• 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.

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 of park rangers interpreting building the canal.

Canal historians estimate approximately 35,000 laborers helped dig the canal as well as build aqueducts, culverts, locks, lock houses, etc. It took 22 years to build the canal from Georgetown, DC to Cumberland, MD. Much of the workforce were immigrants from Ireland and western Europe. More...