This weekend I was in Arlington, VA for my wife's HS reunion. As usual when I travel I need to find a place to run. Most of the time when we head down to DC/VA I usually run at Great Falls on the Virginia side. On this trip we were staying about a mile and a half away from the Key Bridge which crosses the Potomac River into Georgetown. When I Googled running places the first thing I saw was the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail. This National Historic Park is 184.5 miles long and the canal was a lifeline for communities and businesses along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, grain and other agricultural products floated down the canal to market.
This seemed interesting and when I looked at the map, I saw that Great Falls was just 15 miles up the trail from Georgetown. I had never run the Maryland side of Great Falls and although I would need to turn around as soon as I got there, it seemed like a great route. I hit the trail around 7:30am and 32+ miles later I was back in Arlington. I highly recommend the Great Falls section of the trail which had some incredible views and overall was more interesting than the first 13 miles or so to get there. In other words drive to Great Falls. The trail was flat the entire way and those first twelve miles along the canal were boring. The scenery rarely changes and the canal was either filled with stagnant nasty water or empty.
It was however a great run in the end. I always enjoy running through part of our history. I tried to capture the more memorable sites and am happy to share them with you in this slide show. Peace