Random bits of Knowledge with a focus on Bethesda, MD.
Friday, July 10, 2020
Go Visit: Monocacy Aquaduct
The Monocacy Aqueduct is where the C & O Canal crosses the Monocacy River. The aqueduct has been restored and you can walk or bike across it. Right near the parking lot is a large field which slopes gently down to the Monocacy river. People are often fishing on the river bank. There is also a boat dock nearby that you can launch small boats from.
In the early morning sun shines brightly on the arches of the aqueduct. The aqueduct reflects on the still Monocacy river.
On the aqueduct looking towards the parking area. The tow path runs on top of the right wall. You can also bike or walk down the canal bed. You don't get good views, but it is a lot smoother. The tow path in this area is made of compress stone dust, it is smooth and easy to ride a bike on.
This is at the bottom of the field, the Monocacy aqueduct crosses over the Monocacy river. During the Civil War, the lock keeper from nearby lock 27, Thomas Walter, convinced confederate general D. H. Hill not to destroy the aqueduct but to instead breach the earthen banks of the canal.
The Monocacy river as seen from the aqueduct. The water is smooth and has a light brown color
Less than three quarters of a mile south (turn left on the tow path from the parking lot) of Monocacy Aquaduct is Lock 27 on the C & O Canal. The lock keepers house is still there and there is a bridge across the lock so you can see it from the other side. It is a pleasant walk down a smooth towpath with trees shading you the entire way.
If you continue south past Lock 27 you will get to Pepco's Dickerson Generating Station. There is a constant noise coming from the plant. Past it, the river is very close to the canal edge and there aren't as many trees shading you. Whites Ford and White's Ferry are even further south. From the aqueduct to Whites Ferry is 6.5 miles, a long walk but not a bad bike ride.
There is a small parking lot, but on busy weekend days it fills up early and people park along the road.