C&O Canal Washington Sampler Social Tour, 1 day, Whites Ferry, MD - Catoctin Aqueduct, MD, $50

WHEN:    Inquire for your group of 8 or more (10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
                Dates may be added.
                This itinerary is perfect as a Corporate Outing, Corporate Picnic, or social group event.

WHAT:     Day ride on C&O Canal Towpath - 34 miles.

WHO:       Open tour.

WHERE:   C&O Canal Mile 35.5 - 52, Round Trip (34 miles).

WHY:        Introduction to C&O Canal and its history. A great reunion for past tour participants, and a good group outing for company groups, cycling friends, and families.

COST:      $50. Includes picnic style lunch, trail support, drinks and snacks, and tour of Lock House 29 (if open).
                 Children 12 and under, $20, with adult.

Begin riding at 10:00 a.m. at Whites Ferry, MD parking area.  Return about 4:00 p.m. 

34 miles, with shuttle option to shorten distances.

TERRAIN:  Level (see profile elevation map).  Packed dirt and crushed stone surface.  6-8 feet wide.  Mountain, hybrid or cyclo-cross bicycles required.

RATING:  Easy.  The terrain is easy. You will be traveling on a nearly flat trail, rising or dropping just 8' at each lock.

LIMIT: 14 or 28. This is a beginner and family friendly tour.


Construction began on the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal in 1828, the same year as the B&O Railroad was begun.  The railroad won the race to the west, beating the canal to the Ohio Valley by 8 years.  The 184-mile canal cost $22 million, and includes 74 lift locks, and 11 stone aqueducts over Potomac tributaries.  The first canal boat to travel end-to-end along the canal did so in 1850, more than 150 years before us.  The canal was used commercially until 1924 when floods destroyed it for the second time.  The towpath, although no longer used to transport tobacco, furs, iron ore, and other goods, is currently maintained as a National Park with numerous trip highlights.

Spring rides offer nice views through budding hardwood forests to the Potomac River, as well as serene, peaceful moments along quiet stretches of the river. 

DAY 1:  Whites Ferry, MD to Catoctin, MD, Round Trip - 34 miles

You are invited to join us for one of Get Out & Go Tours' special, one-day C&O Canal introduction tours.  This tour begins and end at Whites Ferry, MD and travels to Catoctin Creek Aqueduct and back. It is intended to be both a C&O Canal introduction for those who have not experienced bicycling on the Canal, and a casual re-union ride for past Get Out & Go tour participants. Join us for a day similar to those experienced on our full-service multi-day tours, and see what they are like.  Families and children capable of riding the distance are welcome on this tour, and for those who can only bike 1/2 the distance, we will offer support van return, with prior coordination.

The ride will begin at 10:00 a.m. from the Whites Ferry parking lot, on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, located along the C&O Canal at mile 35.5.  Tour support will arrive early, to check participants in and ensure effective send-off.  The group will ride west, pausing at Lock 26 and its lock house foundation, where you can imagine who may have planted the huge tree that still stands, then meander on past "turtle lane," Lock houses 27 and 28, Monocacy Aqueduct--the longest in length and number of spans on the Canal, Point of Rocks--where the railroad squeezed through a narrow passage, along with the canal--and its two nearby railroad tunnels, and finally on to a hearty lunch at Lander Lockhouse (Lock house 29), near mile 51.

Tour Lander lock house (Lock house 29)--if available to have open for our group. Learn about Canal history, and see real C&O Canal Company currency issued in 1840 and 1841, all during the picnic style lunch break (approximately 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.), then continue a mile further to Catoctin Aqueduct, one of the significant recent restoration projects, with a very interesting original aqueduct design, before starting the return ride.  Strong riders may select to zip out to Brunswick at mile 56, then chase the group back from the lunch spot on the return, while those who pre-coordinated to return from the mid-point, will be shuttled back to Whites Ferry.

THIS TOUR MAY BE RUN AS A ONE-WAY RIDE, cutting the mileage in half.

The ride will end about 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. for most participants, a little later for those who choose to stop and explore a lot of additional features on the return ride.

Pre-registration required.  Rental bikes included; participants may opt to bring their own bike.