Hiking the CNO Canal from Violette's Lock 10 December, 2011 (11 miles): 10 Dec, 2011 (10 miles)

Violette's lock is a bit hard to find. Just off River Rd., just before it joins Seneca Rd., at a bend, this is an often missed location. As you are driving at 45 mph the tiny street sign is easy to miss and even if you do see it, hard to stop just before the turn. This is the place where I first fell in love with the CNO canal, years ago when a good friend of mine, Dennis, invited a few of us out there for a canoe ride on the Potomac. A deer carcass had invited a flock of black vultures and it was my first encounter with black vultures. I counted about 80 turtles and had a blue heron walking ahead of me on this 5 mile hike. That was when my love affair with the CNO canal began. I have since, hiked the length of it, in parts, between Georgetown and Harper's Ferry at least 3 times, and biked the entire length of it until Cumberland, once. Violette's lock remains my favorite spot and yesterday we decided to drive to it. We started at 8:30ish, hiked about 5 miles north and back. It was lovely, a bright sunny day with the temperature that started in the 40s and reached the mid-50s. It was a beautiful peaceful morning and it was just wonderful to be there with Leila.