If hiking from the Poncebos Bridge end, the parking is limited to parking along the side of the entry road. The earlier you arrive the closer you will be to the trailhead. We parked around 9am on a Tuesday and were near the trailhead. When we returned around 4pm cars were parked several kilometers down the road.
A reasonably fit hiker can hike from Poncebos to Cains and back in a day hike. We hiked the round trip from 9am to 4pm with a long stop in Cains and lots of photos. A number of people were running the round trip.
We saw no toilets on the Poncebos end and the trail is very exposed so there weren’t any options along the route either. A nice restaurant/bar in Cains where we bought water and drinks had bathrooms.
There are a number of restaurants in Cains and nice picnicking along the river.
The drop offs are steep but hikers are courteous and we never had any issues.
We would put this on par with the beauty of hikes we’ve done in New England in the fall, and it's pretty flat for 3/4 of the hike.
If you’re interested, the engineering of the canal is quite fascinating as well.
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