C&O Canal Trail
11710 MacArthur Blvd, Potomac, MD
Stretching 185 miles from Western Maryland to Washington, D.C., the legendary C&O Canal Trail is an excellent resource for travelers in the D.C. area. The dirt and crushed gravel surface is not appropriate for high-end road bikes, but hybrid or mountain bikes are a great option. The ten miles of the trail that are closest to Washington D.C. are the most heavily utilized, and runners and cyclists are unlikely to be alone on the trail during the day. Those looking to park at the trail near Washington D.C. can utilize the Carderock or Great Falls parking areas. Benches are located along the route, while water and restrooms can be found at various parking areas and parks along the trail. The C&O Canal Trail offers stunning views of both the Canal and the Potomac River Gorge and is mostly shaded. Hiking trails veer off from the main towpath and can be strenuous. Far western portions of the trail may be secluded, so runners and cyclists are advised to use caution when working out alone. The trail closes at dark.