• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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  • Road to Big Slackwater Boat Ramp Closed

    For 60 days contractors will be replacing the bridge on the road to the the boat ramp. The road will be closed for non-offical traffic. More »

  • 15 Mile Creek Campground closed Evening of May 9

    Attention Campers: Fifteenmile Creek Campground will be closed for repairs May 9th, 5pm to May 10th, 1pm. **The nearest alternative car-camping sites are Paw Paw Tunnel located on Mile 156.1 or McCoys Ferry on Mile 110.4. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Howard Street Parking Lot Closed in Cumberland

    Starting Mon. April 21, 2014, the paved lot under the I-68 Bridge at Howard St. used for long-term trail parking for the towpath and GAP will be closed for continued bridge repair. Use the gravel lot adjacent to the Footer Dye Works Building instead.

  • Howard Street Parking Lot Closed in Cumberland

    Starting Mon. April 21, 2014, the paved lot under the I-68 Bridge at Howard St. used for long-term trail parking for the towpath and GAP will be closed for continued bridge repair. Use the gravel lot adjacent to the Footer Dye Works Building instead.

Learning Through History

Retreat Through Williamsport

C&O Canal NHP Community Event - Retreat Through Williamsport

J.D. Rose

Through community events, partnerships and interpretive programs, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park expands the meaning of the park to new audiences, providing an opportunity for communities and park visitors to learn more about their heritage.

Three years ago, nine communities along the C&O Canal formed the Canal Towns Partnership, an economic development initiative with the goal of cooperatively marketing and making improvements, such as the addition of bike lanes and bike racks, to attract visitors into the canal's gateway communities. In 2012, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, in partnership with the Canal Towns Partnership installed a series of waysides and hosted events to increase visitor knowledge of the unique towns located along the canal and their local and canal heritage. Additionally, the Canal Towns Partnership is working with the park to support park visitors, providing the resources needed as visitors travel the C&O Canal Towpath from town to town. The Canal Town Partnership has not only strengthened the relationships between the park and adjacent towns, but also improved the communications between the towns.

With nearly 200 miles of towpath, the C&O Canal is the backbone of dozens of communities along the Potomac River. Events to connect these communities with local heritage occur each year and include unique opportunities such as the Hancock Bluegrass Events - featuring local musicians playing bluegrass tunes along the canal and telling stories of the community and canal operations long ago.

Tradition is vital to communities and local heritage, and the C&O Canal has played a vital role in each community along the 184.5 mile canal for many years prior to becoming a park. Local communities have enjoyed canal tour boat excursions intermittently along the C&O Canal for nearly 70 years. Additionally, the park features Canal Family Reunions each summer in numerous towns along the towpath. These events feature guest speakers from the local community to share their stories and connection to the C&O Canal. From children's fishing rodeos are held annually in watered sections of the canal to the newly opened Visitor Center at Ferry Hill featuring living history programs, special events enable local communities to connect with their heritage along the C&O Canal.

Did You Know?

Photo Maryland Gold Mine.

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.