• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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High Water Forces Closure of Many Park Areas

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Date: May 20, 2011


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?

Drawing DaVinci's lock gate design 1485.

Transporting goods and people by canal dates back to antiquity. The lock gates used on the C&O Canal were an adaptation of a design by Leonardo DaVinci in the late 1400's. Until the advent of the railroad, water travel was far superior to land travel.