C&O Towpath and GAP Passage area recommendations

norwoodnorwood Posts: 21Member

We are looking to make a trip to the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage to do some bike riding and hiking. We are looking at Cumberland MD and Harpers Ferry areas but are open to other areas of the trail systems.

We are not planning to ride the whole trail system. Just get our bikes on a few different sections as day rides and explore. We don’t have to stay right on the trail. A short car ride from a campground to get to the trail is fine.

Anyone have recommendations for campsites (or ones to avoid)?  We would like to possibly split up our time into two areas to see different parts of the trail.

Any feedback of any kind from anyone that has done a trip in this area is also very welcomed.   Especially must sees or must dos!!

This will be our first longer distance trip in our T@b!

Thanks in advance!



Dennis and Mary Jo
North Carolina
2015 T@b Max Q

Comments

  • linolino Posts: 67Member
    Not sure where else to suggest to camp but I do recommend riding from great falls park, past Carder Rock (great rock climbing area just of the towpath) then on to Washington DC 

    I’m planning on camping in Cumberland sometime this summer

  • 4ncar4ncar Posts: 268Member
    Both great falls and Carderock both have great rock climbing...I cut my teeth there, as it were!

    Brunswick family campground is right on the tow path, 5 miles south of harpers ferry.  It is a not the nicest campground I’ve been to but it’s not the worst either.  It is right next to a rail switching yard, so you will hear trains coupling all day & night.  The train is historic to the area, so it is sort of romantic. The camp is right on th the POTOMAC river and you can rent boats there as well as swim.  They have water & electric, and a dump station.  I know the manager, and she is a swell lady; she has been very good to me over the years, so I really can’t speak to poorly, but do not expect a class a camp ground.  It is part of the Good Sams RV club...FYI.

    i have riden many miles of the towpath, and camped a lot, but always by foot or by bike, only recently have I been RVing. You can ride a steam train from Cumberland to Frostburg, and ride your bike back down.  This is. TON of fun. Www.wmsr.com, is the link.

    I grew up in the DC area and I live in Frederick, MD, so the canal has been a part of my life, and still is.  You’ll love it! 
    TV- '14 Jeep GC Eco Diesel & '09 JKU 
    2018 320S Outback
  • linolino Posts: 67Member
    4ncar-
    I have also been climbing at both Carder Rock and Great Falls for many years since about 1992. I have also done some climbing at Stony Man mountain in Shenandoah

    Thanks for the info on Brunswick, seems like a close place for us to go
  • norwoodnorwood Posts: 21Member
    @4ncar Thanks for the feedback!  Have you heard of Gambrill or Greenbrier State Parks?  They are about 30 minutes drive from Harpers Ferry and Brunswick.  We are considering staying at one of these and driving just the car with our bikes to the tow path one day and riding north and back and then another day and riding south and back.  Any feedback would be appreciated.  (We like the hiking options at these two state parks.)
    Dennis and Mary Jo
    North Carolina
    2015 T@b Max Q

  • 4ncar4ncar Posts: 268Member
    I have never explored in any great degree either of these parks, even though they are both 45 minutes from my house.  I know of them, but not enough to say anything.  I can say I know the general terrain.  These are low rolling hills of the Catoctin mountains. They are all beautiful and can say you won’t be disappointed.
    TV- '14 Jeep GC Eco Diesel & '09 JKU 
    2018 320S Outback
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