Camping is allowed only in designated sites. If you are planning on leaving a parked car at a C&O Canal Parking lot, visitors must register their vehicle through the new online registration system. Visit the registration form here. Print your receipt and place on your dashboard. If unable to print, please visit the nearest visitor center.
Marsden Tract Camping is the only camping area that requires a reservation. All other campgrounds are on a first-come, first-served basis and do not require reservations.
A maximum of 2 tents and 8 people per site except for group campsites.
The C&O Canal is a Trash Free Park. Please plan to take all trash with you.
Group Campsites are located at McCoy's Ferry, Fifteen Mile Creek, Paw Paw Tunnel, and Spring Gap. They are $20 per site, per night with a maximum of 35 people. NO reservations required - first come first serve basis.
Quiet hours are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Pets must be on a leash or under other physical control at all times.
Fires are restricted to the grills and fire rings provided or to portable grills positioned off the ground. Coals must be extinguished and removed from the park.
Firewood may be collected from dead material on the ground but for use in campgrounds only. Do not remove wood from the campground.
Firewood cannot be brought into the park.
For the protection of drinking water, campers may not wash dishes, bathe, or clean fish near wells.
Draining or dumping refuse or body wastes from trailers or other vehicles is prohibited.
Marsden Tract is located at Mile 11 and is reserved for civic and scout organizations. An advance permit is required. A permit can be obtained by calling the Great Falls Fee Office at (301) 767-3731. There is no parking available at Marsden Tract and overnight parking is permitted ONLY at Great Falls (entrance fee charged), Angler's Inn or Carderock Recreation Area.
Fifteenmile Creek group campsite is located at Mile 141 and is adjacent to the Fifteenmile Creek Drive-in campground. The group campsite is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Two youth hostels located near the canal provide outdoor travelers with dormitory accommodations and cooking facilities for inexpensive overnight lodging: Mile 0 Washington International Youth Hostel, 250 beds (202)737-2333. Mile 59 Harpers Ferry Youth Hostel, 40 beds (301)834-7652.