Cohill Station (Mile 130.7 of the C&O Canal)

This is the Cohill Station parking lot.  There is a large gravel pile at the end and room for several cars.

This is the Cohill Station parking lot. There is a large gravel pile at the end and room for several cars.

This is the first thing you see after crossing a footbridge over the canal

This sign is the first thing you see after crossing a footbridge over the canal

Cohill Station is one of those places that I’ve passed on a bike a dozen times, but today’s hike marked the first time I have ever parked in the lot and started anything from this location.  The 23 miles of towpath that nearly parallels the Western Maryland Rail Trail is quieter than much of the C&O because of the alternative paved route, so it’s not surprising that the only person Candee and I saw was a long distance rider, presumably on his way upstream to Cumberland.

A month ago, everything was green.  The lack of leaves does make for some great long distance views!

A month ago, everything was green. The lack of leaves does make for some great long distance views!

We started the hike with a 7.5 mile down-and-back to the Devils Eyebrow in mind, but we stopped at mile marker 128 instead.  Candee has been battling with bronchitis for about five weeks, and on this day, there was something in the air that caused me to have a two hour, nonstop sneezing fit.  Maybe that’s because we haven’t had a “hard” frost up this point.   We’ve had a number of excellent hikes this year, but few of them have been recent because we both haven’t been healthy at the same time since…  I really don’t remember!

Lock 53, the Irishman's Lock

Lock 53, the Irishman’s Lock.  The port-a-john at Leopards Mill is visible in the distance.

Lockhouse 53 ruins

Lockhouse 53 ruins

I’m not sure how a website called “C&O Canal Adventures” has led us to so many other places.  The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP is where our passion for hiking and biking began, so it’s always great to get back to the towpath.  Places like the Leopards Mill hiker/biker campsite and MM 128 offer magnificent views of the river, and the Lockhouse 53 ruins and two culverts along the way throw a bit of history into the mix.  Likewise, the solitude gave us an opportunity to reflect upon our veterans and how much we owe them.  I would first like to thank them for the day off and the opportunity to take a hike, but, more importantly, thanks for our freedom.

Leopards Mill hiker/biker offers a great view of the river.

Leopards Mill hiker/biker offers a great view of the river.

Hopefully, the nagging affects of congestion and allergies will soon be things of the past.  There are still several weeks of autumn remaining, and afterward there’s something about a long winter’s walk in the woods that is exciting from the 7am cup of coffee through to cranking up the Jeep’s heater at the end of the day.  Cohill Station was a good place to kick off the season of leafless trees and nearly wide-open vistas.  After our recent lull, I think many interesting hikes are just around the corner.

This is a nice view of the Potomac from mm 128.  This was a great place to turn around and head back.

This is a nice view of the Potomac from mm 128. This was a great place to turn around and head back.

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