AskDefine | Define towpath

Dictionary Definition

towpath n : a path along a canal or river used by animals towing boats [syn: towing path]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

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

Extensive Definition

A towpath is a road or track that runs alongside the banks of a river, canal, or other inland waterway. The purpose of a towpath is to allow a land vehicle, beasts of burden, or a team of human pullers to tow a boat, often a barge. This mode of transport was common where sailing was impossible due to rapid current, tunnels and bridges, or unfavourable winds.
After the Industrial Revolution, towing became obsolete when engines were fitted on boats and when railway transportation superseded the slow towing method. Since then, many of these towpaths have been converted to multi-use trails. They are still named towpaths although they are not used to tow boats anymore. Canal side towpaths are popular with cyclists because they are mostly flat.

See also

towpath in German: Leinpfad
towpath in French: Halage
towpath in Italian: Strada di alaggio
towpath in Dutch: Jaagpad
towpath in Japanese: トウパス
towpath in Norwegian Nynorsk: Trekkveg
towpath in Portuguese: Caminho de sirga

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

alameda, beaten path, beaten track, berm, bicycle path, boardwalk, bridle path, catwalk, esplanade, fastwalk, foot pavement, footpath, footway, garden path, groove, hiking trail, mall, parade, path, pathway, prado, promenade, public walk, run, runway, rut, sidewalk, towing path, track, trail, trottoir, walk, walkway
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