• 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 »

Canal Quarters

Photo of Lockhouse 22 interior.

Lockhouses furnished with antique and reproduction furniture depict 19th and 20th century life along the canal.

Photo courtesy of Roy Sewall.

Often people recreating along the C&O Canal towpath can't resist peeking into historic lock house structures in hopes of catching a glimpse of what life was like for those living and working on the canal long ago.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park invites visitors to learn more about life on the C&O Canal by spending the night in a historic lock house. Stretching from the outskirts of Georgetown in Washington D.C. to the Community of Four Locks, west of Williamsport in Western Maryland, six lock houses are available for stay along the towpath. Photos and stories, household tools and furnishings reminiscent of the canal's era convey the living conditions of a lock keeper's family as it may have been during the 1830s, at the time of the Civil War, the turn of the twentieth century, or the 1950s.

Visit the C&O Canal Trust website to learn more about the unique stories and features at each lock house or register to spend a night. Canal Quarters is a cooperative effort between the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park and the C&O Canal Trust, a not-for-profit friends group.

Canal Quartermasters are needed to help with this program. If you are interested in volunteering to care for one of these historic lock house structures please click here for more information.

Did You Know?

Photo canal boat exiting lock 20.

Most freight boats on the C&O Canal were approximately 95 feet long and 14.5 feet wide while most locks were 100 feet long and 15 feet wide. This left boat captains little margin for error as they steered their boats into the locks, trying to avoid the $5.00 fine for damaging lock masonry.