Heritage Hike starts in Dam 4 area
Hiker bus $5
Get reservation form in PDF format
Canal Quarters raffle $5
Hike meeting point –
Dinner and happy hour location –
By Steve Dean
On October 26th the Association will hold our traditional fall hike on the C&O Canal. We will meet at the Big Slackwater boat ramp parking area, and set out on one of three hikes. If this sounds vaguely familiar – it is – this is a second try on our rained-out Sunday hike from the Douglas Memorial Weekend that we held last May. Attendees from that weekend will recall that the weather was more suitable for ducks or fish that it was for hikers.
This is an incredible part of the canal, especially in the fall, and this was too good of a hike to pass up. The area is rich with history, as noted in Karen Gray's Accompanied by the Past article on page 14 of the September newsletter.
All hikers will meet at 10 a.m. at the Big Slackwater boat ramp parking lot. A bus will take hikers to one of three destinations. The first stop will be at Lock 38, for a 12.6 mile return hike. The second stop will be at Snyders Landing, for an 8.75 mile trek back to Big Slackwater. The last stop will be at Taylors Landing, for a 4.4 mile return hike.
The long hikers will start off with impressive views of the river and steep cliffs on the berm side as they pass Lock 39 and proceed toward Snyders Landing. They'll also see Killiansburg Cave, which was a hiding place for Sharpsburg residents during the Civil War.
The medium hikers will start at Snyder's Landing and will progress through spectacular fall foliage. They will pass Lock 40, and may want to stop for a quick look at Roses Culvert to admire the recent repointing work done by the National Park Service. The berm side of Culvert 115 at Mondell is also worth a look, with a fast moving rocky inflow stream.
The short hikers will join at Taylors Landing. Hikers will be able to see the Dam 4 cave entrance and will be greeted by the roar of the dam and a fine view of the river as they approach the end of their hikes. The guard gate and winch house at Dam 4 is worth a look before completing the last leg of the hike. Hikers should also consider taking Karen Gray's advice to make a short trek upstream to see the Dam 4 inlet/guard lock that is just above the Big Slackwater parking area.
The happy hour and dinner will be at the Western Maryland Sportsmen's Club, which is near Dam 4. This venue has been a popular stopping place for the Association in the past. The happy hour will be a cash bar featuring beer, wine and mixed drinks. Dinner will be roast beef with mashed potatoes, vegetables and salad.
During the dinner, we will raffle off a gift certificate for a night's stay at Swain's Lock; which the C&O Canal Trust kindly donated to us. Raffle tickets will be $5 either at the dinner or online at www.candocanal.org/news/raffle.html. You don't need to be present to win.
The evening program will feature a presentation by Karen Gray on the roles of women on the canal, both on boats and in lockhouses, as well as some unusual situations in which they turn up. Her talk will include specific examples of how women contributed to the canal's operation as well as stories about specific women drawn from the different periods of the canal's operation.
Dam #4 winch house