Bicycling and Hiking
The Chesapeake & Ohio National Historic Park canal towpath passes through Brunswick, Cumberland to the west and Washington to the east. Camp along the way or enjoy day trip itineraries. Both hikers and bikers are welcome. Bring your own bike or rent one for the day from River and Trail Outfitters. Wildlife is abundant along the towpath including many species of native birds which include bald eagles and blue herons. Ample free parking is available in Brunswick in the MARC train lot which is just a few hundred feet from the entrance to the park. Downtown Brunswick is bike friendly with plenty of bike racks, a bike washing station, bike shop, and numerous places to find food, drink, and supplies.
The Appalachian Trail– 4 miles from Brunswick- passes near the local hamlet of Burkittsville (ever see the Blair Witch Project?). The trail provides a rigorous hike to Weverton Cliffs or on to Harpers Ferry, which is home to the Appalachian Trail Visitors Center. Harpers Ferry is the midpoint of the 2200 mile Appalachian Trail and the Visitors Center houses interesting displays and serves as a resting place for many a “through hiker” in the spring and summer. Make Brunswick your access point. Follow the C&O Canal towpath for just a short distance from Brunswick heading west on the towpath and you will find the trail access. Be sure to stop at Weverton Cliffs, after accessing the trail, to admire the stunning view of the Potomac River from high above.
Rivers Edge Park– a new biking trail currently under construction in Brunswick city limits. The 5 mile trail is partially completed and open to visitors. The trail is cut on a 55 acre wooded, sloping site and promises to be an exciting addition to Brunswick’s growing outdoor recreation opportunities.
Gathland State Park– 4 miles from Brunswick- is at the summit of South Mountain and provides an interesting hiking venue to explore the home of “Gath “ Townsend , a journalist who built the war correspondents memorial in his backyard. The Appalachian Trail passes through Gathland State Park.
Hiking to Weverton Cliffs from Brunswick
From the Lock 30 parking lot at Brunswick follow the C&O Canal towpath/Appalachian Trail west along the C&O Canal to Lock 31. At Lock 31 the two trails separate, and continue along the Appalachian Trail as it heads north along Keep Tryst Road and under US 340. Continue to follow the trail alongside Weverton Cliffs Rd, across Weverton Rd, and up the steep ascent to Weverton Cliffs, where you will want to spend time enjoying the view of the Potomac River. After the break, retrace your steps to Lock 30. Food and drink are available in downtown Brunswick just a short walk from the towpath. Free, easy access parking for the hike is also available in the MARC train parking lot.
This is an 8.6-mile hike, easy difficulty, and should take about 3 hours, plus time for a short break. Most of the hike is flat, easy going along the C&O Canal towpath. The 850-foot ascent up Weverton Cliffs is steep, with several switchbacks, but not overly difficult.