Today I'm posting on a great local park, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. This park actually runs for approximately 200 miles along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from Cumberland, Maryland to Georgetown in Washington D.C., with 6 visitor centers along its length. The visitor center that we always go to is the Great Falls Tavern visitor center in Potomac, Maryland. This place is always busy on the weekends with people strolling along the canal, bikers, and hikers. Our favorite hike to do here is actually a very challenging one, Billy Goat Trail Section A. You are literally scrambling over rocks the 1.7 miles of the trail. It is a wonderful workout with an amazing view of the Potomac River. I'm including some pictures from the very first time I hiked this trail.
Hubby and I each in front of the C&O canal before our hike.
You have to walk along the canal for a little way to get to the trail head. We always see herons in the canal.
A couple of shots of the Potomac from the trail beside the canal.
A view of the Potomac from the trail.
Hubby going off the trail for a closer view.
Me. If you look to the right of the picture, you will see a blue blaze painted on the boulder. Yep, you are hiking on boulders. It's pretty awesome.
An awesome little marshy habitat along the trail
More views of the Potomac.
More pics of the river.
Your eyes don't deceive you, you have to scale up this wall of rock at a point in the trail. Or down it if you happen to start the trail from the other end. I would recommend scaling up instead of down.
Hubby and I taking a quick break.
The river was high on this particular day, requiring one to wade thru water at one point. Normally, this is a sandy outcropping from the river instead of a scene from a jungle adventure movie.
The calm of the canal again after our hike.
One of the dams associated with the locks on the canal.
A blue tailed skink!
The Great Falls of the Potomac River are located in this area. You can get to the overlook via the Olmstead Island bridges. This isn't it, just some smaller ones on the way to the bigger ones.
Still not there yet . . .
Here they are. The water was high, so they aren't as dramatic as they usually are. It is still quite a site to see!!
So, if you are in the D.C. area and like a challenging hike, this is the place to do it. Entrance fees for the park are $5.00, or if you own the Annual Pass, you just flash that and you are in. Now, if you aren't physically able to hike something like this, there is a more moderate trail known as the Gold Mine Loop, which meanders thru lush greenery. There is also the easy and flat, though sometimes muddy, River Trail. One day I hope to get some images of those trails. My dream is to hike the entire length of the canal. There are several campgrounds along the way if one wanted to do a thing like this. People are also known to bike the entire length of it. Either way, it's a park that we really enjoy and go to over and over again throughout the year.
Here is the website for this park http://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm