• 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

    Bald Eagle Island and Evitts Creek Hiker-Biker Campground water pumps handle 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.

Capital Crescent Trail Now Open Following Clean-up and Repairs

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Date: May 9, 2014
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, 202-619-7177

Washington – The National Park Service (NPS) has lifted the Capital Crescent Trail closure that has been in place since last week's storm. The trail was closed for more than a week from just below Fletcher's Cove to Water Street in Georgetown, while DC Water conducted cleanup, decontamination and repair work to the Capital Crescent Trail and lands surrounding the C&O Canal. The NPS worked with the US Public Health Service and the District Department of the Environment to ensure that the work was conducted safely and that the area is now safe for public use.

We still discourage the public from entering the Canal water prism below Lock 6 due to combined sewage overflow that also occurred during last week's storm. Bacteriological water samples were taken today by DC Water to ensure that the recreational water quality standards are being met.

Above Lock 5 to Lock 7 additional sewage discharges into the canal may have occurred. Cleanup, decontamination and repair work is on-going. The NPS advises users of the canal to avoid direct contact with water in the canal. In this area shallow water depths typically preclude fishing and boating activities however pet owners are reminded that all dogs are required to be controlled on a leash 6 feet or shorter in length and should be discouraged from allowing their pets to access the canal water between these locks.

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...