.

Author
Rev Johannes Myors
In 2010: Cycled 17 years across the USA, including 16 coast to coast crossings!
www.pedalprayers.org

0
About Stephane Marchiori

Owner of Cyclocamping.com
Bike touring since 2003, including:
a 5-Year Bicycle Journey Around The World!

Speak Your Mind

*