|CO Canal MP 150.0-156.0, MD|
|CO Canal MP 150.0-156.0, MD|| |
CO Canal MP 150.0-156.0, MD
|Hiking||8.21 Miles|| 2 Hrs 38 Mns ||3.12 mph|
|593 ft AEG|
|Driving to Bond’s Landing, in the deepest depths of Green Ridge State Forest, can be confusing if you have not been there before. Bring a GPS with this route loaded.|
I'd gone ¼ mile, when I realized I had taken our car keys with me, which would have left me without a shuttle, and worse yet stranded my wife.
Other than the Roby Hollow Railroad Bridge (MP 151.2), there’s nothing of note the first three miles of this segment.
About ¼ mile past Lock 61 (MP 153.1) was an orange sign: “Towpath Closed – 1.5 Miles Ahead – Follow Detour”. Right next to the warning was a sign indicating the footpath is part of the Great Eastern Trail. I decided to soldier on.
Lock 62 (MP 154.1) is adjacent to Sorrel Ridge Hiker / Biker Campsite, which has the usual amenites (picnic table, grill, fire pit, direction & distance sign and trash bag dispenser). The well hand pump actually had a working handle, which gave water, but I don’t think the pumps are iodine-treated this far upriver.
In Tunnel Hollow, the canal water looked like coffee with lots of creamer. Lock 63⅓, 64⅔ and 66 are in rapid succession. Why the odd numbering? Because Missing Lock 65 was never built. (The Canal Company dropped it to reduce costs.) More canal lock info.
I arrived at the detour at 12:50 p.m. The flag lady was very nice, and we had a good conversation while I waited for the dump trucks to descend the dirt road that is Tunnel Hill Trail. While the ceiling of Paw Paw Tunnel will soon need repairs, the current $10 million project is to clear landslides, and reinforce loose rock, on Paw Paw Tunnel’s north approach. And afterwards to restore the land to its prior, semi-natural state.
Tunnel Hill Trail and (an open) Paw Paw Tunnel would make a nice little 3.2 mi. loop.
Once the dump trucks were back in the hollow, I headed up steep Tunnel Hill Trail. I was trying to beat the loaded trucks to the top of the ridge, but they eventually passed me. When I caught up to the drivers at the top, one said “I tell you what, I’m pretty impressed: You stayed right there with me.”
Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/818095631
||Wildflowers Observation Light
Plenty of Virginia bluebell, which thrive even in cold weather. Usually blue, but I also found plenty of the white varietal (a first for me). Ragwort. What looked like violets, but turned out to be ground ivy. Fair number of what I called "white wings", but are actually named Dutchman's breaches. Early saxifrage in Tunnel Hollow. Plentiful Eastern redbud.
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