A ranger who also left adventure biking trips on the trail gave us some advice to stop at Bill's bar in Little Orleans. Before hitting that spot, we ran into the PawPaw Tunnel. There is a small walkway on the right side of the almost mile-long tunnel. On the left side of the thru-way is an old wooden railing, and a drop off down at least 15' to the murky canal water. Where the ranger said snakes lived. We made through the tunnel and to Bill's.
The two PBRs and Fritos did not sit well in my super-sensitive belly, so I was pretty cranky the next 20 miles. Although the canal lacks smooth paving, it makes up for it with the convenience of hiker/biker campsites about every 5-10 miles. Although the water was off for the year (I heard it's barely drinkable anyways), the restrooms were immaculate port-o-johns.
Before getting to this campsite though, we were able to hop onto the Maryland rails-to-trails about 15 miles before Hancock. We rode into town to get some pie at Weavers and unsuccessfully tried to get to the campsite via a 'link-up' between the Maryland Rails-to-trail and the towpath. This was marked on a map, but did not exist. The ability to take the rail trail was so soothing. We had gone from about 11mph on the towpath to uphill at 17-18mph on the nice, smooth path. It was pitch black when we were on the trail, but I bet it was a great view as you could feel the temperature change at the ridgelines. You could see Jupiter that evening (thanks for the text dad) and when you moved your headlamp off of the trail path, many, many deer peered back at you.
Click to head to day Four!