The wildlife is pretty diverse along the C&O Canal towpath. The park gives deer and squirrels a place to run and hide during hunting season, and, likewise, the Potomac and watered sections of the canal give beavers a place to do their thing without fear of stepping into a steel trap. At least this seems to be the case near mile marker 138. The canal is pretty dry at the moment, and a walk down to the river didn’t reveal any signs of a lodge, so maybe this crazy critter was just lunching on some tree bark. Who knows?
Actually, the truth is that we have seen a lot of beaver sign in this area for the last three years, but we have yet to catch a glimpse of the busy fellow responsible for all of the chaos. Back in 2010, a beaver started to tackle some really large trees in the swampy area just downstream from the Indigo Neck hiker/biker campground. Being volunteers, we reported the potential damage to the level walker chair, and he passed on the information to the NPS. I’m assuming that something less-than-tasty was sprayed on the trees because the gnawing stopped there. I do feel guilty about that: who wants to be known as the stool pigeon who ratted-out a beaver?