Field Trip Program

Exploring the C&O Canal's Cushwa Basin in Williamsport, Maryland

A ranger takes a question from a 4th grader
The C&O Canal's Cushwa Basin tour covers history and science.
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Exploring the Cushwa Basin program provides students with an understanding of the many challenges to building, maintaining, and using the C&O Canal. The day includes three distinct programs. The first program is in the Trolley Barn, where students will get the opportunity for hands-on exploration and learning. The second program is at the Conococheague Aqueduct, where we focus on erosion and weathering and the canal's connection to the Potomac River. The last program is a walking tour of the Cushwa Basin; we will walk the towpath one-half mile to Lock 44. Along the way we learn about George Washington's vision for westward expansion, the competition with the railroad, and the canal's role in the Civil War. The canal is an engineering feat, and the students will see how a lock works.

Pre-visit classroom activity: A Journey on the C&O Canal
Post-visit classroom activities: C&O Canal Case Studies, C&O Canal Reader's Theater, C&O Canal Mapping Activity
Please note: Spring 2014 program days coming soon! If you are eager to get scheduled now, please e-mail us  or call (301) 491-1517 to reserve a date. Include your phone number, class size, grade, and date. We will confirm your reservation. Thanks for your patience as we make this transition to on-line reservations.  


Grade Levels:
Third Grade-Fifth Grade
Civil War, Commerce and Industry, Earth Science, Economics, Engineering, Family Life, History, Hydrology, Regional Studies, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Transportation, Westward Expansion
National/State Standards:
Common Core English Language Arts, Speaking and Listening, Comprehension and Collaboration
SL.3.1, SL.3.2, SL.3.3
SL.4.1, SL.4.2, SL.4.3
SL.5.1, SL.5.2, SL.5.3
Field Trip Program

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