Sixty miles to Harpers Ferry

I done it.

That is, I have hiked the section of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from Georgetown (mile 0) to Harpers Ferry (mile 60.7). Actually, I have hiked all the way to Dargons Bend (just a hair short of mile 65).

Well, I did not initially set a goal of hiking the entire canal, or this section. I started hiking the canal (to be precise, the towpath) a few years ago. As I always go out to look for a new section to hike, it slowly dawned on me that one day I may in fact, cumulatively, hike the whole canal from Georgetown to Cumberland. I then started keeping a hiking log and started “filling out the blanks”.

Today I started from Monocacy Aqueduct, arguably the most splendid structure on the entire canal. It is indeed some piece of work to marvel at.

Monocacy Aqueduct

I hiked to Point of Rocks, some 6 miles off. Thus, a round trip gives me 12 miles for the day. In fact, since I always hike this way along the canal — from one point to the next then back, so in effect I hiked this 65-mile section at least twice. I also hiked some other sections of the canal, and there are some sections I hiked multiple times, especially around Great Falls Tavern .. but, let’s not get too technical.

In this late summer day there weren’t many wildlife active. Perhaps it is the lull before the fall migration, birds were especially scarce, a far cry from the noisy and lively spring. The most memorable moment of the day was when I caught a glimpse of this yellow-billed cuckoo.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

But pawpaws are ripe, and soon birds will be on the move again. The canal still has many tricks up its sleeves.

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