Tonoloway Creek Aqueduct

Tonoloway Creek Aqueduct

The Tonoloway Creek Aqueduct is located at mile 122.9 on the C&O Canal, and it’s a short walk from the NPS parking lot near the Hancock Visitor Center.  The aqueduct is a single-arch structure, although (looking upstream) the right side rests on rock and sits much higher than the left.  Thankfully, the river was running pretty low today.  Otherwise, this aqueduct is very difficult to view from the downstream side.

Over the top

Like many aqueducts, this one has a few structural problems.  In fact, it has more than most.  Both the upstream and downstream walls are missing, and each side is supported with steel braces.  On most of these structures, there is a walkway on the downstream wall, but the Tonoloway Creek Aqueduct is equipped with a wooden footbridge, with handrails for safe passage.

Keeping an eye toward the Potomac

Tonoloway Creek is a 31 mile-long tributary of the Potomac River.  It ends very abruptly just on the river side of the aqueduct, but the area above is deep and slow-moving and looks like it might be a good fishing spot.  I particularly like this image from the upstream side of the aqueduct because the arch and reflection combine to create the illusion of looking at the river through a large eye–an eye that sees everything good about the Tonoloway Creek Aqueduct without noticing its many structural flaws.

Upstream looking down

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Looks like they had to shore up some fo the stones here. Beautiful bridge and area. Do you ride most of the or walk it? I truly enjoy reading and looking at your photos.


  2. Posted by LevelWalker on December 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    At one time I was the anti-hiker and only biked, but you don’t see much on a bike. I’ve been mostly hiking lately.


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