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 »
High Water Forces Closure of Many Park Areas
Areas of C&O Canal Closed due to High Water
The National Park Service has announced that some areas of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park are closed to the public due to high water conditions in the Potomac River. Billy Goat Trail Section A and the Olmsted Island bridges in the Great Falls area of the park are closed. The high water has covered the towpath areas near Whites Ferry and Edwards Ferry in Montgomery County, Harpers Ferry in Frederick and Washington Counties, and in the Dam 4 area in Washington County. Several park roads are covered with water and are closed. Spring Gap and Paw Paw campgrounds are closed. All of the Hiker Biker campsites and boat ramps are in low lying areas of the park, and should not be used. Visitors may encounter rough and muddy towpath conditions and downed branches and trees throughout the park.
"The Potomac can be a treacherous and unpredictable river, particularly during periods of high water" Kevin Brandt, C&O Canal park superintendent said. "Our visitors should keep their safety foremost in their minds. Respect the closures the park staff has put in place, they are for your safety. Keep an eye on the river and have an escape plan. The river will continue to rise today and is predicted to remain high through the weekend. Areas that are not under water now may be soon. The best advice is to watch the power of the river from a safe distance."
For information on river conditions visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration site at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lwx
For information on the effect of water levels on boat ramps visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/pdfs/upperpotomac.pdf
Did You Know?
A mule is a hybrid animal, a mix of a female horse (a mare) and a male donkey (a jack). Remember, "M" for mom, "M" for mare and "D" for dad, "D" for donkey. Switching the parents will produce a hinny. The mule is the superior work animal, preferred by canal boat captains on the C&O Canal. More...