Purslane Run Culvert

Purslane Run Culvert

Purslane Run Culvert

The Purslane Run Culvert is located at mile 157.26 and is numbered as culvert #211.  It’s about a two mile walk upstream from the Paw Paw Tunnel, and is one of many reasons to head in that direction for a hike when exiting the tunnel campground.  In the Fall, there are several fields nearby, and numerous round hay bales and colorful leaves form a breathtaking backdrop when looking toward the river.  The pool below the outflow tube is fairly deep and contains minnows, but the beautiful masonry work on the downstream end hides a modern-looking concrete inflow tube just on the other side of the old railroad bed.

Both upstream and downstream from the culvert, the old Western Maryland Railroad follows the canal for several miles.  Crossing over the canal from the culvert and taking a right (heading downstream), the old railway has been converted into a gravel road, and there is an NPS gate and limited parking for those wishing to visit the canal.  I’ve read that when the canal and railroad ran side-by-side, the train engineers used to blow their whistles and frighten the canal mules.  This seems to be a very likely spot for those fun and games.

As stated, many people forego this area and head toward the Paw Paw tunnel.  Granted. the tunnel is an amazing sight, but I have seen deer, turkeys, and blue herons (closer to Little Cacapon) when walking in this area in the past.  It’s a great walk, and I highly recommend it!

Looking down Purslane Run from the towpath

Looking down Purslane Run from the towpath

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3 responses to this post.

  1. When I was here in April, I decided against hiking down the embankment for a look at the culvert due to the height of the slope and the distance I still had to walk that day. I must say that your picture makes the embankment appear less intimidating than it looked to me!

    I also have a picture taken from the same spot as your second photo. In April there was more water in the run and the vegetation, of course, was considerably greener. It is nice to see it in a different season than my visit. And you are absolutely correct that a hike in the direction opposite the tunnel is well worth it.

    Reply

  2. Posted by LevelWalker on November 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I’m with you in regard to scrambling down banks and such. My knees are twenty years older than I am. Actually, Purslane is pretty easy. I read in your blog that you scaled the slope down to Marsh Run. That one’s a beast. Fortunately, I am the proud owner of two aluminum hiking staffs. They are knee savers!

    The Little Cacapon hike is great. The Potomac is beautiful there…lots of islands!

    Reply

  3. Posted by LevelWalker on November 7, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Just remembered…my toughest scramble yet was the downstream side of the Tonoloway Creek Aqueduct…ouch!!!

    Reply

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