Polly Pond is located in the vicinity of mile 134.2 on the C&O Canal, but, oddly enough, it is best viewed from the Western Maryland Rail Trail. The pond was created when the canal’s berm caused the water to back up in Long Hollow. According to the interpretive sign on the WMRT, Polly Pond was once used as a place to turn and store canal boats.
From the towpath, one can see where the stream exits underneath a WMRT bridge. After the recent snow melt and rain, the water is running pretty well. However, during the summer months, it’s not unusual to see the pond’s feeder stream dry up, and the result is a shallow mudhole occupied by numerous turtles. There is a concrete passage under the bridge, but the overflow is currently diverted briefly underground, so it appears that the pond was once about two feet deeper during the rainy season. Nevertheless, I haven’t seen that much water in Polly Pond in a while, and the scenery is much better when the water is up.