• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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  • NEW Overnight parking system

    Before parking a vehicle overnight in any Canal Parking area, visitors must register their vehicle through the new online registration system. Print your reciept and place on your dashboard. If unable to print, please visit the nearest visitor center. More »

  • Water Pump Handles Temporarily Removed

    Water pump handles at Bald Eagle Island and Huckleberry Hill Hiker Biker Campsites have been removed due to bad water samples. Handles will be reinstalled when good water samples are received.

  • Boat Tours at Great Falls

    Due to low water levels in the Great Falls area, call the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center (301-767-3714) in advance of your trip to confirm the mule-drawn boat tour schedule.

  • 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.

Commercial Photography Information

Special Information for Photographers

Photography of scenery has traditionally been part of a visit to a national park.

Photography does not require a permit if it involves only hand-carried equipment (tripod, interchangeable lenses, flash), and does not involve product or service advertisement, or use of models, props or sets. Normally this type of photography involves less than ten people and is completed in less than four hours in areas of the park where the public normally goes and does not interfere with other visitors.

Frequently, portrait photographers like to use our park sites as alternative to a studio setting for informal portrait photography. The National Park Service has established a streamlined method of accommodating this commercial photography by applying our Commercial Use Authorization system. Photographers pay an annual permit charge, then schedule individual portrait sessions through our permit office. At the end of the year, each photographer completes a survey form summarizing their business use of the parks. Contact the Permits Office for further information at (301)745-5815.

A photography permit is required when:

  • A product or service advertisement is involved
  • Models, props, or sets are involved
  • The project has the potential to disrupt other park activities or visitors (more than ten people, or longer than four hours in areas normally available to the public, or more than just hand carried equipment)
  • The project requires access to an area normally closed to general public use, or access into an area outside of normal public use hours, or carries with a potential risk to park resources.

Filming Permit (Long Version)

Filming Permit (Short Version)

If you are uncertain whether your project requires a permit or not, contact the Permits Office (301-745-5815) for additional information. If you already know that your project does not require a permit, you can call the office to check the schedule and avoid conflicts with other activities.

Did You Know?

School bus at Williamsport

Our park partners--the C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal Association--offer scholarships to schools to pay for buses. More...