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Enjoy Delicious Ice Cream Treats on the C&O Canal Ice Cream Trail

By Blog, Eat/Drink

Photo by Mark Cruz

After a day exploring the wonders of the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP), there’s nothing quite as satisfying as taking a break in a Canal Town. These towns, rich with history and small-town charm, provide a welcoming respite for weary adventurers. While meandering through the streets of most canal towns or just beyond, you’re bound to stumble upon a unique ice cream shop promising sweet treats that tantalize the taste buds. These shops offer a mouthwatering array of flavors, ranging from classic favorites to inventive creations.

Photo courtesy of The Little Red Barn

Little Red Barn Ice Cream Cafe
4610 Lander Road, Jefferson, MD

Closest Canal Town: Point of Rocks

Located in a restored, hundred-year-old barn, the Little Red Barn Ice Cream Cafe is a fun spot to enjoy frozen treats. It also offers sandwiches, soups, salads, and expresso-based drinks. The options are limitless, with indoor dining, patio space, and a walk-up window with carry-out. The Little Red Barn offers a large selection of ice cream flavors, milkshakes, and sundaes made with Hershey’s ice cream. Follow their Facebook page for special flavors and more.

Photo courtesy of Rocky Point Creamery

Rocky Point Creamery
4323 Tuscarora Road, Tuscarora, MD

Closest Canal Town: Point of Rocks, MD

Rocky Point Creamery is a classic farm-to-cone style creamery located a little over a mile from the towpath in Point of Rocks. Part of Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail, the creamery rotates over 80 flavors of ice cream weekly and offers specialty sundaes and shakes. Be sure to visit their tractor-style playground, sunflower field in July and August, and events like food trucks and goat yoga. Weekly flavors and events are posted on their Facebook page.

A La Mode Cafe
113 Potomac Street, Harpers Ferry, WV 

Canal Town: Harpers Ferry/Bolivar

A La Mode Cafe offers tasty desserts, including ice cream treats like milkshakes and sundaes. Hand-dipped ice cream is from Kawartha Dairy, and there are soft-serve options as well.  The menu also includes a few breakfast and lunch items.

Photo courtesy of Battle Grounds Bakery & Coffee

Battle Grounds Bakery & Coffee
180 High Street, Harpers Ferry, WV

Canal Town: Harpers Ferry/Bolivar

Situated right in the middle of the historic lower town of Harpers Ferry, Battle Grounds Bakery & Coffee offers breakfast and pastries, salad and sandwiches, specialty coffees, cookies, and delicious frozen custard flavors. Follow them on Facebook.

Cannonball Deli
125-129 High Street, Harpers Ferry, WV

Canal Town: Harpers Ferry/Bolivar

Just a short walk across the Potomac River into Harpers Ferry, the Cannonball Deli is one of several walk-up ice cream spots on Potomac Street. It serves Hershey’s ice cream. The deli has indoor and outdoor seating, a tasty ice cream menu, and offers other menu items like burgers, pizza, salads, and burritos.

Creamy Creations
173 Potomac Street, Harpers Ferry, WV

Canal Town: Harpers Ferry/Bolivar

Just a short walk across the Potomac River into Harpers Ferry, Creamy Creations is another walk-up ice cream spot on Potomac Street, opposite the train station. You’ll find a variety of fun, unique hand-dipped flavors, along with traditional flavors and plenty of toppings to choose from. 

Harpers Ferry Ice Cream Shoppe
408 Alstadts Hill Road, Harpers Ferry, WV

Canal Town: Harpers Ferry/Bolivar

The Harpers Ferry Ice Cream Shoppe features 16 flavors from local creamery Garber’s Ice Cream in Winchester, Virginia. The menu includes cones, cups, milkshakes, cookie sandwiches, and sundaes.

Photo courtesy of Amy & Alex’s Homemade Ice Cream and Coffee

Amy & Alex’s Homemade Ice Cream and Coffee
207 S Princess Street, Suite 2, Shepherdstown, WV

Canal Town: Shepherdstown, WV

Amy & Alex’s Homemade Ice Cream and Coffee opened in May of 2023, focusing on clean ingredients, meaning no artificial flavors and no artificial ingredients. Most of their ice cream add-ins are organic, and they offer a variety of traditional flavors as well as more unique flavors, like Honey Raspberry Blueberry Swirl, Mango Dragonfruit, and Coffee Crunch Bar. They always have two or three dairy-free coconut milk ice creams as well. Follow them on Instagram.

Photo courtesy of Rock Hill Creamery

Rock Hill Creamery
111 West German Street, Shepherdstown, WV

Canal Town: Shepherdstown, WV

Rock Hill Creamery, located in the heart of Shepherdstown, West Va., features ice cream made right in the shop using only milk, sugar, and heavy cream as the base. The menu features a variety of traditional and not-so-traditional ice cream flavors, as well as vegan sorbet. Flavors like Keylime Pie, Lavender Honey, Vanilla Chip, Zebra Cake, and Better Brownie Batter are sure to tempt your tastebuds!

Photo courtesy of Deliteful Dairy

Deliteful Dairy
16230 Long Delite Lane, Williamsport, MD 

Canal Town: Williamsport, MD

Located close to C&O Canal access points at Cushwa Basin and McMahons Mill, Deliteful Dairy offers high-quality, grass-fed dairy products, including ice cream, butter artisanal cheeses, and farm-fresh craft milk selections. This seventh-generational farm is part of Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail and offers a variety of tasty ice cream treats. Visit them on Facebook for events and specials.

Photo courtesy of Scoop-A-Licious & More

Scoop-A-Licious & More
16904 Virginia Avenue, Williamsport, MD

Canal Town: Williamsport, MD

Scoop-A-Licious & More offers batch-churned ice cream from Windy Knoll Farm & soft-serve ice cream. They also have a wide variety of sundaes, milkshakes, snow cones, and other delicious ice cream treats.

Photo courtesy of BuddyLou’s Eats Drinks & Antiques

BuddyLou’s Eats Drinks & Antiques
11 East Main Street, Hancock, MD

Canal Town: Hancock, MD

Just steps from the C&O Canal, Buddy Lou’s offers exceptional dining, unique artisan gifts, vintage treasures, and just plain fun! Their ice cream menu offers soft serve and Flavor Burst selections, with a multitude of topping choices. You can also get sundaes, milkshakes, and other ice cream treats.

Photo courtesy of Queen City Creamery

Queen City Creamery
138 Baltimore Street, Cumberland, MD

Canal Town: Cumberland, MD

Queen City Creamy makes homemade frozen custard, sorbet, and frozen treats daily. There’s a Flavor of the Day Custard, a Flavor of the Week Sorbet, and a Sundae of the Week. The menu includes ice cream floats and even ice cream cakes, plus more! Stop in and enjoy flavors like Lemon Blueberry, Salted Caramel Cashew, and Caramel Old Bay. They were recently voted one of the best frozen custard places in the United States. Follow them on Facebook.

European Desserts and More
17 Howard Street, Cumberland, MD 

Canal Town: Cumberland

Located just steps off the towpath, less than 500 ft from the end of the C&O Canal and the start of the Great Allegheny Passage trail, European Desserts and More is one of the shops at Canal Place. The shop offers six flavors of ice cream, including black raspberry and cookies & crème. Its specialty is traditional handmade desserts, like baklava, bee sting cake, and filo pastries. Follow the towpath south, and you will find a green field to eat your ice cream or other treats and view “The Cumberland,” a full-scale C&O Canal boat replica. This is the perfect place to treat yourself after your journey or fuel up for the start of your trip.

The next time you find yourself visiting the C&O Canal NHP, enjoy the simple pleasures of an ice cream treat in a canal town. We hope it will be the perfect ending to a great day! Click here for more information about the Canal Towns Partnership.

Celebrate FeBREWary with the C&O Canal Libations Trail

By Eat/Drink, News
We are excited to announce the widely popular C&O Canal Libations Trail will carry on in 2023! Featuring craft breweries located in or nearby the ten Canal Towns, the popular trail was developed in a joint effort involving Allegany, Montgomery, Frederick, and Washington county tourism bureaus, Visit Maryland, C&O Canal Trust, and the Canal Towns Partnership as part of the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s 50th anniversary year long celebration in 2021. Read More