Oldtown, Maryland

The Potomac River winds its way from west to east, stretching just under 400 miles from western West Virginia to where it enters the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. It serves as part of the border between Maryland and West Virginia as well as Maryland and Virginia.

Oldtown, Maryland is just one of many small towns along the river, which at that point is the North Branch of the Potomac, but Oldtown has something most other small, riverside towns don’t. A bridge for crossing the river.

But this is no ordinary bridge, friends. It’s an old, one-lane, wooden-decked bridge without railings.

The fee to cross this privately-owned toll bridge is 25 cents for motorcycles or 50 cents for cars each way. As the sign warns, it only operates during periods of low water.

The C & O Canal runs between Oldtown and the North Branch of the Potomac. It’s a great place for a picnic, as long as you bring your own food and drink. I haven’t managed to find any store that I would even want to mention as being “closest” as I fear the closest one is probably more than 10 miles away. And once you’ve gone that far, you might as well find some other cool spot for a picnic. Unless you don’t mind the extra out-and-back.

There are no picnic tables here. Not as far as I can remember, anyway. So, although it’s a pleasant little spot, you’ll have to sit on the ground.

Oldtown is just one of many picturesque spots along the canal that make great leg-stretching points. It’s not a great potty stop, however. The only facility available is a spot-a-pot, and those are almost never pleasant experiences.

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