tow·​path ˈtō-ˌpath How to pronounce towpath (audio)
: a path (as along a canal) traveled especially by draft animals towing boats

called also towing path

Examples of towpath in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cyclists can pedal along the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage or the 185-mile towpath at C & O Canal Historic National Park. Donna M. Owens, Baltimore Sun, 31 Aug. 2023 From scenic walks on a towpath to intense treks on high-incline trails, taking the proper gear with you will keep you prepared for unexpectedly long days, temperature changes, and inclement weather. Amber Joglar, Popular Mechanics, 10 May 2023 Those interested in American history will flip for Washington Crossing Historic Park and the Old Barracks Museum, while nature lovers should bring their bikes for a ride along the D&R Canal towpath, now a paved multi-use trail along the water’s edge. Emily Pennington, Outside Online, 26 Aug. 2021 Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who enjoyed hiking the towpath, was among its most vocal boosters. Eliza McGraw, WSJ, 2 Apr. 2021 That section will probably run along city streets because the old canal towpath and railbed have long since been built over. Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, 24 Oct. 2022 Horses would walk alongside the canal on a towpath, pulling massive barges of coal at first, and then all kinds of other goods. Corey Buhay, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 July 2022 Planners also recently added a direct path connection between the bridge and the C&O Canal towpath below. Katherine Shaver, Washington Post, 17 June 2022 The towpath was busy with runners and cyclists, dog walkers and parents with strollers. Corey Buhay, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 July 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'towpath.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1788, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of towpath was in 1788

Dictionary Entries Near towpath

Cite this Entry

“Towpath.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tow·​path ˈtō-ˌpath How to pronounce towpath (audio)
: a path (as along a canal) traveled especially by animals (as horses or mules) towing boats

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