Paw Paw Tunnel Towpath Open
The rockslide at Paw Paw Tunnel towpath has been cleared. The towpath is now open for hikers and bikers.
Georgetown Boat Rides Suspended
Boat rides at Georgetown are suspended until further notice. For a mule-drawn boat ride please contact Great Falls Tavern.
Several short and widely separated sections of the canal have been rewatered and offer boating opportunities. Boats need to be carried around lift locks. Listed below are the watered sections of the canal.
Mile 0 to 22 Georgetown to Violettes Lock
Use of electric motorized vessels is allowed only at Big Pool, Little Pool, and canal waters from Lock 68 to Town Creek Aqueduct. Gasoline and propane motorized vessels are prohibited within the park. Personal floatation devices should be used as required by the state of Maryland. Use special care if boating on the Potomac River. Canoeing on the Potomac should be done under the direct supervision of an experienced adult canoeist. Boat launch ramps are available along the canal. See Milepost guide.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING AREAS OF THE POTOMAC RIVER ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS:
Canoeing is not advisable between Great Falls and Chain Bridge, an area where many have drowned.
Dam 2 at Seneca (low dam)
Dam 3 above Harpers Ferry (low dam) Canoeing is not recommended between Dam 3 and the U.S. 340 bridge downstream of Sandy Hook,
Dam 4 near Downsville (portage on Maryland side)
Low water dam at North Branch. Canoeists should put in at Spring Gap.
Power company dam at Williamsport (portage on West Virginia side)
Dam 5 above Williamsport (high dam, must portage on either side)
Laws in whitewater areas require personal floatation devices. Don't just carry your PFD in the boat. Please wear your life jacket- properly buckled, zipped, tied, or clipped.
The National Park Service partners with two boat concessioners in the downstream end of the canal. For more information click here.
Did You Know?
George Washington's dream of connecting the eastern states with the western frontier led to the creation of the Patowmack Company. Canals were built around unnavigable parts of the Potomac River for improved commerce. The C&O Canal inherited the right of way after the Patowmack Company's demise.