• 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 »

Rockslide Causes Temporary Detour at Paw Paw Tunnel

Rockslide Causes Temporary Detour Along C&O Canal

Paw Paw Tunnel, MD - In January 2013 the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park experienced a significant rockslide near towpath mile 155, just downstream of the Paw Paw Tunnel. While investigating the rockslide, numerous other large rock formations were discovered to be on the verge of collapse. Due to the potential threat of another significant rockslide in addition to the current blockage, the towpath area just downstream of the east portal of the Tunnel will remain closed until the path can be cleared and the remaining rock stabilized.

Visitors seeking to bypass the closed area, including hikers and bicyclists, can use the Tunnel Hill Trail as a detour route. Tunnel Hill Trail is a two mile dirt trail and is accessible at either end of the Paw Paw Tunnel. The trail offers interpretive waysides and scenic views of the Potomac River and Green Ridge State Forest as it climbs 362 feet above the tunnel to the summit of the mountain. For a map of the area, click here.

Bicyclists should use caution and dismount their bikes while on Tunnel Hill Trail, as the trail is narrow and steep in some locations. When planning a trip along the canal visitors should account for the additional effort and travel time of using the detour route which is approximately 45 minutes.

The Paw Paw Tunnel itself will remain open and is accessible from the west entrance only (nearest to the parking area). Visitors can walk through the tunnel to the east portal; however, 30 feet beyond exiting the tunnel visitors will find the towpath blocked and barricaded and must return through the tunnel. For your safety and the safety of others, park staff request visitors adhere to all signs and barricades directing them away from the hazard area. We appreciate your patience as we work to stabilize the rockslide and surrounding area.

For more information regarding the status of the rockslide and detour please visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chesapeakeandohiocanal or contact the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Cumberland Visitor Center at (301) 722-8226.

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...