C&O Canal: An Overnight Bicycle, History, and Lockhouse Tour

date Saturday, 15 April 2017 time 10 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

👤 Geoff Patterson 🏢 Key Bridge Boathouse


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We’ll follow in the footsteps of canal mules, but without a boat in tow. (Credit Boston Public Library.)

Pennsylvania Avenue to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — no cars allowed! Actually, cars didn’t exist: The C&O Canal opened in 1830. Almost a century after exiting the shipping business, the canal’s towpath (together with the Great Allegheny Passage) now provides a 335 mile non-motorized corridor that attracts outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

We’ll explore the first 30 miles of the canal by bicycle, setting a leisurely pace with frequent water and snack breaks at points of historical interest. After spending the night in a preserved 1860s era lockhouse, we’ll pedal back to D.C. the following day.

This outing is more logistically complex than many of our classes. Please read the following information.

General Information

What to Bring

There is no cost to join the trip, but there are a number of things we’d like you to bring:

Am I Prepared?

Do you have a bike that’s suitable to riding on dirt mixed with occasional small rocks? Have you bicycled 40–50 miles in one day? (Or are you confident that you could if you had to?)

If so, you’ll be fine! We’ll cover 30 miles each day, for a total of 60 miles over two days. The terrain will be flat, but slightly bumpy at times; you won’t need a mountain bike, but you will appreciate tires wider than those on a standard road bike.

How to Register

Use the “Register for this class” button, just like any other class. Then email contact@knowledgecommonsdc.org to let us know a few things:

You don’t need to be an expert bicyclist or outdoorsperson, and we’ll work with you to determine if the trip will be a good fit for you. But if we don’t hear from you within a few days, we will revoke your registration.


Key Bridge Boathouse
3500 Water St. NW
Washington, DC 20007
Neighborhood: Georgetown
Shortly before Water Street becomes the Capital Crescent Trail

Past event