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
Evitts Creek Hiker-Biker Campground water pump handle has 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.
Out With the Old
In May 2012 new interpretive exhibits were designed and installed at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Ferry Hill Place Visitor Center in Sharpsburg, Maryland. Once a flourishing farm and shipping hub on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Ferry Hill Plantation suffered the ravages of the Civil War only to be preserved by subsequent decades of stewardship. Now the 200 year old mansion stands, overlooking the Potomac River, as a testament to the history of the surrounding area. The site has strong connections to the Civil War, as the boyhood home of Henry Kyd Douglas, junior officer to General Stonewall Jackson. New exhibits tell the story of the C&O Canal, the Civil War along the canal, the residents of Ferry Hill both enslaved and free, Western Maryland plantation agriculture, and architecture of the mansion. Exhibits include interpretive panels, canal lock models, a house model, topographic map, and a children's dress up area.
In redesigning the interpretive media, Ferry Hill Place is one of many sites along the C&O Canal that are relevant to current and future generations of park visitors, allowing them to understand the significance of the site, the park and the surrounding community. Additional interpretive planning is underway for visitor center and museum locations at Williamsport and Hancock, and a series of new waysides will be installed along the newly repaired Big Slackwater section of the towpath in Fall 2013.
Did You Know?
Most freight boats on the C&O Canal were approximately 95 feet long and 14.5 feet wide while most locks were 100 feet long and 15 feet wide. This left boat captains little margin for error as they steered their boats into the locks, trying to avoid the $5.00 fine for damaging lock masonry.