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 »
Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer
In January of 2010, the state of Virginia announced its first confirmed case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a white-tailed deer. CWD is a contagious and fatal neurological (brain and nervous system) disease that can infect deer, elk, and moose. Although most cases of CWD occur in the western United States, in 2005 it was discovered in Slainsville, WV. Since this discovery there have been multiple confirmed cases in Hampshire County, WV, but trends were not indicating spread beyond the county line. The announcement of the case in Virginia (Frederick County) has alerted wildlife managers that the disease is on the move, and of the need to expand efforts to monitor for the disease.
Per National Park Service policy, the park has begun surveillance for CWD. To date, deer showing clinical signs of the disease have not been reported to the park.
Visitors can help monitor for the disease by reporting animals that appear to be demonstrating clinical signs to NPS staff. Signs include:
Did You Know?
There are several gold mines in the Great Falls area. The largest of these is the Maryland Mine located at the intersection of Falls Road and MacArthur Boulevard near Potomac, Maryland. Gold was first discovered here by a Union soldier from Pennsylvania during the Civil War.