• 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, Jordan Junction and Big Woods 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.

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 upstream entrance Paw Paw Tunnel.

The Paw Paw Tunnel is 3,118 feet long and is lined with almost six million bricks. The 2/3 mile long tunnel saved the canal builders almost six miles of construction along the Paw Paw bends of the Potomac River. The project took twelve years to complete. The tunnel was only wide enough for single lane traffic. More...