C&O Canal / Great Allegheny Passage Trail

March 18, 2013

The following guest post was written by Adventure Cycling Tour Leader Barbara Wade.

Adventure Cycling Association has offered the C&O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage tour for the past 9 years. The 340-mile, off-road ride is fully supported with catered meals, water stops, SAG services, mechanical support, and luggage transport. The riders' only obligation is to have fun. The tour leader, Larry Brock, has led countless groups along this route and makes sure the riders' experiences are a top priority. Here are some highlights from the trip.

Cyclists in DC

Past C&O Canal/GAP tour participants make a quick stop at the Lincoln Memorial,
?a perfect backdrop for a group picture.

Riders find their own pace along the Canal Towpath.

Riders find their own pace along the Canal Towpath.

The group crosses the Monocacy Aqueduct

The group crosses the Monocacy Aqueduct, a 7-arched, 513-foot stone structure which enabled the canal to cross the Monocacy River. It is the longest of the 11 aqueducts on the canal and thought to be the best example of canal architecture in the U.S. 

Riders at the 3,118-foot-long Paw Paw tunnel

Riders at the 3,118-foot-long Paw Paw tunnel. Construction of the tunnel started in 1836.
Originally a two-year project, it took 14 years to complete and exceeded its budget 20 times over.
The inside of the 24-foot high tunnel is lined with six million bricks. 

In four easy days the group rode the length of the canal.
The comfortable beds at the tours' end were a welcome respite. 


The surface of the GAP trail is crushed limestone and seems extremely smooth
after the stones, mud and ruts of the C&O towpath.


After crossing the Eastern continental divide the trail traverses
?hardwood forests, small towns, and river banks.

Over the course of the week the group traced the footsteps of mules and followed the path of the great trains that opened commerce between the east coast and mid-west, all the while making new friends and having fun.

Space is still available on Adventure Cycling's fully supported 2013 C&O Canal/GAP tour, September 28 - October 5. Sign-up today!

Photos by Barbara Wade


ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team -- Mo, Paul, Madeline, and Steve -- tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to Adventure Cycling's Tours Department. Check out the 2013 Guided Tours!


Donald DeWees January 17, 2021, 7:43 AM

I am looking for a map(s) for the C&O Canal to the Allegheny trail to Pittsburgh, PA

bob gause August 14, 2022, 9:19 AM

looking for GAP and C & O trip information

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