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Thread: C&O Conditions (D.C. to Harper's Ferry)

  1. #1
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    Default C&O Conditions (D.C. to Harper's Ferry)

    Greetings.
    I'm thinking of riding the C&O from D.C. to Harper's Ferry this weekend (18-19 February 2017). Does anyone happen to know the condition of the path right now? It's been a while since we've had a sizeable rain, so I'm not expecting much in the way of mud. Likewise, I'm hoping that the temperatures will be just chilly enough to keep the pedestrian traffic down around Great Falls. So, all things being equal, this should be a great weekend for that particular ride. However, if anyone thinks otherwise, please let me know.
    Many thanks,
    Kevin

  2. #2
    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
    TwoWheelsDC is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    As of this morning, the C&O was bone dry and in essentially optimal condition. The caveat here is that I only rode the short section between Fletchers and Chain Bridge, but based on my experience there's no reason to think the rest of the trail would be any different. Given the temps this weekend and the holiday, I'd say be prepared for maddening foot traffic between Carderock and Great Falls unless you're planning to roll through pretty early.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    As of this morning, the C&O was bone dry and in essentially optimal condition. The caveat here is that I only rode the short section between Fletchers and Chain Bridge, but based on my experience there's no reason to think the rest of the trail would be any different. Given the temps this weekend and the holiday, I'd say be prepared for maddening foot traffic between Carderock and Great Falls unless you're planning to roll through pretty early.
    Thanks for the info. I also ride the C&O on my commute, but only the stretch between Key and Chain bridges. Reviews of the trail between Georgetown and Harper's Ferry often cite the bumpy ride and mud. While I assume the latter isn't an issue right now, I'm also assuming that the former problem is caused by riders using tires that are too narrow and over-inflated. My tank has 50mm tires running between 30 and 50 psi; I'm hoping that I won't encounter anything that they can't smooth out, but I'm not sure, and riding 60 miles and back on a washboard isn't the way I'd like to spend my weekend.

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    I rode out to the tavern last week and with a couple of damp spots near the wooden bridges before you get to Great Falls, things were dry and dusty. With no sizeable rain and a few windy days since then, I can only imagine things are just as dry, if not dryer.

    Have fun!

  5. #5
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    You should still be prepared for some muddy patches between Seneca Creek and White's Ferry where there is less gravel (if any). I not very familiar with the trail beyond that.

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    I think you'll be fine with 2" tires, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect by the time you get to the Horsepen Branch campsite, about 25 miles from Georgetown. If the trail is boggy, you can turn back there and it'll still be a 50-60 mile day.

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    I'm currently on the Amtrak train to Pittsburgh and from I can see of the trail it's looking pretty dry...even the "maybe a little wet" spots observed so far look pretty dry and they are few and far between

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930AZ using Tapatalk

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  9. #8
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    You can always bag the C&O between DC and White's Ferry/Leesburg by using the W&OD if you find yourself stuck in the mud.

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