The sun greeted us as we awoke on Tuesday to a forecast with no rain and temps in the mid 70s; another perfect day for cycling. Four of us cycled down the hill through Williamsport to the C&O trailhead. We quickly arrived at one of my favorite spots on the trail, dam #5 and the big slackwater behind the dam. Without a doubt, it is one of the most scenic areas on the C&O.
We continued our trek west after snapping the normal pics at the dam. The trail surface was very dry and in good condition as we approached the Fort Frederick trailhead. We headed up the hill to the fort to find it closed for the day. After a brief self-guided tour, we were ready to continue on the the Western Maryland Rail Trail trailhead just outside of the park exit.
The Western Maryland Rail Trail parallels the C&O for 22 paved miles.It was a welcome change after 100 miles of the unpaved towpath. It was an easy ride downhill to the trailhead. A note here for cyclists heading east; there is quite a climb on the road for about 1/2 mile or so to Fort Frederick.
The remaining members of our group joined us at the trailhead having their bikes repaired and ready for the trail. It was a speedy 12 miles into Hancock for lunch. I had selected Weaver’s Restaurant from the recommendations of many other cyclists. They are famous for their pies. I can attest to the fact that the coconut cream was A+++ and pie-worthy.
It was a short trip of about 15 miles to Little Orleans. The famous Bill’s Place was closed on Tuesday. We were so looking forward to experiencing this legendary towpath bar and restaurant. We cycled past it to our evening’s accommodations, Little Orleans Lodge.
Little Orleans Lodge is a unique place. It’s a bed and breakfast with some character. Steve, the innkeeper, was that character. It was a homey bed and breakfast cobbled together by the owner. Steve was very hospitable in his own way. It was definitely not the neatest or cleanest place but offered a warm beds for weary travelers.
We finished the night off with our hot dog roast that we had originally planned to enjoy in lockhouse #6. Hot dogs, chips, s’mores and beer never tasted so good. We laughed and had a fun evening before we headed to bed.
Tomorrow we are off to Cumberland. It will be our final day on the C&O. I must admit we are ready to cycle the Great Allegheny Passage, a trail that is familiar to our group.