April 8, 2011
Canal Discoveries Puts a Ranger in Your Back Pocket, Virtually
Did you know that Georgetown, as a canal port, was an afterthought? This little-known fact is just one of many revelations made at the Canal Discoveries kick off in Georgetown this Saturday. Canal visitors unearthed this and other morsels of information as they explored Tidewater Lock – The True Beginning of the Canal, the first of 40 "discoveries" to be unveiled in 2011 by the C&O Canal National Historical Park and the C&O Canal Trust, the park's official nonprofit partner.
Canal Discoveries, housed at www.CanalDiscoveries.org , is a web-based guide to C&O Canal's historical, natural, and recreational hidden gems, and is designed to help visitors discover the park with the help of their very own virtual park ranger.
"National Park Service rangers, in their familiar 'flat hats,' are American icons. They help us discover and appreciate our parks and the stories embedded in those landscapes," said Matthew Logan, president of the Trust. "But with over 4 million visits every year, the C&O Canal's park rangers can't be there for every visitor."
But now they can! "Narrated by park rangers, each 'discovery' takes visitors to places they've not yet explored, tells tales of the canal's 183-year history, and will deepen their appreciation and understanding of one of America's great historical parks," said Kevin Brandt, superintendent of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. "What better way to honor the canal's 40 th anniversary as a national park than to highlight some of it most popular and lesser known sites."
Each "discovery" includes nearby points of interest, a photo gallery of historic and contemporary photos, links to videos and podcasts, and customizable driving directions. Best of all, all the Canal Discoveries content can be accessed on personal mobile devices, giving visitors to the park a virtual ranger in their back pocket.
Founded in 2007, the C&O Canal Trust is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect, restore, and promote the C&O Canal. As the official nonprofit partner organization of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, the Trust seeks to ensure that the C&O Canal's natural, historical, and recreational potential is fully realized. For more information regarding the Trust, please visit www.CanalTrust.org .
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park preserves and interprets the historical, natural and recreational resources of the C&O Canal. Over 4,000,000 visitors a year enjoy the opportunities for recreation and understanding that the park has to offer. For more information, visit the park's web site at www.nps.gov/choh .