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.
Saving Our History
Saving Our History
The C&O Canal is considered to be the best-preserved 19th century canal in the United States. The men of the Civilian Conservation Corps originally restored the first 22 miles of the canal in the 1930's. Since becoming a national historical park in 1971, the NPS has worked to protect and preserve over 1300 historic structures along the canal.
Major restoration work has been undertaken at several locations including the Catoctin and Monocacy Aqueducts, Big Slackwater, multiple locks and lockhouses, and the Widewater area. There are ongoing preservation maintenance projects occuring throughout the park all year around.
C&O Canal National Historical Park also develops partnerships with individuals and organizations interested in helping to rehabilitate some of its historic structures, according to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
Please follow the link to learn about the work the CCC were able to accomplish along the eastern section of the C&O Canal.
Did You Know?
Most freight boats on the C&O Canal were approximately 95 feet long and 14.5 feet wide while most locks were 100 feet long and 15 feet wide. This left boat captains little margin for error as they steered their boats into the locks, trying to avoid the $5.00 fine for damaging lock masonry.