Facebook   Twitter   Road Scholar Network   Pinterest   YouTube  
Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel,
the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975.

Call (800) 454-5768

Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

Create an account                             Forgot your password?

or Log In via Facebook

Log in to see all you can do with your online Road Scholar account.


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

Select a Date



and receive your



E-Photo Book:

Top 10 Learning Experiences Around the World

Find A Program

Search By:





Price Range

$700 - $1000

Start Date

End Date

More Options

Road Scholar
Program #18629ENZ
6 Days | 5 Nights
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.
Tackle all 185 miles of the C & O Canal Towpath, a route teeming with history as it makes its way along the Potomac River Basin from Washington, D.C. through Civil War sites and forgotten hamlets to Cumberland, Md., the first gateway to the West.


• Delve into Chesapeake and Ohio Canal history as you ride along what remains of this engineering wonder.
• Enjoy a narrated canal boat ride that demonstrates the working of the locks and towing systems.
• Stop to explore on your own at Civil War crossing sites, Harpers Ferry and other small towns.

Program Notes

The C&O canal is 184.5 miles long. The program is based at Shepherd’s Spring which is located in the middle, so biking the canal requires a bit of driving on any given day. Sag wagons (typically 15 passenger vans) will take you and your bike to the starting point each day. They will also pick up all bikers and bikes at the end of the day. NOTE: For a less strenuous biking experience, you may consider program #13306, Biking the C&O Canal Towpath, which offers a slightly easier level of daily bicycling activities along the canal, with an activity level of Moderately Challenging.
Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.

Activity Notes

Biking 30-50 miles, up to six hours per day. The terrain is generally flat, but on an unpaved trail where some sections are bumpy and may become muddy in wet weather. Bicycles (hybrid 21-speed), helmets and mechanical assistance are provided. Participants should be active cyclists. However, everyone is allowed to enjoy the bike ride and scenery as they wish. We encourage everyone to go at their own pace.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Sharpsburg, 2 nights; bike to Hancock, 1 night; bike to Sharpsburg, 2 nights; departure.

Coordinated by Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

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 are determined by participant evaluations.

Support Lifelong Learning

Our educational adventures are made possible by donors like you

Please support lifelong learning here

Free Catalog | Refer a Friend | Gift Certificates | Press | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Careers | Contact Us

© Elderhostel, Inc. 2015
11 Avenue de Lafayette | Boston MA 02111 | Toll-Free 1-800-454-5768