• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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  • 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.

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Puts Safety First

Chainsaw Safety Training

Chainsaw Safety Training 2012

During 2012, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal NHP) made notable advances in safety by empowering employees and equipping them with the proper skills and training through Operational Leadership, a training focused on assessing daily risk management and utilizing safety as part of a daily operation.

The C&O Canal NHP offered Operational Leadership to over 75% of park employees during 2012 and aims to offer additional trainings early in 2013 to ensure 100% of park staff successfully completes the training. The park's Safety Officer has been certified as an Operational Leadership facilitator and has trained over fifty NPS employees at neighboring parks. All employees are empowered to use critical thinking skills in daily risk management decisions and are encouraged to report all incidents so that the lessons learned can be shared with all park employees and volunteers. Additionally, safety meetings and discussions are held daily and before the start of any project to ensure all personnel have input into the risk management decisions and the resulting actions.

Management is continually reinforcing the safety commitment of the park through correspondence, meetings, and by being present on the job site to provide direct feedback and to define the level of acceptable risk management. This commitment is not only for park employees, but also for volunteers and contractors. The safety of our visitors is also a vital part of our safety goal. All visitor incidents and hazards are promptly reported, investigated, and lessons learned shared. The effectiveness of our safety program is tracked by the C&O Canal Central Safety Committee and is measured by the level of open communication we have with our employees, visitors, contractors, and volunteers. The prompt and open reporting of all incidents is a show of trust and belief in the park safety program by these individuals. In response, the prompt investigation and actions taken to correct any hazards identified is a clear indication of park management's commitment to the park safety program.

Additionally, the park has offered the following safety courses to staff, volunteers and work crews, including First Aid/CPR, Motor Vehicle Safety, Utility Vehicle Operation and Chainsaw Safety Training.

Did You Know?

Drawing DaVinci's lock gate design 1485.

Transporting goods and people by canal dates back to antiquity. The lock gates used on the C&O Canal were an adaptation of a design by Leonardo DaVinci in the late 1400's. Until the advent of the railroad, water travel was far superior to land travel.