• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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  • Towpath Reroute!

    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 »

Next Generation of Park Stewards

Next generation of park stewards

Youth Vegetation Removal Crew

Parks offer living classroom with lessons in history and natural sciences for anyone who wishes to participate. By involving youth in discovery activities in our National Parks, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park hopes to ignite the fire of curiosity kindling within the next generation.We will expose youth to exciting scientific experiences including the hands-on water quality monitoring experiments, collection of macro invertebrates for stream health studies, and invasive species removal. Engaging students in the stewardship of our resources is a great way to improve natural resource conservation and to foster a sense of ownership of public lands. Several hands on activities have motivated students to take action to pursue improved conditions for these resources.

In partnership with Bridging the Watershed, the C&O Canal features curriculum-based education programming focused on middle and high school environmental education in various locations throughout the park. In Allegany County, all 6th graders experience a week-long Outdoor School through a partnership between the National Park Service, Rocky Gap State Park, Bridging the Watershed and Allegany County Public Schools. During this week-long immersion, students are encouraged through research based activities and active learning to become scientists and explore the park through a variety of modules focused on resource protection, stewardship and conservation. Learning is fun, student-driven and allows youth to form an in-depth understanding of the world around them.

Additionally, the C&O Canal has employed several student interns tasked with providing solid, scientific support in various areas including hydrology, paleontology, and botany. These investigations have provided critical information regarding the condition of park resources. Participants have indicated they were provided expert guidance and many have decided to pursue a career with the National Park Service as a direct result of their internship experience.

With support from the National Park Foundation's Park Stewards Grant, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP partnered with the three public high schools in Allegany County, Maryland to create videos about the park featuring three distinct park locations in Allegany County. The students conducted site visits, researched the history and natural resources of the area, and created videos to interpret the park stories to their peers. Through the project they learned about the National Park Service, the national park in their backyard, and are an encouragement to others to be the next generation of stewards.

Did You Know?

Many mules work and have worked at the canal through the years.

A mule is a hybrid animal, a mix of a female horse (a mare) and a male donkey (a jack). Remember, "M" for mom, "M" for mare and "D" for dad, "D" for donkey. Switching the parents will produce a hinny. The mule is the superior work animal, preferred by canal boat captains on the C&O Canal. More...