• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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Ice Skating and Winter Activities

Photo of skater on canal.

During the winter months, visitors may enjoy skating, sledding, cross-country skiing, and hiking at the C&O Canal.

NPS Photo

Ice conditions at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park are not monitored by park staff. Ice skating and sledding are not permitted in the widewater area of the park. In other areas of the park, ice skating and sledding are permitted at your own risk. In most watered areas of the park, the canal ranges in depth from 6 feet to 15 feet and the canal maintains a constant flow of water beneath the ice. Please use extreme caution.

 
Photo of cross-country skiers on towpath at lock 19.

The towpath can be an excellent place to cross-country ski and enjoy winter at the canal.

NPS Photo

The C&O Canal has 184.5 miles of towpath for visitors to enjoy during the winter. When the canal is covered in snow, it offers a beautiful winter landscape for hikers and cross-country skiers.

Did You Know?

Drawing DaVinci's lock gate design 1485.

Transporting goods and people by canal dates back to antiquity. The lock gates used on the C&O Canal were an adaptation of a design by Leonardo DaVinci in the late 1400's. Until the advent of the railroad, water travel was far superior to land travel.