C&O Canal Bike Tour

Explore the C&O Canal Towpath

Spend 6-days riding along the Potomac River on a historic towpath through the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park for 184 miles between Georgetown in Washington, DC and Cumberland, MD. Our C&O Canal bike tour spans the length of one of our nation’s oldest recreation paths, and you have the chance to explore this path at a relaxed pace! You’ll experience the iconic lush, green tunnel of trees over the bike trail as it transports you back to the early 1900s. Hundreds of original features, including locks, lock houses, aqueducts and other canal structures paint the history of the park’s role during the canal era. Throughout the trip, we will visit a handful of quaint towns along the path, intimately experiencing the region’s culture.

Tour Highlights

Great Falls of the Potomac

Antietam National Battlefield

Harper's Ferry

Paw Paw Tunnel

National Mall

Lodging Options

The Poppy

Town Hill Inn

Bay Farms B&B

Bavarian Inn

10 Clarke Place and Hollerstown Hill B&B

Day 1:  Arrive in the nation’s capital this morning to meet your guides and fellow riding partners for your C&O Canal bike tour. We will take a fun and scenic ride around Georgetown. We’ll hit all the classics – the White House, Capitol, National Mall, and more – and see some hidden gems as well. After our ride, we’ll retire to The Poppy Georgetown. Locally owned and operated, The Poppy Georgetown is the first luxury boutique guesthouse, positioned in the nation’s capital.


Day 2: After breakfast at The Poppy, we’ll load up and shuttle to the western terminus of the C&O Canal Towpath. Start your journey through Canal Place, the original location for Maryland’s first certified Heritage Area. Soon after leaving Cumberland, you’ll follow the forested path along the Potomac, completely immersed in the historic towpath. Along the path you’ll experience the 3119-foot Paw Paw Tunnel, before continuing on to Little Orleans. We will stay at a local B&B near the towpath.


Day 3: Continue on the towpath again this morning at the Little Orleans trailhead. Spin through the deep-green tunnel of trees, passing by Big Pool and Fort Frederick. We’ll end our ride today in Williamsport, Maryland, home of the Cushwa Basin. The Cushwa Basin was one of the few places on the Canal that a boat could turn around. Sitting on the Canal is a restored warehouse, dating back to the 1800s, that is now headquarters to a visitor’s center for the C&O Canal. We will have dinner and stay for the night in charming Williamsport.


Day 4: We have a short ride today so you can relax and enjoy this awesome section of the towpath. Ride along the Big Slackwater. This long, concrete pathway hugs the river against a tall rocky cliff. Canal boats once entered the river here as the mules continued walking along the towpath.  Just a few miles later, we’ll have the opportunity to explore Antietam National Battlefield. After visiting battlefield, you’ll check-in to the lovely Bavarian Inn and have some time to explore charming, historic Shepherdstown on your own for dinner. 


Day 5: Spin back across the Potomac River this morning to access the towpath again. In a few miles, you’ll arrive at the famous bridge across the river to Harpers Ferry. You’ll have plenty of time to explore this quaint, historic town before heading back to the trail for the rest of the ride. Once we reach the Monocacy Aqueduct, we’ll load up and shuttle to Frederick, where we’ll spend the night. Enjoy one last dinner with the group in Frederick, then rest up for the final day’s ride tomorrow!  


Day 6: Return to the Monocacy Aqueduct today for your last day on the towpath! We’ll take a special stop at Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center. This well-designed park features a visitor center, replica canal boat rides, an overlook of the Great Falls of the Potomac and the Billy Goat trail. Many people consider the falls to be the most spectacular natural landmark in the Washington D.C. area. Here, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge.  After seeing the falls, ride down the trail all the way to Mile Marker 0 in Georgetown!

Trip Information


Trip Length - Days

Tour Type
Rail Trail
Tour Rating
Bike Tour Routes with Elevation gain and loss
Route Overview

Daily Mileage

Check In Location
Washington, DC
SAG Vehicle New York Finger Lakes Bike Tour
Support & Gear Vehicle
E-Bikes Allowed

Required Specifications

  • 50 pounds or less weight limit
  • Class I pedal assist only
  • Removable battery
  • 5+ hour battery capacity

Minimum Age


4 Breakfasts | 4 Lunches | 3 Dinners

2024 Pricing
  • PP Double Occupancy

  • Single Supplement*

  • Bike Rental


*This is required if you are traveling solo or if you are traveling with someone but require separate beds.


Select your departure date and click to reserve your bike tour!

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