• 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 and Huckleberry Hill 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.

Parks for People

Biking along the C&O Canal

Bicyclists Along the C&O Canal

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park seeks to continue promoting and expanding the use of the park among densely populated and diverse communities as a close-to-home recreational resource. Once method for connecting with nearby communities and promoting use of the park is through the Bicycle Loan program, allowing visitors to check out a bike for up to 3 hours for use along the C&O Canal towpath. There is no cost associated with the program as all bicycles were acquired through grant funding or by donation. The Bicycle Loan Program significantly enhances the connection of visitors and communities to the park, by providing them with close-to-home recreation and increasing their access to explore the C&O Canal.

During 2012 the bicycle loan program has become quite popular in Williamsport, Maryland. When promoted during the 2012 Let's Move Outside C&O Canal Junior Ranger Day Camp, children were very excited to know they could come back and go for a bike ride with their families.

Did You Know?

Photo of park rangers interpreting building the canal.

Canal historians estimate approximately 35,000 laborers helped dig the canal as well as build aqueducts, culverts, locks, lock houses, etc. It took 22 years to build the canal from Georgetown, DC to Cumberland, MD. Much of the workforce were immigrants from Ireland and western Europe. More...