• 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 »

Classroom Links

Primary Source Material

Here are three excellent websites with on-line primary source materials about the canal:

1) C&O Canal Association collection includes newspaper reports, payroll records, compilations of canal boat mortgages, family histories, and canal boat registers and logs.

2) The Library of Congress holds an amazing array of primary source materials about the canal including photographs, maps, drawings, and the Edison video "Down the Old Potomac." Just enter "Chesapeake & Ohio Canal" to search the catalog.

3) Western Maryland's Historical Library site hosts historic photographs, maps, and Civil War era documents related to the canal in Allegany and Washington Counties. One document that may be of interest is the Department of Labor report on the working conditions of Canal Boat children, written in 1921.


The National Park Service created educational videos for your classroom. These and more videos by our park partners are available on our You Tube channel.

Virtual Tour - Canal Discoveries
Read and listen to nearly fifty stories about the Canal at the C&O Canal Trust website. Canal Discoveries are organized by towpath mile and include audio, short stories, and photographs about the park's natural and historic places. What canal site is near your school?

Teaching with Historic Places
The National Park Service provides dozens of standards-based lesson plans about the nation's historic places, including one about theconstruction of the C&O Canal. You can search by location, theme, skill, time period, and even primary source material type. Visit theTeaching with Historic Places website to see why "real historic places generate excitement and curiosity."

Other North American Canals
The C&O Canal is just one of many canals built in the United States. Learn more about our nation's commerce and transportation history by visiting the National Canal Museum website or the North American Canals website.

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...