Likes Likes:  4
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
ELITE ELITE:  0
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: C&O Hiker/Biker campsites

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    Posts
    101
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default C&O Hiker/Biker campsites

    What is the protocol for using the campsites along the C&O? If someone has already pitched a tent, has a claim been placed on the entire site and anyone else wanting to camp there needs to request permission of the temporary leaseholder before pitching a tent and respect that the answer might be no. Or, are campsites shared resources like a beach where any spot with adequate distance (say 25 feet from any other tent) is free space for anyone to just plop down and claim it without negotiating permission from the adjacent users?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Beer Win Heights
    Posts
    1,068
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The latter.

  3. Likes Judd liked this post
  4. #3
    Judd's Avatar
    Judd is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    3,901
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Most of them are plenty big to maintain distance. The last I read all of the well pumps are now back on.

    Trail traffic was very heavy a few weeks ago when I rode from Lockhouse 25 to about 15 miles north. It was too early to gauge if there were lots of campers.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    Posts
    101
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The question was prompted by my experience last week. I camped for several nights at different spots between Harper's Ferry and Little Orleans. One camp was empty. Another had a one camper who didn't mind my presence although the pump didn't work 'cause the vandals took the handle. (Maybe it was broke, but I couldn't resist the lyrical reference.) The third time, at dusk, I stopped at a campsite that already had 2 tents and 4 people at the picnic table. When I started to set up camp at the edge of the clearing, one approached me and said the campsites were first-come-first-served and that I needed to go. I suggestion that there was plenty of room, but they were firm that I was not welcome. I wasn't interested in confrontation and in spite of the risk of setting up camp in the dark, I moved on and found a place a few miles away. My social skills aren't so good so I wasn't sure how rude I was for assuming that campgrounds are public spaces. I met a lot of nice people on the trip and this was a surprisingly unfriendly contrast.

    Name:  Camp.jpg
Views: 154
Size:  106.3 KB

  6. Likes Judd liked this post
  7. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Beer Win Heights
    Posts
    1,068
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I have never experienced anyone telling me that I had to move on. Maybe they didn't like your bike car? (I'm kidding!)

    Anyways, I did some googling, and according to this page (http://bikewashington.org/canal/plan-camping.php), I learned something new:
    'Officially, these sites are "First Come, First Serve" and only one group is permitted at each site (up to eight persons).'

    So I went on the official page (https://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/camping.htm), and I didn't see any wording about only one group being able to have the whole site:

    Hiker-Biker Campsites:
    • No fee; first-come, first-served; no reservations.f
    • Stays limited to one night per site, per trip.
    • With the exception of Swains (Mile 16.6), all campsites are located anywhere from 1 to 5 miles from the nearest parking area. Use the Recreation Guide by Milepost above to determine the nearest parking area to your campsite of choice. Please plan accordingly.
    • All sites have: chemical toilet, water, a picnic table, and grill.
    • Potable water may not be available at each campsite. Water is treated with iodine. Please plan to have water purification tablets with you. Water is turned off from mid-November to mid-April each year.


    I've been at Horsepen Branch before when there were over a dozen people camping there. Methinks the people you encountered were surly and selfish.

  8. Likes AT_Hiker59, secstate liked this post
  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Roanoke, Va
    Posts
    795
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Perhaps they were miffed you took their photograph without permission.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4,343
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Pump handles get removed for various reasons, including the water testing as unsafe for consumption. Some people brute-force the pumps to get water even when the handle is gone, but maybe they don't know about the water testing thing. The sites are technically first-come-first-served but I've never personally run into someone who'd make someone else keep going rather than share. (Nor have I ever tried to claim an entire site when someone comes up and waves and starts setting up their tent.)

  11. #8
    Judd's Avatar
    Judd is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    3,901
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarBikeCar View Post
    The question was prompted by my experience last week. I camped for several nights at different spots between Harper's Ferry and Little Orleans. One camp was empty. Another had a one camper who didn't mind my presence although the pump didn't work 'cause the vandals took the handle. (Maybe it was broke, but I couldn't resist the lyrical reference.) The third time, at dusk, I stopped at a campsite that already had 2 tents and 4 people at the picnic table. When I started to set up camp at the edge of the clearing, one approached me and said the campsites were first-come-first-served and that I needed to go. I suggestion that there was plenty of room, but they were firm that I was not welcome. I wasn't interested in confrontation and in spite of the risk of setting up camp in the dark, I moved on and found a place a few miles away. My social skills aren't so good so I wasn't sure how rude I was for assuming that campgrounds are public spaces. I met a lot of nice people on the trip and this was a surprisingly unfriendly contrast.

    Name:  Camp.jpg
Views: 154
Size:  106.3 KB

    Seems like a difference in what first come first served means. I think most people would take it to just mean that there are no reservations and no reserved spaces. These camps almost always have several different groups of through bikers and biking the whole canal wouldnít be feasible if the site didnít hold more than one group.

    Iím sorry that these folks were unkind to you and hope you were able to still have a good camping experience despite their actions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •