On October 30th, we took a trip to the Brunswick/Point of Rocks area of the C&O Canal as the remnants of a recent freak snowstorm slowly melted away. The same snowstorm fell as a wet, heavy deluge two days prior and left branches and trees lying all over the Potomac River valley.
In fact, the C&O Canal Association’s Heritage Hike in Hancock was canceled on the 29th per request of the NPS rangers. Snow can be a real nuisance, but it also made for a wonderful backdrop for our visit to the Lander Lock House.
Lock 29 is near mile marker 51 on the canal and can be accessed from Lander Road as one heads east from Brunswick to Point of Rocks (or vice-verse). The lock house is a small, quaint structure that is in very good condition, and the parking lot serves as the point of debarkation for those who want to see the newly rebuilt Catoctin Creek Aqueduct. Likewise, if one continues down the road, there is river access for boaters and fishermen.
In all, Lander is the perfect place to begin a twenty mile round trip bike trip in either direction. Heading downstream, one can see the railroad station at Point of Rocks (mile 48) and the Monocacy Aqueduct (mile 42). Heading upstream, one passes through Brunswick (mile 54) and joins the Appalachian Trail heading into historic Harpers Ferry (mile 60). A weekend spent doing both certainly takes in many of the more notable highlights to be seen on the C&O Canal.