C&O Canal Access Into Paw Paw, WV

New Access From the C&O into Paw Paw, WV

New Access From the C&O into Paw Paw, WV

The convenience store in Paw Paw, WV has always been an option for stocking up on supplies while biking or hiking the length of the C&O Canal.  For that matter, a new B&B opened up recently on the West Virginia side (just beyond the store/gas station), and recreational travelers now have the option to go  approximately 28 miles from Cumberland before stopping after a very manageable first day.  The only problem was that biking or walking along Route 51 has always been a bit of a pain.  Things have changed!

New bike route into Paw Paw

New bike route into Paw Paw

As the towpath reaches 51 (heading downstream), a new .6 (approximately) mile bike path leads from the C&O to the Potomac River bridge.  This access route goes underneath of the abandoned WMRR trestle and follows the road at the bottom of a large field.  Several trees have been planted along the way, adding to the relatively pleasant journey.  When reaching the end, there is a well-marked bike lane into town.

More of the bike route

Near the start

In the past, I’ve always been one of those people who never gave any thought to going into Paw Paw while biking on the towpath.  The idea of making a bottle of water last until reaching Bill’s Place in Little Orleans always sounded better than taking my chances on Route 51.  However, this new route makes Paw Paw an easily reached part of the C&O Canal experience and opens up a number of possibilities.

Easy access to Paw Paw!

Easy access to Paw Paw!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. What a well manicured bike trail! I bet you were glad this was made, though it seems for a time it’s close to the road. Happy trails

    Reply

    • Posted by LevelWalker on November 23, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      It definitely opens up a lot of possibilities for people experiencing the canal as thru-hikers or bikers. This access route is more about getting from the canal to Paw Paw than anything. Before, it was impractical and kind of dangerous–at least on a bike.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Steve on December 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    This new connection between the C&O and Paw Paw
    is flat out great !!! I have not ridden the new trail, but I drove
    next to it over Thanksgiving weekend. Very good work !

    Reply

    • Posted by LevelWalker on December 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Steve,

      I was impressed as well. Business at the convenience store will be buzzing next summer. It also makes the new B&B look like a great option.

      Reply

  3. Posted by John on March 24, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Wow, now if they could only groom the towpath to these specifications. One can still dream…

    Reply

    • Posted by LevelWalker on March 24, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      John,

      We’ve run into a lot of people coming off of the GAP and WMRT, and they all say the same thing–the towpath is bumpy, muddy, etc. This little bypass into Paw Paw should be very helpful to C&O visitor.

      Reply

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