2206
Sharpsburg
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Park: A Walker's Paradise
Walk the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Park, discovering Civil War history, grand feats of engineering, historic Harpers Ferry and regional culture and cuisine.
Program No. 2206RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
695
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Sharpsburg, MD
D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity note: Settle into your room and meet your fellow participants.

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.

DAY
2
C&O Canal History & Walk
Sharpsburg, MD
B,L,D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity note: 5 miles of walking roundtrip with an optional pullout point in the middle. Access to the towpath from the facility Lodge requires walking about 1/4 mile over uneven trails with one steep downhill going out and a climb coming back.

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 0.25 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.

DAY
3
Historically Interpreted Walks, Cushwa Basin, Paw Paw Tunnel
Sharpsburg, MD
B,L,D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity 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 Musuem 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.

DAY
4
Weverton's Cliffs, C&O Towpath, Harper's Ferry, Monocacy
Sharpsburg, MD
B,L,D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity 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 a local living historian 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.

DAY
5
Great Falls, Canawlers Museum
Sharpsburg, MD
B,L,D
Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center

Activity 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: Visit Great Falls, MD on the Potomac River. This will offer a glimpse into the early history of this country. You will have many opportunities to explore history and nature, all in a beautiful 800-acre park only 15 miles from the Nation's Capital.

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.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Sharpsburg, MD
B

Activity note: Walkers can spend time exploring the area on their own. As their transportation permits, they can hike the trails of Shepherd's Spring, visit Antietam Battlefield, or explore some of the surrounding historical towns. Check out at 10:00

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

Morning: Walkers can spend time exploring the area on their own. As their transportation permits, they can hike the trails of Shepherd's Spring, visit Antietam Battlefield, or explore some of the surrounding historical towns. Check out at 10:00