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C&O Mile 105 - 135: Fort Fredrick & Hancock

Western Maryland Rail Trail

Tags on this page: Fort Frederick, Bike touring, Bike packing, Hancock, C& O Canal Lodging

Four Locks:  a section where the canal veered away from the Potomac River.  There is also a boat launch /recreation area here.

Fort Fredrick: Located only 0.3 miles off the trail, this pre-Revolutionary War fort is still standing and comes with reenactments, ghost tours and camping for those looking to experience some older American History. A camp store and daily activities in the summer are also open, making the quick ride up the road before Big Pool worth it, if for nothing more than the incredibly impressive structure.

Hancock: The major town that has built up conveniences to make it easy for bikers of all kinds to get what they need.

Western Maryland Rail Trail:  Often besides I-70, so be prepared for some noise.

A 23 mile long paved trail that runs parallel to the C&O Canal built on an old railroad bed. Starting a little west of Fort Fredrick in Big Pool, MD, the trail runs through Hancock and ends in Pearre, MD. There is currently construction ongoing to extend the trail to Little Orleans, MD, with an expected competition date of May 2019. (

Both the rail trail and towpath are bikeable through this area, leading many locals to create a loop of the two called the "Bow-tie". They start at Hancock, going up on on path and back down on the other, only to switch paths once they reach Hancock again. This repeats the process to make a nice 40+ mile loop, giving a great variety in visual and biking experience, and making what loops like a very droopy "bow-tie".

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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