Catoctin Aqueduct, Jefferson, MD (and Seneca Lock) 3-13-21
Updated: May 20, 2021
A hidden gem and easy walk in a quiet part of the C&O Canal
This is a great place to take your dog, especially a large one like Boomer! The C&O Canal is an easy, flat walk. It's really quiet and secluded on this section of the canal. We heard some kind of owl and a bunch of different birds calling. There were some hikers, a few people on bikes and one person fishing off of the bridge but for the most part, it was really quiet and peaceful.
Known as the "Crooked Aqueduct," because boaters had to make a sharp turn to enter, the Catoctin Aqueduct's structural integrity was dubious from the beginning and the aqueduct began sagging in the early 1900's. The park service salvaged and buried the original stones to help preserve them in case the aqueduct was ever restored. A grass roots effort called Adopt-A-Stone program raised over $2.5 million dollars to go towards restoring the aqueduct.
Four hundred and fifty nine original stones were uncovered and used in the restoration! Each was like a puzzle piece, having its own unique position and role. The park's engineering crew measured each stone and cut out foam patterns on the outer edge of the aqueduct. Historic photos were then used to identify where individual stones were positioned. Missing stones or those in poor condition were replaced. In a little over a year, construction was complete. How cool!
Great place to go for some solitude and a nice walk.
Eat, Drink & Be Merry We decided to go to see another stone aqueduct on the way home, this time at Seneca, near Potomac, MD. We've been on this part of the canal before so we didn't walk it but stopped off at a picnic table and had a late lunch. As usual, we had our charcuterie stuff with us!
The Wrap Great place to go that isn't too far from D.C. and is super quiet and a world away from all concrete jungles! We loved it!