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-   -   Handcycle and Great Allegheny Passage & C&O Canal Trail ? (

MojojoM 10-08-12 08:18 PM

Handcycle and Great Allegheny Passage & C&O Canal Trail ?
Does anyone know how accesable the Great Allegheny Passage & C&O Canal Trails are for a handcycle. I have heard the C&O trail has quite a few areas with grass in the center that may be hard to straddle with three wheels. The post I read was rather old.\


BeSelfPropelled 10-08-12 09:59 PM

I rode the GAP and C&O in May and I can tell you that you won't have any issues on the GAP. The trails are well graded with crushed stone and a nice width that shouldn't give you any issues with a hand cycle. The C&O Trail is another story. There are many areas on the C&O where the trail is double track with a large section of grass in the middle. We shot video on each trail so you can see for yourself. GAP and C&O Videos The section from Cumberland, MD to Hancock, MD would have some of the tightest sections including one that we labeled single track just beyond the Paw Paw tunnel. It's the 4th video down and you can clearly see the trail structure with grass in the center. We had some heavy rains and the C&O got very muddy. Due to trail repairs, just beyond Great Falls park near DC, there are some stairs that you have to carry or push your bike up that might be an issue. I think you'd really enjoy the GAP trail with the hand cycle but the C&O could be frustrating.

MojojoM 10-09-12 10:36 PM

Thanks for your reply. My buddy is the one one that rides a handcycle, but I'll be with him to help out in any way I can.

What type of tires did you use?
Is there any other advice you can offer either of us?

I'll take a look at the videos when I get home in the monring after work.

Thanks again.

esther-L 10-13-12 07:20 PM

Are you planning to camp or go to motels or B&Bs in the towns? The only route into Harpers Ferry from the towpath involves a bunch of stairs. My trip was in June-July, and I did not investigate the campgrounds because of the clouds of mosquitoes when I was not pedaling. Back in 2003 there were no wheelchair accessible porta potties along the towpath. (I did a trip on C&O in summer 2003).

MojojoM 10-20-12 02:07 AM

Camping seems to fit my riding style a bit better, but... the B&B's sure do sound like a better way. I don't want to be roped into riding less if I feel like doing longer days. Really looking forward to making this trip.

Chris516 10-20-12 08:56 AM

While I don't have to use a handcycle, I won't ride my racing bike on the C&O Canal Trail, because it is too easy to pop a tire/tube in my case. For the C&O Canal Trail, you really need knobby or studded tires.

MojojoM 10-20-12 08:56 PM

I'm thinking I'm going to use my son's Trek hybrid. I'm definitley not going to use my road bike and I'd rather not use the Mt bike either. Hoping to do 50 miles a day. That should give us time to stop and enjoy the sights too. I apprecaite any advice.

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