FATMAP by Strava

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail

An exceptional journey through the history and nature of the north-east

Also in District of Columbia, United States of AmericaVirginia, United States of AmericaWest Virginia, United States of America

Hiking Moderate

297 km
857 m
676 m
1 day +
Low Point
4 m
High Point
250 m
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail Map

The C&O Canal Towpath follows the route of the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which operated from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. Listing every historical site en route would require an essay, but suffice to say that you can expect lockhouses, aqueducts, and countless other historical sites, both on the canal and close to it.


In addition the historical interest, the trail also leads you through a diverse range of landscapes, and, along the way, you'll encounter breathtaking views of the Potomac River, particularly in the more remote sections of the trail. While the trail can be popular in certain sections, particularly closer to Washington, D.C., it's also possible to find solitude and tranquility, especially in the more remote stretches of the trail.

The trail is relatively flat and well-maintained, making it suitable for hikers of all levels of experience. However, it's still a long-distance hike, spanning approximately 184.5 miles from end to end. Count on taking a couple of weeks to complete the whole thing, and enjoy staying in some of the charming towns along the way.



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between April and October


  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

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