McMahon's Mill (Maryland)

Today, Polly #5 joined in a hike with members of the C&O Canal Association. The group began the six mile round trip at McMahon’s Mill and stopped at the Opequon Junction campsite for lunch before returning.

Polly was especially interested in the park service’s project to rebuild the washed out section of the towpath in the Big Slackwater area. Presently, there is a five mile detour on dangerous roads that hikers and bikers take to get around the impassable banks of the Potomac River.

Along the way, Polly made numerous friends and even met a woman who recognized her from an article in the Martinsburg Journal. Polly wants to see as much of the world as she possibly can, but she also realizes that there are numerous wonders in her own neighborhood.

McMahon’s Mill is a beautiful place, and the upstream section of the towpath abounds with caves, wildlife, and a wonderful view of the river. She says she wants to jump in the Potomac for a swim when the water warms up, but that’s what you’d expect from an adventurous travel frog!

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3 Responses to “
McMahon’s Mill

  1. What would you say is your favorite part of the canal. Is it pretty much the same or are there areas that are prettier and more interesting?

  2. Jared,

    We rode the entire C&O last summer, and to a certain extent, it’s just mile after mile of bike trail. However, there are a few places that stand out.

    The Paw Paw Tunnel is an engineering wonder, as are all eleven aqueducts. Great Falls (near DC) is a huge rapids that is often run by kayakers, and it’s a short walk from the canal.

    There are also numerous species of wildlife that are seen in the park–deer, bear, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and an uncountable variety of birds. Some parts of the C&O are miles from the nearest town, and it’s really hard to tell just what is going to cross the path at any moment.

    If fishing is your thing, strap a pole on your bike and try out Big Pool, Little Pool, Sideling Hill Creek, or the Potomac. All of them are good places to fish.

    In all, there is a whole lot of nature and history along the canal, but here are some of my favorites…

    Paw Paw Tunnel
    Monocacy Aqueduct
    Harpers Ferry (on the WV side)
    Hancock (good places to eat and a bike shop)
    White’s Ferry (cars are ferried across the river on a boat!)
    Great Falls
    Georgetown (DC)

    Remember, the C&O is 184 miles long, and parts are really remote, while some of it is in metropolitan areas. There is a little bit of something for everybody.

  3. 184 1/2 miles! Right? 🙂