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Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Last Mile - Newsweek (a story about the GAP and C&O Trail)


Gerald Herbert AP
Cyclists ride on the C&0 Canal towpath near Cumberland, Md.

The Last Mile

It's been 250 years since the French and Indian War, when George Washington, a young colonial officer, made his way from the eastern seaboard past the forks of the Ohio River, where Pittsburgh now stands. It was a dangerous journey and a miserable return trip—shot at by Indians, knocked off his raft into the icy Allegheny River—lasting 78 days. Today Washington's route (or close to it) has been tamed, turned into the 334-mile Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath–Great Allegheny Passage. Starting in Georgetown, the C&O–GAP rolls across Maryland and through Pennsylvania's Appalachian Mountains to create the longest unpaved bike path in the East. Yet unlike Washington, you won't be able to complete the tour no matter how warm the weather (or how nice the natives). The British are standing in the way.

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