Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

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Landscape

The canal in April

The C & O Canal runs right along the Potomac River and the two couldn't be more contrasting. The canal is flanked by wide sandy paths for biking, walking, and jogging, and its water is still and green. On a nice day, the paths are full of people. Walk through the forest to the south just a few yards, and the mighty, rough Potomac River will roar in your ears. The Potomac is wide, fast, filled with boulders in and on the sides of the river, and surrounded by the dense woods that are the natural environment of the Mid-Atlantic. Views of the Virginia side's cliffs (closer to Washington, D.C.) can be especially pretty, rising above the rocky shore. Given that the canal runs alongside the river, the trails are mostly level.