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Messages - rootchopper

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Torrential rains are causing problems downriver from PawPaw. The rains should relent in a couple of days but the towpath will be a mess for several days afterward. The towpath is closed for a short stretch downriver from Brunswick. The C&O Canal Facebook page is being updated several times a day by the National Park Service.

According to the C&O Facebook page, the Paw Paw tunnel has been reopened until some time in June.

Meanwhile torrential rains and flooding are wiping out sections of the C&O towpath east of Antietam Creek.

Routes / C&O Canal Towpath
« on: May 16, 2018, 02:39:50 pm »
If you are planning on using the C&O Canal towpath this week, check with the National Park Service first. Heavy rains over an extended period are making a mess of the towpath. A short section of the canal between miles 51 (Catoctin Viaduct) and 54 (Brunswick) is closed. The Park Service is evaluating the towpath between miles 42 and 70.

These are part of the ACA Chicago to New York Route, PHIL ALT 1 section.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route DC to Key West - Logistics
« on: November 06, 2017, 07:22:09 pm »
This is exactly what I did. It work fine. Dealing with Amtrak in Fort Lauderdale and DC's Union Station was a good experience. Great to see this feature on Amtrak trains.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route DC to Key West - Logistics
« on: May 03, 2017, 04:37:52 pm »
I didn't realize this was an option in Miami. Good to hear. I think I'll go this route. Thanks.

Routes / Atlantic Coast Route DC to Key West - Logistics
« on: May 03, 2017, 12:24:44 pm »
I am planning a fall tour along the southern half of the Atlantic Coast Route. I am thinking of riding from DC to Key West. The issue I am dealing with is logistics.

I could fly to Fort Myers, take a ferry to Key West, and ride home. This runs the risk of damanging my bike in transit but i don't have to be concerned about return logistics at the end of my trip, can book in advance, save $$$.

Or I could just ride south and figure out return logistics when I get done. Ferry to Fort Myers and plane home or ride to Miami and take Amtrak. Both involve boxing the bike.


Routes / Atlantic Coast Route - Dangerous Bollards installed
« on: June 07, 2012, 12:38:00 pm »
The Atlantic Coast route uses the Mount Vernon Trail bewteen Washington DC and Mount Vernon.  About 7.5 miles south of DC, the route passes under the enormouse Woodrow Wilson Bridge.  Recently a number of bollards have been placed across the path. These bollards are black and spaced quite closely together.  Three of them are at the base of a hill. 

See for more details. 

General Discussion / Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« on: April 28, 2011, 09:39:03 am »
Keep an eye on the humidity too.  In the eastern and southern US, high humidity is as big a concern.  (I live near Washington DC. It can feel like a swamp here on an 80 degree day.)

Regardless of whether it's heat or humidity, when you feel like it is getting to you, find an air conditioned place and hang out while your body recovers.  I chatted up a convenience store clerk in Pennsylvania once for a good 40 minutes all the while standing under a massive air conditioning register.  You'd have thought I was Larry King for all the gabbing I was doing but that cold air felt GREAT!

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route Changes?
« on: April 27, 2011, 02:22:56 pm »
Well it seemed a little silly to carry all the addenda for 2 map pages going back to 2001. (I didn't see any earlier addenda.) So no harm in buying some new maps.  I will check for addenda just before I leave.

I also plan on calling the campgrounds to see if they are open.  Otherwise I might just find a "CLOSED FOR THE SEASON" sign.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route Changes?
« on: April 26, 2011, 08:29:34 pm »
Thanks for the info.  I checked my maps which I thought were 5 years old.  They are over 10 years old! So I just bought new ones today.

I've done both trails too.  The C&O has its rugged charms but the GAP has a much better surface and more services near the trail.  The kids would love the train. Lots of smoke and noise would be a great contrast to the quiet during the ride. 

Routes / Re: routes in pennsylvania/New York
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:41:55 pm »
One idea, go to the PA DOT website and look for the PA bike routes. Route S goes along the southern edge of PA. It must intersect the ACA Atlantic Coast Route east of York PA.  Switch over to the ACR and follow it to NYC

Routes / Atlantic Coast Route Changes?
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:16:18 pm »
I am planning a trip from Albany NY to Washington DC, mostly on the Atlantic Coast Route.  I have some old ACA-ACR maps that I am planning on using but am a little concerned about major route changes such as bridge closures.  I know that there is a new pedestrian bridge across the Hudson at Pughkeepsee that I am planning to take and a new rail trail here and there.  I can't seem to find online any changes to the route that would cause me woe. Do you know of any?

Routes / Re: Upstate NY to CT
« on: April 22, 2011, 09:28:25 pm »
Google New York State Bike Routes.  You may be able to follow NYS Bike Route 17 from south Ithaca down to the NYC area. It's a start anyway. 

General Discussion / Lower Potomac River Crossing
« on: September 19, 2009, 07:55:09 pm »
Greetings from Alexandria VA

As you may know the Potomac Heritage Route has a bit of a glitch caused by the lack of frequent ferries across the lower Potomac River.  The ferries are needed because there is no on-road bicycle crossing south of Alexandria near Washington DC.  This is also one reason why the Atlantic Coast Route goes through the DC area.  This could change if the Governor Nice Bridge north of Fredericksburg Virgina is modified to include a bike lane.  The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is planning to improve the bridge in the near future and is seeking comments.  If you're interested in giving the MDTA a nudge in the right direction you can tell them here:

John Pickett

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