• 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

    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.

Cumberland Area Field Trips

Programs offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. To schedule a field trip in the Cumberland area, email e-mail us or call (301) 491-1517.

The Canal and Me: I Taste, Touch, Hear, Smell, and See (Pre Kindergarten). Students will use their five senses as they walk back through time in the Canal Museum; learning about the construction and operation of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Students will participate in time games and activities. Students will actively explore canal operations through play with canal construction sets and boat design. Location: Canal Place. Length: 100 minutes. Cost: free. Enhance student learning by completing pre- and post-visit activities.

Home on the Canal: Past and Present (Kindergarten). Students develop an understanding of the C&O Canal's purpose and function. Students will differentiate between man‐made and human features and how they affect the environment, compare the past and present to understand what life was like for a child on the C&O Canal, and explore the function and design of toys from the past. Location: Canal Place. Length: 4 hours. Cost: free. Enhance student learning by completing pre- and post-visit activities.

George, Tools and Mules (1st Grade). Students explore the history and engineering of the C&O Canal and canal boats, and the importance of the mules in canal operations. Location: Canal Place. Length: 4 hours. Cost: free. Enhance student learning by completing pre- and post-visit activities.

Tunnels Rock: How Humans and Nature Change Earth (2nd Grade). Students explore the history and engineering of the C&O Canal as they consider manmade and natural changes to the environment. Location: near Paw Paw, West Virginia. Length: 3.5 hours. Cost: free. Enhance student learning by completing pre- and post-visit activities.

Time in a Tree (3rd Grade). Students participate in a ranger hike along the C&O Canal between Lockhouse 75 and Spring Gap. Along the way students participate in hands on activities including field‐based science activities while exploring the canal environment. Location: Spring Gap (south of Cumberland). Length: 4 hours. Cost: free. Enhance student learning by completing pre- and post-visit activities.

Riddle Me History: The Oldtown Settlement (4th Grade). Students will visit Oldtown, Maryland, to learn about Native Americans, use their navigation skills, and immerse themselves in frontier Maryland history. Location: Oldtown, Maryland (south of Cumberland). Length: 3 hours 45 minutes. Cost: free. Enhance student learning by completing pre- and post-visit activities.

Around the Bends: A Case Study of the Paw Paw Tunnel (5th Grade). Students form an opinion on whether or not building the Paw Paw Tunnel was worth the costs. Location: near Paw Paw, West Virginia. Length: 3.5 hours. Cost: free. Enhance student learning by completing pre- and post-visit activities.

Did You Know?

Photo upstream entrance Paw Paw Tunnel.

The Paw Paw Tunnel is 3,118 feet long and is lined with almost six million bricks. The 2/3 mile long tunnel saved the canal builders almost six miles of construction along the Paw Paw bends of the Potomac River. The project took twelve years to complete. The tunnel was only wide enough for single lane traffic. More...