• 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 »

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...