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SHARPSBURG, MARYLAND

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Park: A Walker's Paradise

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Road Scholar
Program #2206RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Good walking shoes, rain gear in the event of inclement weather, other items the walker feels necessary.

Itinerary for Apr 13 — Apr 18, 2014

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Type: Conference Center

Description: Situated along the Potomac River and C&O Canal, Shepherd's Spring has 220 acres of woodland and rolling meadows. This secluded site is a relaxing refuge for people and a haven for wildlife. Demonstration gardens, a Heifer Global Village, and more create an eco-friendly learning facility with worldwide scope.

Contact info:
16869 Taylors Landing Road
Sharpsburg, MD 21782 USA
phone: 301-223-8193
web: www.shepherdsspring.org

Room amenities: Rooms are simple yet comfortable and include a luggage rack, dresser, desk, chair, and most have a futon. A telephone is available in the common area. Each room has its own private bath along with individually controlled heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided, though there is no maid service during the program.

Facility amenities: Part of the charm of Shepherd’s Spring is “getting away from it all” to focus on meaningful activities and ideas. The site features a natural spring as well as nature and meditation trails for hiking. There is limited wireless Internet access, and a computer is available for guest use in the common area. TV and telephones only in the common areas. Free parking available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $45/ room
Call ahead for availability at (301) 223-8193

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, April 13 - Guest will check in then participate in an introd...
Guest will check in then participate in an introductory orientation of the program and facilities.

Afternoon: Check in from 3-5:00pm in the conference center Lobby.

Dinner: Enjoy a buffet style dinner with a salad bar, followed by dessert, in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room.

Evening: Become familiarized with the program, the facility, and meet your fellow lifelong learners during our general orientation.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Situated along the Potomac River and C&O Canal, Shepherd's Spring has 220 acres of woodland and rolling meadows. This secluded site is a relaxing refuge for people and a haven for wildlife. Demonstration gardens, a Heifer Global Village, and more create an eco-friendly learning facility with worldwide scope.

Contact info:
16869 Taylors Landing Road
Sharpsburg, MD 21782 USA
phone: 301-223-8193
web: www.shepherdsspring.org

Room amenities: Rooms are simple yet comfortable and include a luggage rack, dresser, desk, chair, and most have a futon. A telephone is available in the common area. Each room has its own private bath along with individually controlled heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided, though there is no maid service during the program.

Facility amenities: Part of the charm of Shepherd’s Spring is “getting away from it all” to focus on meaningful activities and ideas. The site features a natural spring as well as nature and meditation trails for hiking. There is limited wireless Internet access, and a computer is available for guest use in the common area. TV and telephones only in the common areas. Free parking available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $45/ room
Call ahead for availability at (301) 223-8193

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, April 14 - Today participants can enjoy a nice walk along th...
Today participants can enjoy a nice walk along the canal right after a hearty breakfast, then learn about the details and intricacies surrounding the Canal's long history.

Note: 5 miles of walking roundtrip with an optional pullout point in the middle after only 2.5 miles there is approximately 1 mile (0.5 miles on each segment) over uneven trails with some steep climbs.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet style breakfast along with fresh fruit and cereal selections in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room.

Morning: Walk from Shepherd's Spring to historic and impressive Dam #4 on the C & O Canal Towpath, walk at your own pace and enjoy the peaceful scenery. The walk is about 2.5 miles each way (access to and from the canal, approximately 0.5 miles, is not on level terrain); transportation at Dam #4 for return trip will be available. For adventuresome explorers, a short trip into "Bear Cave" right along the towpath is planned during the return hike. Follow Cave Dave into one of the Canal's cool spots!

Lunch: Enjoy lunch with a salad bar in the Shepherd’s Spring lodge dining room.

Afternoon: The afternoon contains several in depth presentations and lectures on the C&O Canal covering its inspiration, construction, and operation. These presentations seek to further the participant's knowledge of the canal and provide a framework in which to enjoy the next several days of walking. Questions are welcome. During a break between lectures, we have an opportunity to explore some of Shepherd's Spring lovely grounds.

Dinner: Enjoy a buffet style dinner with a salad bar, followed by dessert, in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room.

Evening: Join one of our experts as they discuss the origins and tell the story of how the C&O Canal transitioned from a working industrial canal to a National Park renowned for its tranquility.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Situated along the Potomac River and C&O Canal, Shepherd's Spring has 220 acres of woodland and rolling meadows. This secluded site is a relaxing refuge for people and a haven for wildlife. Demonstration gardens, a Heifer Global Village, and more create an eco-friendly learning facility with worldwide scope.

Contact info:
16869 Taylors Landing Road
Sharpsburg, MD 21782 USA
phone: 301-223-8193
web: www.shepherdsspring.org

Room amenities: Rooms are simple yet comfortable and include a luggage rack, dresser, desk, chair, and most have a futon. A telephone is available in the common area. Each room has its own private bath along with individually controlled heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided, though there is no maid service during the program.

Facility amenities: Part of the charm of Shepherd’s Spring is “getting away from it all” to focus on meaningful activities and ideas. The site features a natural spring as well as nature and meditation trails for hiking. There is limited wireless Internet access, and a computer is available for guest use in the common area. TV and telephones only in the common areas. Free parking available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $45/ room
Call ahead for availability at (301) 223-8193

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, April 15 - Visit the Cushwa Basin, the Paw Paw Tunnel, and t...
Visit the Cushwa Basin, the Paw Paw Tunnel, and the Canal Terminus. This day's walks will be historically interpreted by a guide and include canal locks, tunnels, rail bridges, aqueducts, and more. The C&O Canal Museum should also be open for a visit.

Note: 4 miles of intermittent walking along the canal towpath.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet style breakfast along with fresh fruit and cereal selections in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room.

Morning: Our walking begins today in Williamsport with a short 1/2 mile segment containing a lock, a Bollman bridge, a mechanical lift bridge, and aqueduct and the midpoint loading basin at Cushwa, a very busy place during the heydey of the canal. We then ride by motorcoach to the engineering masterpiece of the canal, the Paw Paw tunnel. Complete with labor disputes, and cost overruns, it is still considered a marvelous accomplishment of construction techniques for the era. Walk through the tunnel aided by flashlight to the unique locks with the funny numbers. Be sure to ask your guide how there can be 1/3 or 2/3 of a lock! (walking about 2 miles)

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch near the Paw Paw Tunnel.

Afternoon: Travel by motorcoach to the terminus of the canal at Cumberland, MD. After a guided walk around a small portion of the restored canal basin there will be time for self exploration in the Canal Museum located in the historic train depot. (walking about one mile)

Dinner: Enjoy a buffet style dinner with a salad bar, followed by dessert, in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room.

Evening: Explore the geographic origins of the Potomac River Basin and it's importance to the development of the country with our expert geographer and map maker.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Situated along the Potomac River and C&O Canal, Shepherd's Spring has 220 acres of woodland and rolling meadows. This secluded site is a relaxing refuge for people and a haven for wildlife. Demonstration gardens, a Heifer Global Village, and more create an eco-friendly learning facility with worldwide scope.

Contact info:
16869 Taylors Landing Road
Sharpsburg, MD 21782 USA
phone: 301-223-8193
web: www.shepherdsspring.org

Room amenities: Rooms are simple yet comfortable and include a luggage rack, dresser, desk, chair, and most have a futon. A telephone is available in the common area. Each room has its own private bath along with individually controlled heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided, though there is no maid service during the program.

Facility amenities: Part of the charm of Shepherd’s Spring is “getting away from it all” to focus on meaningful activities and ideas. The site features a natural spring as well as nature and meditation trails for hiking. There is limited wireless Internet access, and a computer is available for guest use in the common area. TV and telephones only in the common areas. Free parking available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $45/ room
Call ahead for availability at (301) 223-8193

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, April 16 - Begin the day's walk at the foot of Weverton's Cl...
Begin the day's walk at the foot of Weverton's Cliffs and walk along the C&O Canal towpath into historic Harper's Ferry, W.Va. Explore the restored historic dowtown, the various landmarks, and the natural setting then continue to the Monocacy Aqueduct.

Note: 3.5 miles of scheduled walking, there are plenty of additional walking opportunities to seize during our time in Harper's Ferry.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet style breakfast along with fresh fruit and cereal selections in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room.

Morning: Travel by coach to the foot of Weverton Cliffs. You are welcome to walk at your own pace. This section of the towpath is also part of the Appalchian Trail - and you have become a day hiker on the AT! Once we've reached Harper's Ferry at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah river (approximately 3 miles), we will meet local living historian, Rick who will describe Harper's Ferry history through manufacturing, the Civil War and floods. A short while to explore some of the museums in the old town or visit some of the shops further up the hill - or even walk to Jefferson's rock where he proclaimed the view worth a trip across the ocean!

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch set up at the Harper's Ferry visitor center.

Afternoon: From Harper's Ferry we will travel by motorcoach through the railroading hub of Brunswick and the narrows at Point of Rocks. After a brief photo op at the famous train station we will continue on to the restored Monocacy Aqueduct, considered one of the crowning achievements of the canal. (0.5 miles walk) With 7 arches and white stone quarried from nearby Sugarloaf mountain, it is a beautiful tribute to the masonry skills of the Scotch Irish immigrants who constructed it. Ruins of a granary nearby tell the tale of farm products also being traded along the canal.

Dinner: Enjoy a buffet style dinner with a salad bar, followed by dessert, in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room.

Evening: Delve into the relationship between the canal and the railroads during this presentation by one of our instructors. Each entity alternately relying and competing with each other to serve the people of the area and the nation. You'll recognize many of the sites from yesterday's walk.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Situated along the Potomac River and C&O Canal, Shepherd's Spring has 220 acres of woodland and rolling meadows. This secluded site is a relaxing refuge for people and a haven for wildlife. Demonstration gardens, a Heifer Global Village, and more create an eco-friendly learning facility with worldwide scope.

Contact info:
16869 Taylors Landing Road
Sharpsburg, MD 21782 USA
phone: 301-223-8193
web: www.shepherdsspring.org

Room amenities: Rooms are simple yet comfortable and include a luggage rack, dresser, desk, chair, and most have a futon. A telephone is available in the common area. Each room has its own private bath along with individually controlled heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided, though there is no maid service during the program.

Facility amenities: Part of the charm of Shepherd’s Spring is “getting away from it all” to focus on meaningful activities and ideas. The site features a natural spring as well as nature and meditation trails for hiking. There is limited wireless Internet access, and a computer is available for guest use in the common area. TV and telephones only in the common areas. Free parking available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: $45/ room
Call ahead for availability at (301) 223-8193

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, April 17 - Witness the Great Falls of the Potomac and experi...
Witness the Great Falls of the Potomac and experience a mule drawn ride on a canal boat with opportunity to explore trails off the towpath or meander the Canawlers museum exhibit located here.

Note: 1 mile of scheduled walking. Approximately two hours in the coach bus. There will be time to walk or hike several more miles on the trails surrounding the Great Falls.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet style breakfast along with fresh fruit and cereal selections in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room before joining the tail end of rush hour on the morning commuter route towards Washington, DC.

Morning: Walk out to the Great Falls of the Potomac -- witness their majesty and come to a new understanding of why the Potomac was not navigable. After perusing the museum in the Great Falls tavern board a canal boat. The boat trip will lock through and begin a short journey along the canal powered by sure footed mules while costumed park rangers tell stories of canal boat captains and their adventures on the C&O.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch at Great Falls along a watered portion of the canal.

Afternoon: The afternoon is yours to enjoy whether continuing to walk along the canal towpath or exploring the challenging billy goat trail or other various trails at the Great Falls Park.

Dinner: Return to Shepherd's Spring for a wonderful banquet meal on the last evening of the program.

Evening: Listen to and join in with a local musician as she sings songs from the Canal Era.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, April 18 - Walk to what is now Taylor's Landing, formerly Me...
Walk to what is now Taylor's Landing, formerly Mercersburg -- a little depot for the canal during its heyday. Staff will be present to point out highlights of the walk.

Note: 4 miles roundtrip (1 mile of the walking will be over uneven trails with a few steep climbs while we access the C&O Canal )

Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet style breakfast along with fresh fruit and cereal selections in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room.

Morning: Walk to what is now Taylor's Landing -- formerly Mercersburg, a little depot for the canal during its heyday -- along the C&O Canal towpath . Staff will be present to point out highlights of the walk.(approximately 4 miles)

Lunch: Back to Shepherd's Spring with time to shower and pack up before having lunch in the dining room. Departure after lunch.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Free Time Opportunities


Sharpsburg, MD
Antietam National BattlefieldThe Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg) on Sept. 17, 1862 greatly altered the course of the American Civil War. It remains as the bloodiest day in American History - there were some 23,110 casualties. Visitors can walk or drive by the Dunker Church, the North and East Woods, The Cornfield, the Mumma Farmstead, Bloody Lane (Sunken Road) Burnside Bridge, and Antietam National Cemetery. Antietam National Battlefield lies north and east of Sharpsburg, along Md. 35 and 65. Both routes intersect either U.S. 40 or 40A and I-70. The Visitor's Center is opening daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. All visitor center facilities and most tour route exhibits are wheelchair accessible. Antietam National Battlefield and Cemetery are adminstered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. P.O. Box 158 Sharpsburg, MD 21782 301-432-5124
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov/anti
Chesapeake and Ohio CanalThe Chesapeake and Ohio Canal began as a dream of passage to western wealth, It operated as a conduit of eastern coal, suffered extensive and finally fatal flooding, and then resisted being paved as a highway. Today it endures as a national historical park - a pathway into history, nature, and recreation. The canal runs along the Potomac River from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, Washington DC (184.5 miles) The canal abuts the property line of Shepherd's Spring at Mile Marker 83. It is popular with hikers and bicyclists. For general information about the canal, write: C&O National Historical Park, 1850 Dual Highway, Hagerstown, MD 21740 or call 301-739-4200.
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov\choh
Foxcross PotteryDel Martin, potter, lives and works at Foxcross with his wife, Carol. Their secluded rural home, overlooking the Potomac River, and pottery is both self-constructed and self-sustaining. They invite visitors to come glimpse their work and lifestyle. Foxcross pottery is just 5 minutes from Shepherd's Spring, and is open Saturday from 10 am - 5 pm and Sunday 1 - 5 pm or by appointment. The pottery is lead-free and uses stony reduction glazes. Address: 6640 Remsburg Road Sharpsburg, Md 21782 301-432-6692
Washington County Museum of Fine ArtsThe holdings contain over 6,000 works of art, and the museum is nationally recognized for its collection of 19th and early 20th century American Art. In addition, visitors can view 18th century to contemporary paintings, drawings, sculpture, and decorative arts. There are also holding of Old Masters, European, Asian, African, and Native American Art. Hours: Tues - Sat. 10 am - 5 pm, Sun. 1 - 5 pm. Located at 91 Key Street, City Park, Hagerstown, MD email: wcmfa@aol.com phone: 301-739-5727 the galleries are fully accessible to those with disabilities and wheelchairs are available.
For additional information, visit: www.washcomuseum.org

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
15 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
8 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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