• 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 »

Paw Paw Tunnel Rock Slide Removed Towpath Reopens to the Public

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Date: April 17, 2013

Paw Paw Tunnel, MD - After several months of closure and limited public access, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park has reopened the towpath at mile 155 near the Paw Paw Tunnel following the removal of rock and stabilization of the area caused by a rock slide in January 2013.

Immediately following the rock slide work began to survey the area, including the completion of a thorough geotechnical analysis to ensure park staff could clear the debris safely and determine if any further stabilization work was needed. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park engineering and maintenance staff began work April 1 to remove the rock slide from the towpath and install rock fall protection fencing. In addition staff inserted steel rock pins into the shale to provide stabilization and attached crack monitors to facilitate ongoing monitoring of the area.

The geotechnical analysis was made possible by a donation from the Allegheny Trail Alliance. Regarding the donation, Linda McKenna Boxx, Allegheny Trail Alliance president and C&O Canal Trust Advisory Board member, stated, "There was an immediate need to take action. A break in the towpath would discourage many travelers from attempting the end-to-end trip." The Allegheny Trail Alliance is a coalition of seven trail organizations in southwestern Pennsylvania and western Maryland, building the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). The GAP is now connected to the 184.5 mile C & O Canal Towpath in Cumberland and provides a non-motorized, nearly level trail system between Washington, DC and Homestead, PA.

The completion of work and reopening of towpath comes at a crucial time for park visitors, as warmer weather means an increase in pedestrians and bicyclists using the towpath for recreation. "The National Park Service understands the importance of the towpath to local residents and businesses," stated Park Superintendent Kevin Brandt. "We're thrilled that visitors from near and far can resume planning for a hiking or biking trip to the C&O Canal this summer."

For additional information about the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park please visit the Park's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chesapeakeandohiocanal or contact us at (301) 722-8226.

-NPS-

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...