Williamsport to Fort Frederick State Park
North of Williamsport the trail crosses the Conococheague Aqueduct. In April of 1920 the sidewall of this aqueduct collapsed, sending a boat tumbling into the creek. This may have been the most visible signal that the end of the canal era was near. Across the aqueduct, woods are reclaiming an area that contained a number of homes. The homes were purchased and razed by the National Park Service. Few places along the canal have private land along the Potomac. This is because the Canal Company bought most of the lands between canal and river so that they would not have the expense of building crossover bridges for farmers.
Away from town, woods and cornfields give way to a distant roar as you approach Dam 5. For nearly 20 years this was the head of canal navigation, and the nearby community still boasts the dam's name. West of here the towpath enters "Little Slackwater." Unlike its "big brother" to the east, this area has been repaired and is one of the highlights of the canal. Next comes "Four Locks" and the McCoys Ferry area. The woods (and the deer) get thick as the hike ends just south of Fort Frederick State Park at the entrance to Big Pool.