• 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 »

Plan a Field Trip

kids opening lock gate

Students closing the lock gate at Williamsport

Education programs are offered throughout the park. To schedule a program please call the specified visitor center. All programs can be adapted to grades other than those listed.

For curriculum materials please click here.

General Information

Restrooms, bus parking, and picnic tables are provided at each location.

Students should be appropriately dressed for the weather.

Flat soled shoes are recommended for walking on uneven surfaces.

Food services are not available. Please pack lunches and drinking water.

Trash Free Park - Please plan to take your trash back to school for disposal.

Great Falls, 301-767-3714

Educational Fee Waivers are available for entrance into Great Falls. Click here to download the form.

Canal Boat Rides
Students experience a ride through a lock and down the canal while learning about the history and operation of the Cheasapeake and Ohio Canal from a park ranger in period costumed. Period games and music may be part of the program.

Grades K-12 1 hour $5 per person

Ask if a Meet the Mule program can be added before or after the boat ride.


Williamsport, 301-582-0813

Basin Tour
Students will learn about canal features as they explore the watered section of the canal. Students will have the opportunity to visit the Lock House and open/close the lock gates. This 1-mile roundtrip walk is on a flat surface.
Grade 4 1.25 hours Free

Life on a Canal Boat
Students will learn about life on a canal boat through various exhibits, short videos, and hands on exploration. This program takes place inside the historic Trolley Barn.
Grade 4 1 hour Free

Erosion - Teacher-led program
Materials for this program are provided. Students will learn how erosion affected and still changes the canal through hands on observation in small teams.
Grade 4 1 hour Free

Cumberland, 301-722-8226

Cumberland Visitor Center Tour
Students learn about C & O Canal history through exhibits, short videos, and hands-on exploration.
Grade 3-5 30 minutes Free

Boat Replica Tour of "The Cumberland"
Guided tour through a full-sized replica cargo boat. Students learn about canal boat life, and the many transportation routes surrounding Cumberland.
Grade 3-5 30 minutes Free

Paw Paw Tunnel Tour
A guided walk through the 3,118 foot long tunnel begins at the visitor parking area. Students learn about tunnel construction and challenges, and geology of the area.
Grade 3-5 1-1.5 hours Free

NOTE: Students must carry a flashlight and wear sturdy close-toed shoes.

Paw Paw Tunnel Trail
A steep, strenuous 2.5 mile hike over the tunnel. Students gain an appreciation for the scenery, plant life, and geology of the area.
Grade 3-5 1.5 hours Free

Bridging the Watershed
The following units area available at Cumberland:
"Alien Invaders" "Talking Trash" "Watershed Watchdogs"
For more information and to schedule this program please visit
www.fergusonfoundation.org/btw/btw_index.shtml

Did You Know?

Monocacy Aqueduct along C&O Canal.

Aqueducts are water filled bridges. Aqueducts carried the canal and boat traffic over major waterways, like rivers. Of the 11 aqueducts built along the canal, the Monocacy Aqueduct is the longest at 516 feet, its seven arches constructed mainly of stone quarried from nearby Sugarloaf Mountain. More...