• 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 »

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?

Many mules work and have worked at the canal through the years.

A mule is a hybrid animal, a mix of a female horse (a mare) and a male donkey (a jack). Remember, "M" for mom, "M" for mare and "D" for dad, "D" for donkey. Switching the parents will produce a hinny. The mule is the superior work animal, preferred by canal boat captains on the C&O Canal. More...