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  • Writer's pictureTim Murphy

C&O Canal Trip: Day 4

Starting Point: White's Ferry (36.6 mile marker)

End Point: Georgetown, D.C. (mile marker 0)

Total Distance: 36.6 miles

So today started out a little rough. This morning I came to find that my rear tire had fallen flat. To get that fixed delayed my starting time by an hour and a half, but fortunately I was still able to make the trip today. I crossed the river on the ferry again and started pedaling just past 10 am. I passed Edward's Ferry just a few miles down the way, and didn't really encounter much after that.

View of Great Falls from the Overlook

After passing the 16 mile marker, I noticed that the once calm Potomac was becoming more and more turbulent. Great Falls was just around the corner, and the rapids grew louder and more violent as I approached the site. I stopped at the Great Falls Overlook around noon. Across the canal was an old tavern (now converted to a visitor's center) and just a short walk away were the falls. The scene was magnificent! It's definitely a must-see for those near the area.

Before long, I had reached the outskirts of the city. Just past the mile 2 marker, you can see the steeples of churches in Georgetown. The trail definitely becomes urbanized very quickly. Many repurposed buildings from the canal era line the final stretch of the towpath, consisting of restaurants, office spaces, and municipal buildings. At 1:30 pm, I had finally reached mile 0! After three and a half days of biking, I had finally covered the 185 miles from Cumberland to Georgetown! There was definitely a sense of relief when I reached the plaque, but also a solemn sadness that my expedition was over.

Somehow, I still had the energy to walk around the city. I decided to grab a "victory" lunch at Good Stuff Eatery on M street, then I walked up to Georgetown University and strolled around campus. On my way back, I stopped at Dean and DeLuca for a coffee, hopped on my bike to Rosslyn station, and headed home. Quite the relaxing end to a rigorous journey. Below are some pictures from my final day on the trail:

Biking the C&O Canal was definitely a strenuous task, to say the least, but it was worth it. The nature, the history, and the canal made it all worth while. And I especially like to thank all of you who read my blog posts these past few days. Never before had I been so motivated to share my experiences with others. Your kind words of support and encouragement made the trip a lot easier, and there is no one else I would rather share my stories with than friends and readers like you all!

Until next time!


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