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 »
Baldfaced hornets, also known as white-faced hornets, are beneficial, capturing insects to feed to their larvae. Though larger than other yellow jackets, Baldfaced hornets are generally more docile. But they can become aggressive and will sting when their nest is disturbed or threatened. A mature nest is bigger than a basketball.
Mud Daubers may become a nuisance when they construct nests of mud around homes and other structures where people live, work, and play. In spite of their formidable appearance, these solitary wasps are not aggressive and controls are rarely needed.
Cicada Killer Wasp
Cicada killers are active fromlate summer to September. Females are not aggressive and rarely sting. Males often display territorial behavior and will dive-bomb people's heads; however, they have no sting and post ne real threat. Cicada killers often nest in disturbed areas with sandy, open soils.
Carpenter Bees become active in early spring. Although it is rare to be be stung by one, their sheer size is scary and people generally stay clear of them. Carpenter bees get their name from their ability to drill through wood and nest in the hole. Their drilling creates a near-perfect hole, approximately 1/2 inch in diameter. Although the hole appears to be only an inch or two deep, it rarely ends there.
Honey bees are social insects that live in hives. They eat nectar which they turn into honey. During the process of collecting nectar, pollen from many plants get stuck to the hairs on their legs. The pollen is rubbed off on flowers pollinating them (fertilizing them and producing seeds). Honey bees are distinguished from all other bee species in that the sting and venom sac pull free of the body once lodged.
Yellow Jackets and hornets are the most aggressive of these species. They are considered beneficial insects by eating other insects in the spring. The yellow jacket colony will remain active for only one summer and the nest is not reused. Yellow jackets usually nest in the ground. In the fall, wasp colonies have reached their largest size, and foraging workers may be a serious nuisance as they search for discarded food.
Did You Know?
George Washington's dream of connecting the eastern states with the western frontier led to the creation of the Patowmack Company. Canals were built around unnavigable parts of the Potomac River for improved commerce. The C&O Canal inherited the right of way after the Patowmack Company's demise. More...