• 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 »

Nonnative Species

Invasive non-native plants is a mouthful. It means aggressive plant species that are not original to the particular area they now occupy. They may have come from as far away as Asia or as near as the next state. Most have been introduced by human activity sometimes on purpose (such as for groundcover, or ornamental plants that “escapes cultivation”), sometimes by accident. Such visitor plants, free of the natural animal and insect predators from their native turf, go wild with their new freedom. Non-native species disrupt natural ecological processes by crowing out and replacing native plants and animals through competition for space, light and water, and by creating new habitat conditions inhospitable to other natives. At C&O Canal, non-native plants are the most significant immediate threat to park natural resources and are a particular problem because of the competition they present to the very large number of state rare, threatened, and endangered plant species. The park is focusing efforts to reduce non-native plants in the Potomac Gorge area of the park where non-native species such as Mimosa, Japanese stiltgrass and Japanese honeysuckle threaten to carpet large areas of park land.

Did You Know?

Photo canal boat exiting lock 20.

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.