from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A path along a canal or river used by animals towing boats.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a path alongside a canal or river, originally for horses towing barges, now more often used as a footpath

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A path traveled by men or animals in towing boats; -- called also towing path.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The path on the bank of a canal or river along which draft-animals travel when towing boats.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a path along a canal or river used by animals towing boats


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I finally went for a walk along the canal towpath, which is indeed very beautiful, and only a few minutes outside Princeton!

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • Then nothing but the towpath, which is the path on one side of the canal where the mules walk when they drag the canal boats.

    W. A. G.'s Tale

  • "To me, the towpath is a highway for potential customers," Kay said.

    The Frederick News-Post : Local News

  • Commuting any distance daily to work in the boat wasn't on; bicycle along the towpath was the transport of choice.

    The Guardian World News

  • Overview: “Stretching 136 miles from Cumberland, Md., to Duquesne, Pa., the trail links to the C&O Canal towpath that starts in Washington, D.C., creating a blissfully traffic-free cyclists 'haven.”

    The Boomer Blog: October 2009 Archives

  • And if you are looking for an easy (but beautiful!) hike, try hiking the Potomac Heritage Trail from the Key Bridge to the Chain Bridge and then cross the Chain Bridge and return via the C&O Canal towpath.

    Going Out Guide: Leaf-peeping, pizza places, cafes and dinner near the Avalon

  • Soon we'll be visiting the Cathedral in Reims, touring the cellars of world-class Champagne houses, strolling the towpath and walking the Chemin des Dames, the women's way.

    Anne Z. Cooke: Love and Luxe On a Barge In Champagne

  • We cycled for ages along the cool towpath beneath the trees before reaching a village where we had lunch and watched the people and the boats go by, people-watching in cafes – one of your favourite sports; you would have been in your element.

    A letter to … my wife, who died in 2007

  • It was only the next morning, stumbling in pig-headed D-L defiance along a never-ending Oxfordshire towpath, drenched in sweat, pursued by geese, already sliding haplessly into inexcusable lateness, that I began to sense a trap.

    Being Duckworth-Lewis: cricket's weather-break mathematicians

  • For years now Ruby hadn’t dared to walk along the towpath, but she could just manage sitting above it, on the top of the three steep stone steps out the back of Captin’s Fried Fish Shop, with her back safely pressed against the doorframe.

    Excerpt: Ruby's Spoon by Anna Lawrence Pietroni


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  • Here a young couple asked me today

    how far to the next place along the towpath

    where they might veer to the shops on a fleeting visit.

    - Peter Reading, Early Closing, from For the Municipality's Elderly, 1974

    June 22, 2008