Day 22 and Day 23 – C&O Canal Mile 38 to Harper’s Ferry VW, plus Harper’s Ferry rest day

We awoke to the sound of a cyclist pedaling by in the dark. But we slept in another hour or two, and headed further along the canal path. The ride was easy and scenic. Here are some pictures of the morning.

C&O canal bicycle touring

C&O canal bicycle touring

crossing a bridge on the C&O canal



C&O portapot



CO Canal bridge

We went very slowly at the beginning, trying to get pictures of the turtles sunning themselves on every piece of wood that stuck out of the water. When they heard us approaching, they’d dive in. Or, they’d watch us pass, and slip into the water the moment we stopped. We also saw a heron.


heron on the C&O canal

We arrived at Harper’s Ferry on the opposite bank. Our directions had us taking the same footbridge that the Appalachian Trail uses to cross the river. It is truly a footbridge and not a pedestrian and cyclist bridge, since you can only access it with stairs on the Virginia side. As a result, we had to carry our loaded bikes up the staircase, which was quite a haul. We’ve heard there are plans to eventually put a ramp up on that side, and we really hope they do. It would be a great feature for both the C&O trail and for the town.

Harper's Ferry foot bridge

Harper's Ferry foot bridge

AT sign in Harper's Ferry

Once we crossed over, we promptly bought frozen custard, stopped into the outfitter, and then pushed our bikes up the hill to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Elizabeth got to look up the polaroid of her, taken on her through-hike in 2002, as well as chat with “Poptart”, who hiked the trail the same year.

We were staying with Pete and Darlene, friends of Elizabeth’s from when she lived in Fredrick, MD. Sadly, Darlene was away giving a presentation on her archaeological findings, but Pete was a great host, and made us tacos for dinner. We ate a lot and watched the season finale of Project Runway.

We stayed around an extra day in Harper’s Ferry, since Elizabeth’s parents drove down to meet us. We walked around the town, spending time reading the historical markers about the US armory, John Brown’s raid, and the town’s changing fortunes during the Civil War.

Harper's Ferry

John Brown marker


Appalachian Trail stairs at Harper's Ferry

the Berkowitzes on the Harper's Ferry foot bridge

We also stopped at a candy shop that featured historical developments and innovations in candy-making. Elizabeth and Henry really appreaciated this shop.


old typewriter

Henry and Linda then took us out to dinner in Shepherdstown, where we got to sleep in a hotel.


5 thoughts on “Day 22 and Day 23 – C&O Canal Mile 38 to Harper’s Ferry VW, plus Harper’s Ferry rest day

  1. I think we may have seen you riding! My husband and I were out riding a century on tandem. We started in Purcellville, VA and went around Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown, WV this past weekend. I recognize one of your bikes, the Pake, as well as the helmet visors you were wearing! How cool! I actually got a photo of one of you:, complete with hand wave! Hope you’re having an excellent tour.

    • Hey! We definitely remember seeing you south of Harpers Ferry, and thinking you had a pretty nice tandem! The roads were really pretty in that area. How did your century go? And how did you find our blog?

  2. Have been to Harpers Ferry many years ago and love seeing the pics to remember past experiences.

    I look forward to reading about your travels every few days.

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