Heading upstream from Georgetown, the Licking Creek Aqueduct is the sixth such structure on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. It is a 90′ single arch that was completed in 1838. It is available via a one mile hike downstream from Mile Marker Lane or a 2.5 mile trek upstream from the Big Pool terminus of the Western Maryland Rail Trail.
The aqueduct (located near mile marker 116) is a remarkable piece of work in that the arch is a very long one. Unlike the Tonoloway Creek Aqueduct that we visited recently, the span over Licking Creek is a considerable distance from the Potomac River. Perhaps that has helped it to escape the ravages of the many floods that have hit the valley since the completion of the C&O.
Like many of the aqueducts, the upstream wall is missing, but there are no braces, and little–if any–“shrubbery” is growing between the cracks in the mortar. On our hike up from Big Pool (we stopped at mm 117), we saw numerous deer and squirrels and a wide variety of birds. That was surprising considering the close proximity of I-70. The traffic creates a lot of noise, but if the wildlife isn’t complaining, neither am I. Visiting the Licking Creek Aqueduct made for a great outing!