NEW Overnight parking system
Before parking a vehicle overnight in any Canal Parking area, visitors must register their vehicle through the new online registration system. Print your reciept and place on your dashboard. If unable to print, please visit the nearest visitor center. More »
Water Pump Handles Temporarily Removed
Bald Eagle Island and Evitts Creek Hiker-Biker Campground water pumps handle have been removed due to bad water samples. Handles will be reinstalled when good water samples are received.
Boat Tours at Great Falls
Due to low water levels in the Great Falls area, call the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center (301-767-3714) in advance of your trip to confirm the mule-drawn boat tour schedule.
Parking Lot Closure
CSX is now beginning a phase of their bridge project that requires the closure of the Lock 74 parking lot for approximatly 18 months. Access to visitor parking near Lock 75 is now re-opened with a gravel parking lot at the site.
Frequently Asked Questions
THE CANAL TODAY
When did the government acquire the Canal?
When did the Canal become a National Park?
How many acres does the Park own?
What is the condition of the Canal today?
When was construction started?
When was the Canal completed?
What was the cost of the Canal?
How many years did it take to build the Canal?
How many people comprised the labor force?
DIMENSIONS AND STRUCTURES
How long is the Canal?
How deep is the Canal?
How wide is the Canal?
How wide is the towpath?
What is the distance in elevation end to end on the canal?
How many locks are on the Canal?
What are the dimensions of the locks?
What was the size of the cargo boats?
How big was the family’s cabin on the boat?
How many dams were built along the Canal to divert river water into the inlets?
How many aqueducts were built along the Canal?
How many culverts were built along the Canal?
What are the dimensions of the Paw Paw Tunnel?
How long did it take to construct the tunnel?
What were the years of operation?
How long was the journey down the Canal?
How many trips did a boat take per year?
How much coal did a boat take per trip?
How much money did a boat make per trip?
When was the peak year of the Canal?
How many boats operated on the Canal?
How many mules worked on the Canal?
What was the speed limit on the Canal?
How long does it take to "lock through"?
How long is the towline?
A mule is a cross between what two animals?
How many mules needed per boat?
How long did the mules work before they needed a break?
What did the mules eat?
Did You Know?
Transporting goods and people by canal dates back to antiquity. The lock gates used on the C&O Canal were an adaptation of a design by Leonardo DaVinci in the late 1400's. Until the advent of the railroad, water travel was far superior to land travel.