Hike to Paw Paw Tunnel

Maryland Paw Paw Tunnel, Maryland

Added by Mike Fennell

Hike along a beautiful, tree covered trail to an old canal tunnel built in 1836, then make your way through the spooky darkness and come out on the other side to lush greenness and waterfalls.

This hike is short and sweet, with it only being 2.4 miles to the other side of the tunnel and back. It's easily accessible, located right off the highway at the Paw Paw Tunnel Campground on the Potamac River at the border of Maryland and West Virgina. The town of Paw Paw is on the West Virgina side of the Potomac River, but the trail is located on the Maryland side of the river.

From the campground, the trail is located on the opposite side of the river. Once you make your way up the small ridge, the trail can be very easily identified as a wide gravel path just a hundred feet from the campground. Head north, and the tunnel will be 0.6 miles from the trailhead. Make sure to bring a flashlight as it will be pitch black inside the kilometer long tunnel. It can be a little spooky, and definitely not recommended for those with claustrophobia. Once you're on the other side there are waterfalls coming down the rock cliffs. The trail continues down a little along the canal and connects up with the Tunnel Hill trail that is 2 miles long and will take you up and over the tunnel and back to the beginning on the other side of the tunnel if you would like to make it into a loop.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Flashlight
  • Camera
  • Water
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



2.4 Miles



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

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How to Get There

4 months ago

Cool Trail

Very cool experience. You walk in and think the other end of the tunnel looks close, then a few min in everything it pitch black! Bring a flashlight, but try not to use it except for checking out the bats hanging from the roof. Great in all seasons!

4 months ago

4 months ago

Neat trail

This place is definitely worth checking out if you are in the area. The tunnel is just the right amount of cool but creepy to make it fun to walk though.

4 months ago

Added by Mike Fennell

Travel and Nature Photographer. 18 months into living in my self built Sprinter Van and exploring North America.

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