Going Against the Grain

Going Against the Grain (HM2L6E)

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N 39° 33.003', W 78° 27.778'

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The Potomac River meanders through six miles of bends here with steep cliffs dropping to the river, making the digging of a ditch canal nearly impossible. The canal company could have followed a natural fold 1 in the rock stratification to burrow the tunnel, but this would have taken them too far from the river. They decided to tunnel a short distance diagonally 2 through the rock folds. This decision, however, led to many cave-ins because of the predominate soft shale they encountered. The river and the rocks here are unforgiving. They cost the canal company time and money in its race with the railroads.

Hiking Through the Tunnel
Climbing the rock steps at either end of the tunnel is prohibited.
The towpath surface in the tunnel is uneven. Watch your step.
Use a flashlight and the guardrail as you walk.

Hiking Over Tunnel Hill
Tunnel Hill is two miles long and takes about one hour to complete.
Wear Sturdy shoes; Tunnel Hill trail is rocky and steep.
Do not drink stream or spring water.
HM NumberHM2L6E
Placed ByChesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, National Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 at 11:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 717988 N 4380893
Decimal Degrees39.55005000, -78.46296667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 33.003', W 78° 27.778'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 33' 0.18000000000001" N, 78° 27' 46.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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