A "Letter" to Capital Crescent Trail Users
As a result of your hard work and generous contributions our trail is a beautiful and heavily used success. Bikers, bladers, joggers, runners and walkers, commuters and recreational users of ALL SPEEDS and AGES enjoy its 'car-free, park-like setting'. Unfortunately 'car-free' does not mean 'danger-free' and success has brought congestion and thus increased danger to the trail. Serious accidents involving hospital convalescence and police investigation have occurred.
Our trail has over 1 million users per year, is quite congested at times, and has users moving at a wide range of speeds, from 1-2 miles per hour up to 20-25 miles an hour (excessive but real). We have been experiencing more serious accidents on the trail and we urge ALL users to exercise greater caution, courtesy and alertness.
Please follow the safety tips below:
Bikers and Bladers:
In addition to the "All Users" safety tips:
Hikers and Walkers:
Class 1 E-Bikes are now allowed on the DC section of the CCT
This NPS policy came out in August 2019 - it's unclear when rules for CCT changed.
This C&O Canal National Parks' Hiking and Biking page has details at the bottom.
E-Bikes are NOT yet officially allowed on the CCT in Montgomery County. To learn more, visit the Montgomery Parks E-Bikes and E-Scooters Pilot Program webpage.
Cyclists: Use an effective light to be safe after dark, but PLEASE, do not use a flashing strobe light as a headlight
Trail users are reporting that the flashing white strobe lights some cyclists are using as headlights can be disorienting and are very irritating. Cyclists, please use a headlight with a steady beam, aim it low (not straight out), and use a lower brightness setting. Bright lights for getting drivers attention on the road are probably too bright on the trail. We are all safer if no one is confused or blinded by your lights.