WILLIAMSPORT, Md. (DC News Now) — Wonderful weather Friday afternoon contributed to a spectacular day to be outdoors — especially on the C&O Canal, the popular trail running along the Potomac River from Georgetown to western Maryland.

Leading public officials were on hand to celebrate the renovation of nearly a mile of the towpath here. And for cyclists and hikers along the trail, it was a day to enjoy the national treasure.

“I’m shocked with the quality of this trail,” says Dave Endres, a bike rider from Tysons Corner, Virginia. “I’ve biked a hundred miles of this trail and I’ve never seen it as smooth as this.”

Another northern Virginian on his two-wheeler agreed.

“I had a lovely ride all the way from West Virginia through Cumberland to here,” said Bill Golladay of Leesburg, Va. “It was just a great ride.”

Why was it such a great ride?

“We’ve been working out here to place 7.7 million pounds of new stone masonry along with salvage material to really restore and rehabilitate the historic section of the 184.5 mile-long towpath,” said Joe Reed, an engineer with the National Park Service.

Leaders from the state’s team on Capitol Hill were also on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the historic restoration of this portion of the historic trail.

“The C&O is such a valuable asset,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D – Md.). “We’re preserving history but also this recreational and tourism treasure.”

“We’ve invested $21 million here,” said Congressman David Trone (D – Md. 6th District). “I mean, it is spectacular. It is beautiful. All we want to do is go bass fishing!”

The towpath restoration project has received a sustainability award from the Maryland Historic Trust.