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BEGINS IN: SHARPSBURG, MARYLAND

Bike the Entire C&O Canal: One of America’s Most Distinctive National Parks

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Bicycling

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Road Scholar
Program #18629RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 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.

Itinerary for Jun 23 — Jun 28, 2013

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Type: Conference Center

Description: Situated at mile 83 along the C&O national park canal towpath, Shepherd's Spring has 220 acres of woodland and rolling meadows. Hiking trails and a natural spring are on the property. We are one of few host sites in the nation for a Heifer International Global Village.

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

Room amenities: Rooms are simple and comfortable and include a luggage rack, dresser, desk, chair, and futon. Telephone and television are available in the common areas but not in rooms. Each room has its own private bathroom along with individually controlled heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided, though there is no maid service during the program.

Facility amenities: Comfortable rooms, with the distraction of TV and telephones only in the common areas. A free basic wireless internet access is available in the common area also. 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, June 23 - This day will cover the arrival, registration, an...
This day will cover the arrival, registration, and orientation of all participants.

Note: Participants using facility's bikes will test and fit bikes and helmets.

Arrive To: Arrive at Shepherd's Spring Conference Center Lobby between 2 and 4 pm to get rooming assignment and detailed information about the ride. Bike selections and helmet fittings takes place at 4pm so bikes can be loaded for Monday's ride.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner served buffet style with a wonderful salad bar and tasty dessert in the Lodge dining room

Evening: Get acquainted with fellow riders, rules of the trail, and your ride guides. Introduction to the C & O Canal National Park with detailed daily itineraries distributed. Time for questions and answers on the Park and the ride.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Situated at mile 83 along the C&O national park canal towpath, Shepherd's Spring has 220 acres of woodland and rolling meadows. Hiking trails and a natural spring are on the property. We are one of few host sites in the nation for a Heifer International Global Village.

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

Room amenities: Rooms are simple and comfortable and include a luggage rack, dresser, desk, chair, and futon. Telephone and television are available in the common areas but not in rooms. Each room has its own private bathroom along with individually controlled heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided, though there is no maid service during the program.

Facility amenities: Comfortable rooms, with the distraction of TV and telephones only in the common areas. A free basic wireless internet access is available in the common area also. 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, June 24 - Bicycling to Brunswick and Edward's Ferry with a ...
Bicycling to Brunswick and Edward's Ferry with a brief stop at Harper's Ferry National Historic Park. A portion of the biking towpath on this day's ride will coincide with Appalachian Trail, one of few spots where you can bike on the AT.

Note: There will be 35 miles of cycling with five optional pull out points.

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

Morning: Bicycle from Dargan to Harpers Ferry along the scenic C&O Canal Towpath. There will be a brief amount of time for an orientation and independent exploration of historic Harpers Ferry. Then bicycle on to the lunch stop in Brunswick (12 miles). For a short distance participants will be bicycling on a section of the Appalachian Trail that coincides with the C&O Canal Towpath.

Lunch: Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch at the Brunswick Family Campground.

Afternoon: Continue cycling past the scenic and historic train station in Point of Rocks. Then - after crossing the restored historic Monocacy Aqueduct, considered one of the greatest engineering achievements of the canal - finish at Edwards Ferry (23 miles).

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

Evening: Discover the various aspects of the C&O Canal's long history from George Washington's Pawtomack Company to a bloodline for the industrial revolution through an in depth presentation and lecture led by one of our expert instructors.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: RV

Contact info:
118 Limestone Rd
Hancock, MD 21750 USA
phone: 301-678-6101
web: www.super8.com

Room amenities: air conditioning, television

Facility amenities: complimentary continental breakfast

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Tuesday, June 25 - Bicycle from the historic downtown Cumberland Ter...
Bicycle from the historic downtown Cumberland Terminus to Little Orleans going through the Paw Paw Tunnel.

Note: There will be 44 miles of cycling with four optional pull out points.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet style breakfast along with fresh fruit and cereal selections in the Shepherd's Spring lodge dining room. Pack an overnight bag to take along for this one night out on the trail.

Morning: Travel to the terminus of the C&O Canal in historic downtown Cumberland, MD. There will be some time to discover the C &O Canal Museum in the historic Western Maryland Railroad Station while the bicycles are unloaded and readied for departure. Then bicycle toward Oldtown, established by early settler Thomas Cresap, for a picnic lunch (18 miles).

Lunch: Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch beside Lock 70 in Oldtown.

Afternoon: Continue bicycling past Oldtown, site of a Shawnee river crossing and an important trade route. Afterwards you will encounter the Paw Paw tunnel where you will need to dismount and walk your bicycles through (flashlights are needed). then continue the ride to Little Orleans (26 miles).

Dinner: Enjoy a dinner at a locally owned restaurant. There should be time for a quick shower at the hotel prior to leaving for dinner.

Evening: This is an evening for you to spend as you wish. Relax at the hotel after a long day's ride, or put on your walking shoes to explore Hancock on your own.

Lodging: Super 8 Motel

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

Description: Situated at mile 83 along the C&O national park canal towpath, Shepherd's Spring has 220 acres of woodland and rolling meadows. Hiking trails and a natural spring are on the property. We are one of few host sites in the nation for a Heifer International Global Village.

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

Room amenities: Rooms are simple and comfortable and include a luggage rack, dresser, desk, chair, and futon. Telephone and television are available in the common areas but not in rooms. Each room has its own private bathroom along with individually controlled heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided, though there is no maid service during the program.

Facility amenities: Comfortable rooms, with the distraction of TV and telephones only in the common areas. A free basic wireless internet access is available in the common area also. 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, June 26 - Bicycle from Little Orleans, over the 110 ft sing...
Bicycle from Little Orleans, over the 110 ft single arch Fifteen Mile Creek Aqueduct, pass Hancock and end in Williamsport.

Note: There will be 53 miles of cycling with five optional pull out points.

Breakfast: Enjoy continental breakfast in the hotel lobby. Gather your things for the return to Shepherd's Spring accommodations this evening.

Morning: Bicycle from Little Orleans, across another single arch aqueduct, past historic cement mill ruins, and through Hancock. Take time to stop for a quick look at Ft. Frederick, the nation's only Revolutionary period stone fort. Lunch stop is at McCoy's Ferry (31 miles). The group may choose to travel for 20 miles along the paved Western Maryland Rail Trail which parallels the C&O Canal Towpath.

Lunch: Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch at McCoy's Ferry.

Afternoon: Continue bicycling past the Four Locks area and Dam #5, into Williamsport and the Cushwa Basin. See the Conococheague Aqueduct with one wall missing from a mishap with a canal boat, then pass an unique railroad lift bridgeas well as a restored lock and lock house. If construction on the canal towpath is still continuing then this may be the end of today's ride otherwise continue on your way and finish at McMahon's Mill (22 miles). It is only a short ride from here via van (15 minutes) back to Shepherd's Spring. After showers there is time for a short visit to the highlights of Antietam National Battlefield.

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 relying and competing with each other to serve the people of the area and the nation. By this time your rides will have familiarized you with many of the sites shown.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

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

Description: Situated at mile 83 along the C&O national park canal towpath, Shepherd's Spring has 220 acres of woodland and rolling meadows. Hiking trails and a natural spring are on the property. We are one of few host sites in the nation for a Heifer International Global Village.

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

Room amenities: Rooms are simple and comfortable and include a luggage rack, dresser, desk, chair, and futon. Telephone and television are available in the common areas but not in rooms. Each room has its own private bathroom along with individually controlled heating and air conditioning. Linens are provided, though there is no maid service during the program.

Facility amenities: Comfortable rooms, with the distraction of TV and telephones only in the common areas. A free basic wireless internet access is available in the common area also. 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, June 27 - Bicycling from Edwards Ferry to the begining of t...
Bicycling from Edwards Ferry to the begining of the Canal in Georgetown, witness the Great Falls of the Potomac and experience a mule drawn ride on a canal boat.

Note: There will be 30 miles of cycling with three optional pull out points.

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 morning commuter route towards Washington, DC.

Morning: Bicycle from Edwards Ferry to Great Falls (16 miles) . There will be time to stop and 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. Depending on canal conditions and weather, the canal boat ride will be here at Great Falls or in Georgetown at the terminus of the ride.

Lunch: Enjoy an early gourmet picnic lunch at Great Falls.

Afternoon: Continue bicycling to Georgetown, using the paved Crescent Trail for the last few miles of the journey. (14 miles) If the canal boat ride takes place at Georgetown the last mile will need to be walked to reach the Canal Boat.

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

Evening: Enjoy Appalachian Dulcimers, guitars and banjos as the locals jam at O'Hurley's General Store in Shepherdstown. Wonderful harmonies from many different instruments as the locals wander in and out of this unique jam session.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, June 28 - Complete the last few miles of the C &O journey b...
Note: There will be 20 miles of cycling with two optional pull out points.

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

Morning: Finish the 180 mile journey (4 miles are closed to use) by bicycling the last 20 miles from Dam #4 to Dargan. Pass Civil War river crossing sites, caves, and high bluffs mixed with farm fields along the berm side of the canal. (20 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
3 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
9 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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