Join this popular tour for four days in July, or just ride for the weekend. Whichever you choose, you will want to be ready on the morning of Saturday, July 14th when charter buses transport the entire group to Cumberland for the start of this great adventure, but be warned… This event may become habit forming!
This is a fully supported ride from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown | 184.5 miles
Friday Evening – 4 pm to 7 pm
Come join us for dinner! Bring your bike and plan to register early
To help us keep things moving smoothly on Saturday morning we have planned to offer you dinner and an opportunity to register the night before. By bringing your bike along it will help us get much of the loading done and cut down on the many tasks that need to be completed before we leave the next day. You are welcome to bring along a guest or two to join you!
Saturday – Day One
45.5 Miles Cumberland Train Station (Mile 184.5) to Little Orleans (Mile 140)
This day starts at San Mar in Boonsboro where we will meet and go by bus to Cumberland. We will begin our ride at the Cumberland Train Station where the Cumberland Rotary will have our bikes unloaded and waiting for us. The highlight of this ride comes after lunch when we will ride through the Paw Paw Tunnel. Actually, it is probably safer to walk through. You may want a light! When you arrive at Little Orleans you will exit the towpath. The campground is approximately one mile from the trail. You can ride to the camp, however, there is a fairly challenging hill waiting for you. If you prefer not to deal with the hill you can load your bike in a waiting truck and ride the van to the camp where your gear will be waiting for you. If you are staying in a hotel this night you can change into your swimming suit (there is a shower house to change in) and spend some time by the pool. We eat at five in the pavilion above the pool. The shuttle will not be leaving for the hotel until after dinner.
Sunday – Day Two
41 Miles Little Orleans (Mile 140) to McMahon’s Mill (Mile 99)
Breakfast is in the pavilion. Please don’t leave until after the entire group eats breakfast. This day will go quickly and you will pass the rest stops before we can get them in place if you leave early. Please use CAUTION when leaving camp and going down the hill that challenged you the day before. Once you get onto the trail you will only go about a mile before you are faced with the option of moving over to the rails to trails section or continuing on the towpath. The alternative is paved for 22 miles. When you reach Hancock note that the rest stop is down by the river. We will have a sign reminding you. Just keep in mind you can’t see it from the trail. The rest stop is sponsored by the Hancock Lions. When you get to the lunch stop do not exit the trail until you come to the place where the trail is actually wide enough to drive a car down. Exiting earlier may be dangerous as it is quite steep. Lunch is provided by the Hagerstown Lions Club. The last stop of the day will be at the Cushwa Basin in Williamsport [mile 99]. You will see it from the path. The campground is just a couple of miles from here. It is very accessible by bike, or transportation for you and your bike to the campground will be available. You may want to check out the C&O Visitor Center and Museum there if you have time. Dinner will be at 5 pm in the pavilion. If you are riding only for the weekend you can have your friends pick you up at the campground. There may be a fee for them to get in if you don’t meet them at the entrance. If you need a ride back to your car at San Mar we will be going over after dinner. Rides to the motel will be after dinner. Please note that dinner is catered and we are being charged for it. If you have anyone join you there will be a $10 charge for them to stay for the meal. It can be paid when they go through the line. Actually, you will be given a wristband. Anyone not wearing a wristband will be charged.
Monday – Day Three
56.7 Miles Cushwa Basin (99) to Monocacy Aqueduct (42.3)
Breakfast is in the pavilion. In the morning you will have the option of riding from the campground to the river. It is just a couple of miles over fairly level roads. The upcoming section of the trail (Big Slackwater) reopened in the fall of 2012 and is one of the most scenic parts of the trip. You will ride thru the Big Slackwater area (mile 88 to 85.4) on the new concrete piers and bridges, giving you a most spectacular view of the river, and then returning to the original trail at Dam No. 4. Note: Everyone will be staying in a motel tonight. If you have preferences as to who you wish to stay with [or near] let Top Dog know well in advance of the tour as reservations must be sent to the motel prior to the trip. Also, we will be sending all of the camping gear back to San Mar. If you are planning on having someone pick you up in Georgetown you will not send your gear back to San Mar. The breaks and lunch today will be courtesy of the Boonsboro Lions Club. When you arrive at the Monocacy Aqueduct we will have the vehicles waiting for you just past the aqueduct. We will meet you in the parking lot with our trucks and load the bikes for you. You will be given your room key at that time, or your room number and instructions for checking in. You may leave for the hotel as soon as there is space available on the bus or van. There will be plenty of transportation to the motel so you need not hurry. Dinner will be at 5:30 PM. Massage therapists will be at the motel. You must sign up for sessions. There will be a hospitality room at one or both of the motel. That announcement will be made at breakfast that morning.
Tuesday – Day Four
42.1 Miles Monocacy Aqueduct (42.1) to Georgetown (Mile 0)
Breakfast will be in your hotel. The buses will meet you in front of the hotel by 8:00. Your bikes will be waiting for you at the aqueduct parking lot. We will have a rest stop at Seneca and lunch at Great Falls as in previous years. We want to leave the Falls as a group so please do not leave early. You will arrive in Georgetown before everyone else and risk missing the bus. It has happened! In Georgetown we will board charter buses for the return ride to San Mar. If you are being picked up in Georgetown you can have your friends meet you on Water Street (and the corner of Wisconsin) at 2 pm beneath the Whitehurst Parkway.