Replacement Event Planned April 25-27
Board of Directors of the C&O Canal Association voted to cancel the 2014 Thru Hike at their December 1 meeting. There were just too many unresolved issues and potential obstacles to assure a a successful event. Some of the issues contributing to this decision were:
- The very real possibility that the Hiker/Biker campsites would be closed with no potable water or porta-johns available due to the greatly reduced budget of the canal park.
- Little or no support from the Park Service due to limited staffing.
- Not enough C&O Canal Association volunteer personnel to support the hike under these difficult circumstances.
Start of 2009 Thru Hike at Cumberland
The board felt that something special should still be planned to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Justice William O. Douglas' 1954 hike that saved the canal from development as a highway and led to its protection as a National Historical Park. A committee was formed and is now working to plan a shorter hiking/camping event.
Mark your calendars for the weekend of April 25-27, Friday night to Sunday, for two days of hiking and camping at a well-appointed campground near Williamsport. The association will have campsites situated along the banks of the Conococheague Creek as well as a shelter for evening gatherings. For those who prefer beds to tents, there are motels in Williamsport as well as cabins in the campground.
The weekend will being Friday evening with a happy hour and dinner at the campground. On Saturday, all Douglas Hike participants, those in Williamsport as well as those joining us for only one day, will meet at Cushwa Basin. Events will follow the usual Douglas Hike format, offering three choices of hikes followed by a happy hour, dinner and a program at a location near Williamsport. On Sunday, there will be other options for those who want to enjoy another day of hiking on the towpath.
More information will be sent to members via the blast email messages as plans progress. A complete description of weekend activities and a registration form will appear in the March issue of Along the Towpath. Friends and family are welcome. Please plan on joining this active weekend of camaraderie and hiking.
You can see a video from the 2009 Douglas Thru Hike on YouTube.