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 C&O Canal Association

Heritage Hike starts at Whites Ferry

Dinner $22

Deadline has passed.


Hiker bus

Buy on the bus, $12.

August, 2018
By Steve Dean

The Association will hold its annual Heritage Hike in Upper Montgomery County on October 27.  Hike enthusiasts will have a choice of three walks ranging from nearly 13 miles to just under five miles. A happy hour and dinner will be held at the Upper Montgomery County Fire Department, which is always a popular spot for Association gatherings. The after-dinner program will feature a presentation on the aqueducts of the C&O Canal.

Hikers will meet at the Whites Ferry parking area at 24801 Whites Ferry Road in Dickerson. The first bus will depart promptly at 10 a.m. and will provide transportation to two drop-off points for the long and medium hikers. The second bus will depart at 11 a.m. and will drop hikers at one location for the short hike. Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

The bus will drop the first group off at Lock 24 (Seneca) for the long hike. The hikers will immediately cross the Seneca Aqueduct as they start a 12.68 mile trek back to Whites Ferry. They will pass the Seneca basin and progress through a wooded part of the canal, crossing Culverts 35, 37 and 38 as they approach Sycamore Landing.

The second group will start the 8.29 mile medium hike at Sycamore Landing. They will proceed upstream toward Lock 25 (Edwards Ferry). This route crosses Culverts 39, 41 and 42. The hikers may want to stop and take a look at the Goose Creek River Locks (Mile 30.64); a crossover bridge with side trail toward the river will be the indicator of the river locks. The long and medium hikers will find that Edwards Ferry is an excellent stopping point for lunch.

The bus will drop the short hike participants off at Edwards Ferry for a 4.64 mile walk. The walkers will cross Culvert 43 and the nearby waste weir, and head upstream. They will encounter the Broad Run Trunk crossing, which was at one time a twin arch culvert. This section of the walk crosses eight culverts. Of particular interest is Culvert 49, with its ornate stone work, and Culvert 51, which possibly had a wooden barrel. The walkers will finally cross under the iron bridge at Whites Ferry to end their hike.

A handout of the hike route will be provided to the bus riders. Refer to Karen Gray’s Accompanied by the Past article in the September Along the Towpath for an excellent overview of the features and history of this Heritage Hike route.

A happy hour will start at 4:30 p.m. at the Upper Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department in Beallsville, followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. The dinner will feature pulled pork and vegetarian ziti with sauce. The dinner is buffet and it is not necessary to indicate a preference when registering for the event.

The program presentation is at approximately 6:30 p.m., and Steve Dean will discuss the 11 stone aqueducts of the C&O Canal, as well as the Broad Run Trunk wooden aqueduct and the Georgetown Aqueduct over the Potomac River.

The cost for the happy hour and dinner is $22. The bus ride is $10 if paid in advance; $12 on day of event. Please indicate the number of dinner attendees and bus riders on the registration form, or register and pay online at www.candocanal.org/calendar.html. Registration for the dinner is required by October 12.

There are a number of ways to reach Whites Ferry, but from the Washington D.C. area take exit Interstate 270 Exit 6B to merge onto Maryland Route 28 West (West Montgomery Avenue) toward Poolesville/Darnestown. Continue to follow Route 28 West for 11.5 miles. Make a slight left turn onto Maryland Route 107 and proceed 6.9 miles. Continue onto Whites Ferry Road and proceed 3.9 miles to Whites Ferry. The parking lot is on the right after crossing the towpath. See Google maps.

The fire department is located at 19801 Beallsville Road (Maryland Route 109), just north of the junction with Route 28. One route from Whites Ferry to the fire department is to head east on Whites Ferry Road for 4.1 miles. Then turn left onto Wasche Road and proceed 1.4 miles. Turn right onto West Hunter Road and proceed 1.7 miles. Turn right on Maryland Route 28 East and at the light turn left on Maryland Route 109 North. The fire department will be on the right. See Google maps.

These directions are for general reference only. Use the Google map application on your smartphone or use the map reference of your choice for your own custom directions.

Contact Steve Dean at programs@candocanal.org if further information is needed about this event.

Culvert 49Culvert 49


Culvert 51 and iron bridge at Whites Ferry Whites Ferry



Seneca Aqueduct Seneca Aqueduct

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     C & O Canal Association     P.O Box 366      Glen Echo, MD 20812-0366     Phone: 301-983-0825      Email: inquiries@candocanal.org