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Douglas Hike events

On April 27 we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the original hike led by Justice William O. Douglas with a hike, a bicycle ride, and a dinner. The schedule:

  • 10 a.m. – Shuttle bus for long-distance hikers departs Canal Road paved parking lot downstream from Lock 38
  • 11 a.m. – Shuttle bus for short- and medium-distance hikers departs Canal Road paved parking lot
  • Noon – Bicycle ride departs from Canal Road paved parking lot
  • 4 p.m. – Happy Hour: beer, wine, sodas, water (no charge with a paid dinner)
  • 5 p.m. – Dinner
  • 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Program: John Frye, I Walked with Douglas

Bicycle ride

For the first time we have scheduled a bicycle ride to celebrate the Douglas Hike.

Join us at noon, as we lead a leisurely gravel ride along the towpath near Shepherdstown with several stops to hear about local canal history along the way.  This ride is suitable for cyclists of all ages who are in decent physical condition (including e-bikes).  We plan to average around 10 mph.  Bring your helmet, water bottle, and bicycle bell (if you have one).   If there is active rain, we will cancel.

Starting point is the Canal Road paved parking lot by the railroad bridge at mile marker 72.4.  (Click here for directions.) We plan on riding to Taylor’s Landing, also known as Mercersville, and back (17 miles).

Hiking options

Buses will depart from the large parking lot on Canal Road near the railroad trestle, downstream from Lock 38.

Long-distance hikers can take the 10 a.m. shuttle bus. They will be shuttled upstream to the Big Slackwater parking lot, for a 13-mile hike back to their cars.

The 11 a.m. bus will take medium-distance hikers to Taylors Landing for an 8.5-mile hike back. The same bus will take short-distance hikers to Snyders Landing for a 4.2-mile return.

Click here to make your bus reservation.


The evening dinner and program are at the War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, WV 25443.

Dinner buffet will be provided by MJ’s Deli Café. The price is $33.50 per person. The menu includes:

  • House Salad w French Vinaigrette
  • Pommery Chicken with Mustard Sauce
  • Grilled Portobella Mushroom Steak with Mustard Sauce
  • Haricot Vert with Garlic Butter Sauce
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Bread Service from Bolivar Bread
  • Brownie & Cookie Dessert

Participation in the happy hour requires a paid dinner reservation.

Our program speaker will be John Clinton Frye, who was invited to walk with William O. Douglas for the fourth reunion canal hike in 1958 and in the years following.

For many decades, Mr. Frye was curator of the John Clinton Frye Western Maryland Room in the Hagerstown Regional Library, filling the room with books and periodic publications related to western Maryland. At age 90, this distinguished historian has many memories of walking with Douglas and of the people who pushed to preserve the canal as a national park.

Payment options (Deadline April 17)

Download the PDF form and mail a check.

Visit the online payment page.