• 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 »

Ferry Hill Place

Historic Image of Ferry Hill Plantation

Ferry Hill has seen many visitors throughout its history.

NPS photo

Sharpsburg Pike, Sharpsburg MD, 301-582-0813

Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day, Friday - Sunday 10:00-3:00

Come see exhibits depicting the history of the house, Henry Kyd Douglas, and the impact the families had on the C&O Canal as well as the surrounding communities. Hands-on area for children as well as models of the house help visitors experience the past.

Ferry Hill sitting above the crossroads of the Potomac River, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and the "great road" has been and continues to be a place of change and adaptation. In 1775 Van Swearingen had constructed a "Ferry Inn" at the ferry landing on the Maryland side of the river. The community that grew as a result of the ferry became known as Bridgeport.

John Blackford acquired interest in the ferry and adjoining acres through an inheritance from the Van Swearingen family when he married Sara van Swearingen in 1812. Looking for an ideal location to build a home and start his family he decided to build the house high on the bluff overlooking the Potomac River.

Ferry Hill has gone through many transformations: home, restaurant, C&O Canal Headquarters, and today is a visitor center.

 

Directions

From Martinsburg: Exit 16E Queen Street. Turn right onto WV 45E/Martinsburg Pkwy/E Moler Avenue. Turn left onto WV 480/N Duke Street. Cross the bridge over the Potomac River (MD 34E). First left after the bridge.

From Hagerstown I-70: Exit 29 MD 65 South toward Sharpsburg. Turn left onto MD 65/Sharpsburg Pike. Turn right onto MD 34. House on the right just before crossing the bridge over the Potomac River.

From Hagerstown I-81: Exit 26 to I-70 West toward Frederick. Exit 29 MD 65 South toward Sharpsburg. Turn left onto MD 65/Sharpsburg Pike. Turn right onto MD 34. House on the right just before crossing the bridge over the Potomac River.

Did You Know?

Photo of park rangers interpreting building the canal.

Canal historians estimate approximately 35,000 laborers helped dig the canal as well as build aqueducts, culverts, locks, lock houses, etc. It took 22 years to build the canal from Georgetown, DC to Cumberland, MD. Much of the workforce were immigrants from Ireland and western Europe. More...