Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail


The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is a network of locally-managed trails between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands. Through five geographic regions, the varied Trail segments are a means to explore the origins and continuing evolution of the Nation. Four trails are currently recognized as segments of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail: the 184.5-mile C & O Canal Towpath between Georgetown (in the District of Columbia) and Cumberland, Md., managed by Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park; the 17-mile Mount Vernon Trail in northern Virginia, managed by George Washington Memorial Parkway; the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail between Ohiopyle and Seward, Penn., managed by Laurel Ridge State Park, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage between Cumberland, Md., and Ohiopyle and between Pittsburgh, Penn., and Ohiopyle, managed by an alliance of organizations and agencies.

Activities vary by regions; check with the local communities and park officials in the areas you plan to visit for detailed activity information.


Seasonality / Weather

Facilities within the Trail corridor are extensive. Operating hours vary and some facilities are open seasonally. Please check local sources of information.



The map of the Trail network provides an overview of Trail segments and locations relative to major highways, population centers and national parks.


The Trail network is served by four major airports: Baltimore-Washington, Reagan National, Washington Dulles and Pittsburgh.

Public Transport: 

Public transportation options in many portions of the Trail corridor are extensive, including:

AMTRAK Capital Limited and Cardinal routes, making connections to Fredericksburg, VA; Alexandria, VA; Washington, D.C.; Cumberland, MD; and Pittsburgh, PA
MARC and VRE regional commuter train service (with a MARC connection to BWI International Airport)
Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) trains and buses (including options to transport bicycles on both), with connections to Dulles and National airports
long-distance commercial bus services, leaving near Union Station
local bus services