Mile 25 - Mud holes are common in this section

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Once you pass the Seneca Creek Aqueduct, the conditions change radically. If you are thinking about biking the entire canal, you may want to try a practice ride in this section to see what it will REALLY be like. First, the canal bed is no longer watered and thus has been completely reclaimed by forest growth. This makes the towpath quite shady, which is great during the summer months, but it does greatly limit the scenery. Also, the wide towpath you had enjoyed eventually changes into a dual track trail. The frequent access points are a thing of the past, so you pass very few folks here. If you find this section boring, then you should rethink trying to do the entire 184 miles.

Connecting Rides: Here are some short rides that make use of the towpath along this section.

  • Western Montgomery Loop - 23 Miles
  • Waterford Double Cross - 34 Miles
  • Sugarloaf Challenge - 50 Miles
  • The WODCO Loop - 75 Miles
  • Expect to see a bunch of wildlife, including towpath favorites such as deer, rabbits, and the occasional fox. The first hiker-biker campsites also begin in this section. Each site contains a water pump and jiffy john. Campsites are chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    The major point of interest in this section is Whites Ferry, the only working ferry on the Potomac. You can use the ferry to cross over to Leesburg, Va ($1 for bikes, $3 for cars) where lodging is available. Leesburg is about 4 miles from White's Ferry via Business Route 15. Route 15 is a very busy highway, however there are now paved shoulders along the busiest section.

    Route between Whites Ferry and Leesburg
    Use Caution on Route 15!

    Access Points from River Road:

    Access Points from Poolesvile, MD:

    Towpath Map - Mile 25 thru 40

    MileNameInfo Food Water Campsite/Restrooms Lodging Access Point
    26.0 Horsepen Branch H/B Hiker/Biker campsite. 1.2 miles from vehicle access at mile 27.2. XX
    27.2 Mckee-Beshers Wildlife Area Remote access via Sycamore Landing Rd, 0.75 miles from River Rd. Public hunting area. In July, check out the Sunflower fields during peak bloom.X
    30.5 Chisel Branch H/B Hiker/Biker campsite. 0.3 miles from vehicle access at mile 30.8XX
    30.8 Edward Ferry Boat Ramp Access to Poolesville, MDX
    30.8 Bob's Bikes (map) 301.349.2453: Full service bike shop located about 5 miles from the trail. 19961 Fisher Ave, Poolesville, MD.
    30.9 Lockhouse 25 (map) Stay overnight in a real lock house. Rustic, no heat, electricity, or running water. Nearest water is 0.3 miles downriver at campsite.X
    31.9 Broad Run Trunk Aqueduct (Ruins)
    34.5 Turtle Run H/B Hiker/Biker campsite. 1.0 miles from vehicle access at mile 35.5XX
    35.7 Whites Ferry (map) 301-349-5200: Bike/auto access to Leesburg, VA via Ferry (Fee). Soda, snack food available.XX
    35.7 Best Western (map) 703.777.9400: Leesburg: 726 E Market St. Bike friendly hotel very near the W&OD trail. Free hot breakfast buffet, free upgraded Wi-Fi, and free shuttle to and from White’s Ferry!X
    35.7 The Leesburg Colonial Inn (map) 800.392.1332: Leesburg: 19 South King St. A 10-room Bed-and-Breakfast, centrally located in downtown Leesburg, VA. Two blocks from the W&OD trail, and many nearby restaurants.X
    35.7 Comfort Suites Leesburg (map) 703.669.1650: Located in Leesburg, VA, right next to the W&OD trail. Offers a "Ride and Stay Package", and free shuttle service from the trail. 80 Prosperity Ave SE.X
    35.7 Bicycle Outfitters (map) 703.777.6126: Full service bike shop serving Northern VA for 20 years. Closed Sunday. 34-D Catoctin Circle SE
    35.7 Hampton Inn and Suites Leesburg (map) 703.669.8640: 117 Fort Evans Road NE, LeesburgX
    38.2 Marble Quarry H/B Hiker/Biker Campsite. 1.4 miles from vehicle access at mile 39.6XX
    39.5 Dickerson Conservation Park (map) Access from Martinsburg Rd.X