• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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  • Road to Big Slackwater Boat Ramp Closed

    For 60 days contractors will be replacing the bridge on the road to the the boat ramp. The road will be closed for non-offical traffic. More »

  • 15 Mile Creek Campground closed Evening of May 9

    Attention Campers: Fifteenmile Creek Campground will be closed for repairs May 9th, 5pm to May 10th, 1pm. **The nearest alternative car-camping sites are Paw Paw Tunnel located on Mile 156.1 or McCoys Ferry on Mile 110.4. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Howard Street Parking Lot Closed in Cumberland

    Starting Mon. April 21, 2014, the paved lot under the I-68 Bridge at Howard St. used for long-term trail parking for the towpath and GAP will be closed for continued bridge repair. Use the gravel lot adjacent to the Footer Dye Works Building instead.

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.


Did You Know?

Photo upstream entrance Paw Paw Tunnel.

The Paw Paw Tunnel is 3,118 feet long and is lined with almost six million bricks. The 2/3 mile long tunnel saved the canal builders almost six miles of construction along the Paw Paw bends of the Potomac River. The project took twelve years to complete. The tunnel was only wide enough for single lane traffic. More...