• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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.

Out With the Old

Ferry Hill

Ferry Hill Place Visitor Center

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?

Photo canal boat exiting lock 20.

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.