• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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  • Towpath Reroute!

    6/14/14- Towpath breach at MM 106, just below Dam #5. Towpath Detour in place (this detour does not leave park property). Please be aware of possible towpath hazards due to heavy rains.

  • Water Pump Handles Temporarily Removed

    Purslane Run, Stickpile, Evitts Creek Hiker-Biker Campgrounds and Paw Paw Campground water pump handles have been removed due to bad water samples. Handles will be installed when good water samples are received.

  • 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.

  • Boat Rides at Great Falls

    Regularly scheduled tour times for the mule-drawn canal boat at Great Falls have changed. In July and August 2014 tours will be offered Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00, 1:30 and 3:00. Please call the Visitor Center for more info: 301-767-3714. More »

For Teachers

A ranger and class walk the towpath.
The C&O Canal National Historical Park facilitates student-driven discovery and learning along 184.5 miles of historic canal towpath.
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Spanning across the state of Maryland and bordering the Potomac River, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is within a 45-minute drive of an estimated 1,000,000 school aged children in Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The park provides opportunities for students to directly experience a national park, exploring natural and historical resources in a setting that provokes thought, inspires wonder and ignites understanding.
 
Students move the lockgate at Williamsport.

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Field Trips. Come see us at one of the C&O Canal's education sites in Maryland: Cumberland, Williamsport, and Great Falls. Thanks to the generosity of our partners, we offer limited bus scholarships.

 
An historic, black and white image of a canal boat leaving a lock

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Curriculum Materials. Find classroom activities and lesson plans about the canal using historic photographs, reading material, and videos.
 
A ranger walks with local teachers along the C&O Canal towpath.

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Professional Development. The C&O Canal is proud to partner with local school teachers and the C&O Canal Trust to develop curriculum materials and offer professional development opportunities.

 
A graphic of a canal boat and Great Falls tavern, representing the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

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Canal Classroom Corps. The park partners with the C&O Canal Trust to deliver high-quality education programs via the rangers, teachers, and volunteers of the Canal Classroom Corps.

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...