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Classic American hiking trails

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail

Photo: NCinDC/Flickr

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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail

Many iconic trails lack the impressive statistics of the long-haul routes mentioned above but are significant for other reasons. Perhaps one of the most interesting of these relatively shorter trails is the towpath that runs along the 160-year-old Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. This 180-plus-mile trail runs from the Georgetown area of Washington to Cumberland, Md. Many visitors are drawn by this trail's deep sense of history. However, it is as easy to connect with nature as it is to connect with the past on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The beautiful Potomac Valley surrounds the path, providing hikers with an up-close look at some of the Mid-Atlantic’s most beautiful scenery.