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Last Ferry on Potomac has Closed

Last Ferry on Potomac has Closed

    Bicyclists on the unpaved C & O Canal use this ferry to access the paved W & OD Trail; or to purchase supplies, access a bike shop, and lodging in Leesburg.  This last remaining ferry crossing of the Potomac River had operated since 1782.  The ferry company (White's) had solid profits.  The reason for the closing was a land dispute with the owner of Rockland Farms. White's couldn't prove that it had ever acquired property for a landing.  In the early 1950's Rockland and White's had negotiated use of a small land parcel.  Then as the property eroded and the river shifted, in 1981 White's built a stronger retaining wall to enlarge and protect the landing - without receiving permission from Rockland.  Negotiations that had been going on since 2010  to provide compensation to Rockland for use of its land failed.  Neither Loudon County nor Virginia stepped in to use arbitration or condemnation power to secure the landing property for White's; so ferry operations had to cease. 
     Unfortunately, everyone loses by the failure to make a deal.  The last ferry crossing is gone.  Bicyclists have no safe way to cross the Potomac.  This low key crossing had provided relief to motorists and cyclists, without harming the area, in a region overrun by traffic and having very few bridge crossings.  Even the owner of the Rockland Property said that not having the ferry would make their commute longer and more stressful on crowded Route 15.  PERHAPS LOUDON, VA, ROCKLAND, AND WHITE'S WILL REALIZE THAT ALL PARTIES WILL BENEFIT BY MAKING AN AGREEMENT THAT WILL ALLOW THE FERRY TO CONTINUE OPERATING.

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