River Ride

Poolesville, Maryland

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1 Review
4 out of 5
This easygoing loop along the Potomac River connects two places that, at one time, signified an age when the ferry was the most convenient means across the river. The ride begins at Whites Ferry and travels south along flat dirt roads to Edwards Ferry, which quit operations in 1936. You'll head back to Whites Ferry along the C&O Canal, preserved now as a National Historic Park. As you ride back along the C&O Canal Towpath, be sure to notice Harrison Island on your left. During the Civil War, the island served as a temporary hospital to care for the Union’s wounded soldiers after their dramatic loss at the battle on Ball’s Bluff . One of the wounded taken to Harrison Island was a recent Harvard graduate and a future Supreme Court justice, First Lieutenant Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. He was shot through the leg and the small of the back but was diagnosed on the island as “doing well.”
Mountain Biking the Washington, D.C. / Baltimore Area

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Mountain Biking the Washington, D.C. / Baltimore Area

by Scott Adams & Martin Fernandez (Falcon Guides)

This easygoing loop along the Potomac River connects two places that, at one time, signified an age when the ferry was the most convenient means across the river. The ride begins at Whites Ferry and travels south along flat dirt roads to Edwards Ferry, which quit operations in 1936. You'll head back to Whites Ferry along the C&O Canal, preserved now as a National Historic Park.

As you ride back along the C&O Canal Towpath, be sure to notice Harrison Island on your left. During the Civil War, the island served as a temporary hospital to care for the Union’s wounded soldiers after their dramatic loss at the battle on Ball’s Bluff . One of the wounded taken to Harrison Island was a recent Harvard graduate and a future Supreme Court justice, First Lieutenant Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. He was shot through the leg and the small of the back but was diagnosed on the island as “doing well.”

© 2015 Scott Adams & Martin Fernandez/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Poolesville
Distance: 10
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Easy
Physical Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 200 feet
Top Elevation: 280 feet
Local Contacts: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
Local Maps: USGS Waterford, Poolseville, Leesburg, Sterling; ADC Maps: Montgomery County
Driving Directions: Directions to River Ride

Recent Trail Reviews

9/4/2009
0

Two "Geared Up" trekers took White's Ferry from VA across the Potomac to start this ride. Instructions on how to find this trail were great. I would add that the first segment is all gravel road. This time of year it was VERY dusty as vehicles passed us. Beautiful open spaces. When we connected to Edwards Ferry Road we were delighted to have a paved surfact. The Towpath North back to White's Ferry was easy going combination of pea gravel and dirt. Easy going compared to the gravel road. Most of this Towpath trail provided a canopy of shade. Loved it.



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Apr 2018