Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Mid-Atlantic
Reload this Page >

C&O Canal Towpath Conditions at Mile 51 - Brunswich/Little Catoctin Creek

Notices
Mid-Atlantic Pennsylvania | Maryland | DC | Delaware | West Virginia | Virginia

C&O Canal Towpath Conditions at Mile 51 - Brunswich/Little Catoctin Creek

Old 09-04-18, 04:26 AM
  #1  
jpescatore
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashton, MD USA
Posts: 1,218

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Disc, Jamis Renegade

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 338 Post(s)
Liked 266 Times in 192 Posts
C&O Canal Towpath Conditions at Mile 51 - Brunswich/Little Catoctin Creek

The C&O Canal Towpath is still officially closed between the Brunswick Campground (mile 54 or so) and Lander Lock (mile 51.5) Yesterday, a friend and I hiked from Brunswick and went around the "Trail Closed" sign at the campground. In about a mile you reach the collapsed bridge that carried the towpath across Little Catoctin Creek - it is definitely still out.

However, enterprising hikers and bikers have created a path down to the creek and to a relatively broad shallow area with lots of large rocks. You can get across - saw a cyclist with a loaded bike do it. You will definitely get your feet wet and the path on each side of the creek is muddy and slippery, even under dry conditions. So, not an easy crossing but do-able.

Others seem to use the railroad tracks to get around the outage but those are very active tracks.


Looking east/downstream, Towpath outage at mile 53.
jpescatore is offline  
Old 09-12-18, 04:58 AM
  #2  
StarBiker
Senior Member
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,985

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 783 Post(s)
Liked 139 Times in 110 Posts
This is what I hate about trails. Some love it. I have an aversion to mud.

It also looks like lazy asses are throwing trash around.
StarBiker is offline  
Old 09-12-18, 07:05 AM
  #3  
Baboo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 273

Bikes: Bike Friday NWT, Rans Stratus, Cannondale R500, trek 720 multitrack, Rockhopper

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 22 Posts
Don’t see any visible effort to repair it either. This was washed out in early June. We were on the trail when the storm hit and cut out trip short because of the wash out.

Allen
Baboo is offline  
Old 09-13-18, 05:42 AM
  #4  
jpescatore
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashton, MD USA
Posts: 1,218

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Disc, Jamis Renegade

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 338 Post(s)
Liked 266 Times in 192 Posts
When I took that picture (about 10 days ago) there was a work site about 100 feet from the creek. There was a big Bobcat front loader, a lot of big plastic drainage pipe, a gravel parking pad had been created, etc. They are going to put in a temporary "low water bridge" with planned completion by the end of September.

However, the recent rains have flooded many, many spots along the Potomac (and brought huge boulders down on the GAP Trail in Somerset!) - and now the remnants of Hurricane Florence will be dumping rain early next week. I'm sure there will be delays, but they have gotten started. Latest pre-FLO estimate of total damage was $14M work on the C&O.
jpescatore is offline  
Old 09-13-18, 08:50 AM
  #5  
Baboo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 273

Bikes: Bike Friday NWT, Rans Stratus, Cannondale R500, trek 720 multitrack, Rockhopper

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
When I took that picture (about 10 days ago) there was a work site about 100 feet from the creek. There was a big Bobcat front loader, a lot of big plastic drainage pipe, a gravel parking pad had been created, etc. They are going to put in a temporary "low water bridge" with planned completion by the end of September.

However, the recent rains have flooded many, many spots along the Potomac (and brought huge boulders down on the GAP Trail in Somerset!) - and now the remnants of Hurricane Florence will be dumping rain early next week. I'm sure there will be delays, but they have gotten started. Latest pre-FLO estimate of total damage was $14M work on the C&O.
Thanks for the update, itís good to know they are working on a solution.
Baboo is offline  
Old 09-22-18, 06:30 PM
  #6  
travbikeman
Senior Member
 
travbikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Martinsburg WV Area
Posts: 1,647

Bikes: Scott SubCross, Giant Trance 29, Scott Genius 950

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 140 Times in 101 Posts
Looks like this is the temporary solution. Unfortunately the creek is high today due to the Potomac being high and flowing fast. Did get to watch one guy walk across this. Water went up to his chest. The railroad looks nicely re stones. But has wiring on it and it is very busy with freight, Amtrak, Marc. Also noticed a rail truck a couple miles down, not sure if they were checking on people crossing here or not.




travbikeman is offline  
Old 09-22-18, 06:50 PM
  #7  
travbikeman
Senior Member
 
travbikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Martinsburg WV Area
Posts: 1,647

Bikes: Scott SubCross, Giant Trance 29, Scott Genius 950

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 140 Times in 101 Posts
For anyone interested in seeing what used to be here:

travbikeman is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 04:02 AM
  #8  
jpescatore
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashton, MD USA
Posts: 1,218

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Disc, Jamis Renegade

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 338 Post(s)
Liked 266 Times in 192 Posts
Are you sure the temporary solution was actually under there?? There were a lot of rocks there at that spot anyway - without the temporary fix, water probably would have been up to someone's chest at that level!

The temporary fix looked like it was going to be several large black plastic corrugated culvert tubes covered with gravel/ballast - could you actually see those in the stream?
jpescatore is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 06:21 AM
  #9  
StarBiker
Senior Member
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,985

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 783 Post(s)
Liked 139 Times in 110 Posts
I don't see them doing much until we get some dry weather if that ever happens again.
StarBiker is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 08:46 AM
  #10  
travbikeman
Senior Member
 
travbikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Martinsburg WV Area
Posts: 1,647

Bikes: Scott SubCross, Giant Trance 29, Scott Genius 950

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 140 Times in 101 Posts
Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
Are you sure the temporary solution was actually under there?? There were a lot of rocks there at that spot anyway - without the temporary fix, water probably would have been up to someone's chest at that level!

The temporary fix looked like it was going to be several large black plastic corrugated culvert tubes covered with gravel/ballast - could you actually see those in the stream?
If that is what is being done, it hasn't been put in place yet. The CnO site states they are not yet complete with this and waiting for the water to recede. The Potomac is still really high, which means this is really high as well. Normally this water is between ankle to knee high.

My pictures were really meant to show where the temporary solution will be.
travbikeman is offline  
Old 09-25-18, 03:54 AM
  #11  
jpescatore
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashton, MD USA
Posts: 1,218

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Disc, Jamis Renegade

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 338 Post(s)
Liked 266 Times in 192 Posts
With the near constant rain, I don't think they are going to have the temporary fix in by the end of September! Year to date, looks like Hagerstown area has had about 10" more rain than average, but here in the Baltimore area BWI has had 21" above historical average.
jpescatore is offline  
Old 09-29-18, 05:51 AM
  #12  
TBlackwell600
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: PA & NY
Posts: 30

Bikes: Specialized Crosstrail, Canyon Endurance AL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I biked that area July 4th holiday. There are shuttle services that will take you around the closed section, but they can be difficult to book & schedule. One biker I met simply told me he carried his bike up the hill to the railroad tracks and walked the tracks around the closed section.
TBlackwell600 is offline  
Old 09-29-18, 07:22 PM
  #13  
travbikeman
Senior Member
 
travbikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Martinsburg WV Area
Posts: 1,647

Bikes: Scott SubCross, Giant Trance 29, Scott Genius 950

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 140 Times in 101 Posts
I've seen the trains going through, easy enough to hear the freight trains blow the horns a few miles away and the sounds they make. I would be more worried about the Marc and Amtrak trains. Those are very quiet and when you do hear them, they're very close and fast.
travbikeman is offline  
Old 11-19-18, 06:34 AM
  #14  
jpescatore
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashton, MD USA
Posts: 1,218

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Disc, Jamis Renegade

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 338 Post(s)
Liked 266 Times in 192 Posts
Yesterday, a friend and I repeated our Towpath hike from Brunswick out to the site of the culvert washout. As the pictures below show, it is still closed. They seem to have started building the temporary "low bridge" - it is hard to see in the picture, but past that large pile of gravel in the water are several pieces of drainage pipe that were to span the creek and be covered with gravel to let hikers/bikers cross. However, the Potomac River is so high (normally that pile of gravel is on the dry bank) they are probably waiting for the creek to get back to normal levels. There are two backhoes sitting nearby.

At the level the creek is now, the only real way to cross is on the railroad tracks.



The outage - those cyclists are on the downstream side.


Normally that pile of gravel is on the dry bank, just past it to the left you might be able to see the drainage pipe in the creek that shows they have at least started on the temporary low bridge.
jpescatore is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jpescatore
Touring
6
09-04-18 08:06 AM
Hondo Gravel
Touring
3
07-16-18 07:22 AM
09box
Northeast
3
06-08-17 06:28 PM
shapeshift
Mountain - Plains
4
08-25-15 09:51 PM
Neil_B
Hosted Travelogs and Stories from the Road
3
09-26-10 08:45 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.