We live within minutes of history. The history of transportation in America. Next to the hard to navigate Potomac river sits a series of canals and locks known as the C&O canal.Many sections of the canal have been restored to their glory. It is a wonderful short trip for those staying in the Washington DC Area. You just, wait until the traffic subsides normally on a Saturday, or after 9 am on a weekday and head towards 270. As you cross the bridge into Maryland look to your left (if you are heading North of course from Virginia into Maryland, look right on the way back). There nestled in the small community of Cabin John Maryland is a section of the C&O canal. In fact, it is Dylan’s second favorite section. His favorite section to walk is a little further up river. There are more have that’s (as he calls rabbits, squirrels and other small game). The canal has bike/walking/running trails alongside on what used to be the mule trails years ago. On the Virginia side, near the Great Falls (a Virginia State Park and on the other side of the river also a Maryland State Park) there are dry sections that used to be Locks. So you can see how much rock they moved, by hand to make the canals originally.
Dylan, seen there with one of his minions, rates the various C&O canal walks 4 sniffs out of 5. If you take him to his favorite walk he rates those 5 out of 5 sniffs. It has more to do with the wildlife he sees than the trail. Dylan loves walking so he doesn’t care where he is walking. Just that he gets to walk. The C&O canal wanders alongside the scenic Potomac River. All the way down to DC. In fact there are more than 30 miles of trails you can walk, ride or run along the canal. It amazes me every I go. To think that human beings dug the canal. Before the time of Alfred Nobel so for the most part human beings were digging, cutting and moving rock, dirt and debris by hand or with hand tools. The canal took many years to dig, but it is a significant moment in the history of the US. The Canal restoration group (an awesome group by the way) has restored several of the Lock Houses. Where the Lock Keeper (is that what they were called? Lock Master, Lock Keeper. Lockster, Lock alama ding dang?, The Lockinator?) stayed. They have a revolutionary war period lock house and a Civil War period lock house.
The last picture is of one of the restored Lock Houses. In front is the Lock. Invested to allow the canal to go down a hill smoothly. The Potomac river particularity in the section where the Falls of Virginia State Park (and the Falls of Maryland State Park) are located drops rapidly. The locks allowed the barges to smoothly transition from higher ground to lower ground and vice versa. Versus watching Kayakers try to stay even with the water in the falls. It is great exercise I am quite certain. It is also a lot of work. There are restored sections of the canal near the DC area (where we live) and then heading all the way up I-270 (and then I-70) to Frederick Maryland and Hagerstown Maryland. Moving past Cabin John all Maryland and all the way South to DC. We’ve walked quite a few segments, Dylan and I. He more interested me the number of wild animals (or as he more commonly refers to them, snack( and me marveling at the beauty, and the amazing work done by the builders of the canal. Overall, it is a short ride from DC that takes you back in time, and out into nature away from the crowds of DC.
Wander Indiana Project (Wander Maryland as well).