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 »
K.S. Cummings, Illinois Natural History Survey
Freshwater Mussels of C&O Canal National Historical Park
Have you ever wondered why you see 'seashells' deposited along the Potomac River shoreline? These are the shells of native freshwater mussels, snails, and the abundant non-native Asiatic clams that live in our creeks, rivers, and the historic canal itself in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. The shells are indicative of the high turnover rate of the large clam population and the dynamic nature of the river in this area.
About Freshwater Mussels
At the end of the parasitic stage, the juvenile mussels detach themselves from their hosts, leaving the fish unharmed, and sink to the bottom of the stream where they continue to develop - if they find suitable stream bottom habitat. Mussels can reproduce at three years old. Some of the larger species live for twenty to one hundred years.
Importance of Freshwater Mussels
Why are freshwater mussel populations declining?
What can be done to protect freshwater mussels?
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.