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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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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 Apr 7 — Apr 12, 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, April 07 - Arrival/ Registration/ Bike Fittings
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 by local park historian. 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, April 08 - Bicycling to Harpers Ferry, then on to Brunswick,...
Bicycling to Harpers Ferry, then on to Brunswick, ending at Edward's Ferry (40 miles for the day)

Breakfast: Hot breakfast buffet including fresh fruit, and cereal selections in the Shepherd's Spring dining room.

Morning: Bicycle from Dargan to Harpers Ferry. Take time to briefly explore historic Harpers Ferry - home of John Brown's fort, Storer College and the first interchangeable parts gun factory in the young nation. Bicycle on to the lunch stop in the historic railroad town of Brunswick (22 miles)

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

Afternoon: The afternoon rides takes us past the quaint, scenic train station in Point of Rocks, then on to the restored 7 arch Monocacy Aqueduct, the largest on the canal. The ride ends today at Edwards Ferry (18miles)

Dinner: Enjoy buffet style dinner in the Shepherd's Spring Dining Room

Evening: Discover how the canal became a National Park with an evening lecture by canal expert and enthusiast Karen Gray

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Contact info:
118 Limestone Rd
Hancock, MD 21750 USA
phone: 301-678-6101
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Three: Tuesday, April 09 - Cumberland Terminus to Little Orleans bicycling (...
Breakfast: Enjoy Hot buffet breakfast in the Shepherd's Spring dining room. Pack an overnight bag to take along for this one night out on the trail.

Morning: Travel by van to the terminus of the Canal in Cumberland, MD. Time to explore the C &O Museum while the bicycles are unloaded and readied for departure. Begin today's ride with a scenic departure from the Queen City, traveling through Mexico Farms and Spring Gap on our way to a lovely picnic lunch at Oldtown, site of the only private owned bridge across the Potomac River.

Lunch: Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch along the Canal at Oldtown.

Afternoon: The afternoon ride includes walking your bicycle through the Paw Paw tunnel (flashlights provided for your safety), an engineering marvel of the canal. Wildflowers line the path beyond the tunnel on this secluded portion of the canal. Continue bicycling to Little Orleans (33 miles) - home of Bill's - the only place in town! The transportation team will get us to Hancock for the night.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant after a quick shower at the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy a relaxing evening at the hotel after a full day of trail riding.

Lodging: Super 8

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, April 10 - 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 (53 miles)

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 (yesterday's end point), across another single arch aqueduct, past cement mill ruins and into Hancock - a town shaped by the Canal. Our next section includes a short side trip to Ft. Frederick, the nation's only Revolutionary period stone fort. Picnic lunch is served at McCoy's Ferry (30 miles)

Lunch: Enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch at McCoy's Ferry

Afternoon: Our afternoon ride goes past the Four Locks area, where mule barns and locks created a small canal community. Then onward to slackwater, crossover bridge remains and Dam #5. Canal boats used the river in the slackwater and mules walked the edge of the riverbank - in places supplemented with a narrow plank walkway where the rocky cliffs met the river. Then on to 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 bridge, a restored lock and lock house, on your way to McMahon's Mill, the end of today's ride. (23 miles) It is only a short ride from here via van (8 miles) back to Shepherd's Spring.Restoration work on the slackwater area above Dam #4 is scheduled to be completed which may change our itinerary slightly for this day. If time permits, a short guided tour of Antietam National Battlefield will be included before dinner.

Dinner: Enjoy buffet style dinner in the Shepherd's Spring Dining room with a full salad bar and tempting dessert.

Evening: Enjoy a slide show presentation of some of today's scenery as it looked during the operation of the canal with the same photographs taken in recent years. You'll recognize many of the sites from today's ride. Randy Anderson helps us understand the relationship of the nearby railroads and the canal.

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, April 11 - Bicycling from Edwards Ferry to the begining of t...
Bicycling from Edwards Ferry to the begining of the Canal in Georgetown, with a mule powered ride on the canal boat in Georgetown. (30 miles for the day)

Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet breakfast complete with fruit and cereal selections in the Shepherd's Spring dining room before joining the morning commuter route towards Washington, DC

Morning: Begin today at Edwards Ferry, bicycling past the great red rock locks of Seneca, and Violet's Lock to Great Falls. Explore the boardwalk trail out to the Great Falls. The unique landscape of the island in the middle of the river, puts you in the midst of the Great Falls and makes the need for a canal system very clear. The engine of the canal boats, mules will meet us just outside the Great Falls Tavern. Park rangers explain their care and talk about working conditions during the canal era. (16 miles)

Lunch: Enjoy our picnic lunch at Great Falls or Lock #10 depending on weather conditions.

Afternoon: Continue bicycling into Georgetown, catching glimpses of the Washington monument. The trail today goes under the Washington Beltway, and you may being to notice the traffic noises of the city. At Fletcher's boathouse we transfer to the paved Capital Crescent Trail for the last few miles of the journey. Paralleling the canal, it allows for a safer pickup point under the Whitehurst freeway with views of the Kennedy Center and Watergate Towers that now sit on what was once the start of the canal.

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

Evening: Join the local musicians at O'Hurleys General Store in nearby Shepherdstown, WV. Banjos, harp, dulcimer and guitars are blended by some very talented locals into a fun evening of entertainment.

Lodging: Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, April 12 - Complete the last few miles of the C &O journey b...
Complete the last few miles of the C &O journey before heading home! (20 miles)

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

Morning: Finish the journey by bicycling the last 20 miles from Dam #4 to Dargan. We will 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 a luscious 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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