NEW Overnight parking system
Before parking a vehicle overnight in any Canal Parking area, visitors must register their vehicle through the new online registration system. Print your reciept and place on your dashboard. If unable to print, please visit the nearest visitor center. More »
Water Pump Handles Temporarily Removed
Water pump handles at Bald Eagle Island and Huckleberry Hill Hiker Biker Campsites have been removed due to bad water samples. Handles will be reinstalled when good water samples are received.
Boat Tours at Great Falls
Due to low water levels in the Great Falls area, call the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center (301-767-3714) in advance of your trip to confirm the mule-drawn boat tour schedule.
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.
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?
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.