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C&O Mile 0 - 10: Washington, DC

Tags: Georgetown, Lockhouse, C&O Canal Lodging,

Washington DC is one of the world's great cities and a visit to where the C&O Canal National Historic Park begins is never complete without a side trip to the Washington Mall.  The DC region is very bike friendly, and it is actually quicker and more convenient to get around by bike. 

 The Georgetown section of the C&O Canal is planning for extensive renovations to “improve the park’s unique stone structures, locks. Towpath, plazas and street crossings to maximize the park’s educational recreational and aesthetic potential.” Included in those plans are a new working canal boat.   As of this writing, major restoration work has necessitated well marked detours around Lock 3 in Georgetown.  For more information

Even though this section of “the towpath” is in heavily populated neighborhood of Georgetown, it never seems to be unacceptably crowded.  Many bike riders will opt for the paved Capitol Crescent Trail which runs parallel to the C&O for 2.6 miles, before it veers north to Bethesda, thus taking a lot of the pressure off the towpath. 

The actual 0-mile marker is located below Thompson Boat Center and is not contiguous with the towpath.  Most folks will start at the towpath at 29th street adjacent to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela embassy for their “official” start. Proceeding west on this single-track stone-paver section, cyclists will ride a few short blocks on the north side of the canal where they will cross to the south side at the Francis Scott Key Memorial.  Of interest to movie fans, The Exorcist steps are just one more block West of this bridge.  Underneath the Whitehurst freeway is the Capital Crescent Trailhead. 

After only about a mile and a half from where one crosses the canal to the south side, cyclist will find them selves in a relatively serene peaceful setting removed from the crowds and hustle of DC 

 Parking in and around DC is often problematic.  The Rock Creek trail parking lot is close to the canal. Cyclist=t can take the Rock Creek trail north less than 1/3 of a mile to its juncture with the C&O canal. 

Great way to stay in DC.  The C&O Canal Trust has refurbished lockhouses for families to stay while visiting the area.  Each Canal Quarter lockhouse has been furnished with furniture and accessories from a different time period, and each tells a different story about the development of the C&O Canal.  The nightly rentals are very reasonable, and the location could not be better! for more information. 

Georgetown, Photo by Sebastain Walworth
Great Falls Tavern  Photo by  Cheryl Nelson
Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Jim Rowan

How to use the map: The map below contains points of interest for this section of the trail! Click the upper left hand button to see a menu with a list of all points. Items on this map are grouped by Category or trail, and can be toggled on or off through this menu to get a better picture of  a specific category of options. All items contain their description from the table below, as well as google-maps information as availble. Click on the upper right hand button to view the map in greater detail.


How to use the table: The table below contains points of interest for this section of the trail! Click on the heading of each section in order to get a sorted list of items (i.e. see all items by Mile on the trail, or all places with Food.) The upper right contains a search bar -- use this to find all items with a specific word (i.e. all 'locks' or all 'attraction'). All items below also exist on the map above, grouped and labeled by type for clarity and convenience. 

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