Sidling Hill Creek and Fifteen Mile Creek Aqueducts
I’ve been looking for opportunities to photograph the aqueducts on the C&O Canal for a couple of years. As a project, I felt that it was limited enough that I might actually be able to finish it. Some of the aqueducts were farther from the nearest parking to be able to walk comfortably but I expect the the bicycle will now get me to all of them eventually.
So I drove to the parking area at the upstream end of the Western Maryland Rail Trail and then rode upstream. My goal was to cross two aqueducts and photograph whatever else I could find along the way.
Right at the entrance to the towpath at Pearre is lock 56 and the lock house.
The Sidling Hill Creek Aqueduct is a little ways upstream. It is in generally poor condition, having been shored up with steel and wood beams. Also, the foliage has been working to take the whole thing over. I will plan to return in the fall or early spring to get a better shot when the leaves are gone.
Just up the creek is one of the many structures that carried the Western Maryland Railroad. Now abandoned, the roadbed is ripe for development as and extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail for bicyclers and hikers.
The Fifteen Mile Creek aqueduct is in much better shape and is one of the few aqueducts where the upstream wall is still intact.
Almost completely hidden in the overgrown foliage is this interesting two arch viaduct for the railroad.