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!