Paw Paw is the name of a West Virginia town on the banks of the Potomac River. It gives its name to the tunnel that takes the C & O Canal through a mountain on the Maryland side of the river.
The C & O Canal was an attempt to transport good and resources from the west (Ohio) to the eastern seaboard. It never made it to Ohio despite its name and it never made a profit because the B & O Railroad offered a faster option.
Now the C & O Canal is known as a National Park and the tow path is used by hikers and bikers to travel from Cumberland, MD to Washington, DC.
We walked to the Paw Paw Tunnel on a wet Friday afternoon. It was the day we were to arrive at our reunion site, Three Otters Eco Retreat, which is downriver from Paw Paw.
We checked out this old looking pump which didn't produce any water.
The tunnel took way too long to build and was over budget considerably, another factor in the failure of the canal business model. Read more here.
There was no water in this portion of the canal.
A view of the Potomac.
You need flashlights to walk through the tunnel. Fortunately the sign said that in the parking lot.
It's built of brick. The tow path through it is definitely a modern version.
At the opposite end the tunnel was closed off for repairs so we turned around and retraced our steps.