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 »
Wildflowers are members of an active, dynamic natural system. Each interacts with other flora and fauna, contributing to the health of the system as a whole. Humans have also benefited from ancient and continuing associations with wildflowers. For instance, the mayapple contains a chemical that is used in the treatment of skin cancer. C&O Canal NHP boasts over 600 species of wildflowers, some of which are listed as threatened or endangered within the state of Maryland.
You help protect one of the park's greatest assets - its natural heritage - simply by showing appreciation and respect for all that lives here. We encourage you to take home a greater understanding of the park and fond memories. Plants need their flowers to reproduce, so please don't pick them; allow others the same opportunity to enjoy these small beauties.
The C and O Canal Association has published a guide to flowers along the canal. To view click here.
Nine Native Spring Wildflowers
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)
These flowers are pollinated by small black flies and the seeds dispersed mainly by ants. The plant provides food for the larvae of pipe-vine swallowtails.
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Trout lily (Erythronium americanum)
Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)
Blue phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Native Americans made tea with phlox leaves. It was consumed for stomach discomforts.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Violets (Viola papilionacea and other V. spp.)
Recommended Field Guides
Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. Little, Brown & Co. 1977.
Did You Know?
Aqueducts are water filled bridges. Aqueducts carried the canal and boat traffic over major waterways, like rivers. Of the 11 aqueducts built along the canal, the Monocacy Aqueduct is the longest at 516 feet, its seven arches constructed mainly of stone quarried from nearby Sugarloaf Mountain. More...