• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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  • 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

    Water pump handles at Bald Eagle Island, Evitts Creek, and Iron Mtn. Hiker-Biker Campground and Arbaugh Camp 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.

Be A Junior Ranger

Jr. Ranger Patch

NPS photo

Hi, kids! Welcome to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. We know that's a mouthful, so just call it the C&O Canal for short.

We are glad you want to become a Junior Ranger. Rangers want to protect plants, wildlife (like turtles and birds) and keep our water clean. Junior Rangers also want to protect historic features so those who come after us can also enjoy them.

The C&O Canal is a historical treasure filled with many wonderful resources. We hope you will explore this national park and unlock the treasures that are waiting to be discovered. You can learn about nature, geology, history and man-made structures by using this booklet as a guide.

Junior Rangers are special people because they have decided to take an active role in the National Park Service Mission, "to preserve and protect our natural, cultural and recreational resources for this and future generations."

Did You Know?

Photo Potowmack Company canal lock at Great Falls Virginia.

George Washington's dream of connecting the eastern states with the western frontier led to the creation of the Patowmack Company. Canals were built around unnavigable parts of the Potomac River for improved commerce. The C&O Canal inherited the right of way after the Patowmack Company's demise. More...