Bill’s Place- Little Orleans, Maryland

Best Kept Secret in Maryland!

When riding down the C&O Canal, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it’s a long way from Paw Paw to Hancock. Mile after seemingly endless mile of dusty towpath can sure work up a thirst or hunger pang, but we’re very fortunate to have Bill’s Place situated between the two in Little Orleans, Maryland.

Relaxin' at Bill's Place

Okay, so what is Bill’s Place? It’s a combination saloon, restaurant, bait shop, and canoe rental establishment, and owner Bill Schoenadel is nothing short of a legend in the upper Potomac valley.

What's Cooking?



Need directions? Go see Bill. Want to know about the local history? Talk to Bill. Want a side of breaded clams with your beer? Once again, Bill is the man for you! Just stepping inside the door to Bill’s Place is an experience.

Bills at Bill's!






It’s like stepping back in time, and a glance at the ceiling reveals another unique feature: you can sign and date a dollar bill, and Mr. Schoenadel will eventually get around to pasting it on the ceiling. There are literally thousands of them!




Picture Perfect!

So…if you’re ped’lin’ your bike along the C&O, down in Little Orleans you need to take it slow…

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by John Walker on January 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Just learned that Bill Schoenadel, the proprietor of Bill’s Place, passed away at 10 am, January 5, 2013 in Cumberland, MD. The wiry and colorful patron became a larger than life fixture along the C&O canal trail for years serving up cold refreshments and meals to countless weary hikers and bikers. His dry, sarcastic since of humor became synonymous with western Maryland culture. There is no information as of yet about funeral arrangements. Our deepest and sincerest condolences go out to the Schoenadel family. Bill was truly a unique individual and his presents on the canal will be deeply missed. Rest in peace Bill, you well be missed by everyone.


  2. Posted by LevelWalker on January 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm


    Thanks for an excellent comment. I would go so far as to say that Bill was an icon all along the C&O Canal and a larger-than-life local celebrity. Beside the C&O, his presence was equally noteworthy amongst motorcyclists (East Coast Sturgis) and hunters in Green Ridge State Forest. I was fortunate enough to have a few occasions to sit down to a beer and have him answer questions about the area–particularly concerning directions! On one occasion, he pulled out a photo-copied map and spent a good half-hour making sure that I was going to reach my destination. He had time and a good word for everybody, and that’s how one gets to be the most popular person between Cumberland and Georgetown. Bill will definitely be missed.


  3. Posted by Spencer on February 4, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Been going here since I was just a little boy. So many great memories with my father visiting Bill’s place. I found it so entertaining that Bill would just eyeball the items I brought to the bar to purchase and give me a ballpark figure for the total, no calculator ever needed. Candy bar, chips and sodas: “Ehh, 6 bucks”, haha love it!

    You are surely missed Bill.


  4. Posted by LevelWalker on February 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Bill was quite the mathematician. I never really knew him well, but I did have a number of great conversations with him. The first time I talked to Bill was about ten years ago. Over the years my weight has fluctuated somewhere in the 25 lb. range, and I was on the heavy end of that when I asked him the particulars of doing a round-trip bike ride to the Paw Paw Tunnel (from Little Orleans). He took one look at me and said (and I paraphrase), “You do know that would be about thirty miles!” From that day, I think my favorite thing about Bill is that he always seemed to speak his mind. Even after passing on, he’s probably still the face of the C&O Canal. It was a pleasure knowing him.


  5. Posted by Dottie Calp on August 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm


    Would like to know if you still rent the canoes & the price ? Planning on bringing the grandson’s to go down the river.

    Thank you !


    • Posted by LevelWalker on August 7, 2014 at 9:11 pm


      Thanks for the comment. We like Bill’s Place but are not affiliated with it in any way. However, they do rent canoes, and I’m pretty sure that they have a shuttle service. Their number is (301)-478-2701.

      I hope you and the grandsons have a great canoe trip. I can’t imagine a better way of ending their summer vacation.


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