• 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, Jordan Junction and Big Woods Hiker Biker Campsites 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.

Great Falls Field Trips

Programs offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. To schedule programs at Great Falls, call (301) 767-3714.

You will need an Educational Fee Waiver to get through the entrance gate. The address for the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center is 11710 MacArthur Boulevard, Potomac, Maryland 20854.

Ride the Mercer (grades K-12): A trip on the Charles F. Mercer is an experience to remember. The Mercer is a mule-drawn boat ride. Park rangers in period costumes will talk with students about the history and operation of the C&O Canal as they ride through a lock, head down the canal. Period games and music may be part of the program. The program lasts approximately one hour. Cost: $5 per person. Please note that boat rides are dependent on weather, water, and staffing.

Meet the Mule (grades K-12): What is a mule? Why do they pull the Mercer? Find out the advantages of this hybrid animal in a special request program. The program lasts 30 minutes.

Did You Know?

Photo of former Georgetown Flour Mill.

The C&O Canal begins in Georgetown. The canal made extra money by selling water to numerous factories in Georgetown to power water driven machinery such as water wheels, etc. Many factories were located next to canal property. More...