• 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.

Interpretive Ranger Programs

Photo of Ada the mule during a mule program.

"Meet the Mules" is just one of the many programs offered by C&O Canal Rangers. 

NPS Photo.

Each year the C&O Canal National Historical Park offers a variety of ranger-led programs and visitor activities throughout the park. Please review the following information for a summary of activities and programs by park location.

Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center

· Canal Boat Rides
Canal boat rides are offered spring, summer and fall months only. Contact the Great Falls Visitor Center for additional information.

· Ranger or Volunteer led Hikes, Bikes, Walks
Join a Park Ranger or Volunteer to explore the Great Falls area in greater depth. Topics include geology, mining, history, and the Great Falls itself. Length varies from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. Inquire at the visitor center for more information.

· Rileys Lockhouse
Join volunteers in period costume for a guided tour of one of the C&O Canal's original lockhouses and explore the life of a lock-keeper in greater detail. Open most weekends in the spring and fall. For more information please contact the park's Great Falls Visitor Center at 301-767-3714.

Lander Lockhouse Open House
Open Saturdays, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. mid-April to early October. Closed during Winter Months.

Williamsport Visitor Center

· Lockhouse 44
Learn about lock keepers and participate in a lock demonstration. Hours vary. Memorial to Labor Day. Inquire at the visitor center for more information. Call 301-582-0813 for more information.

Paw Paw Tunnel Tours
Meet a Ranger at the entrance to the single largest structure along the C&O Canal to learn more about how and why the tunnel was built. For those planning to hike through the tunnel, a flashlight and comfortable shoes are recommended. The tunnel entrance is one half mile from the visitor parking area. Located 25 miiles south of Cumberland, MD off MD Rt. 51 South. For more information call 301 -722-8226. Summer months only

Did You Know?

Photo of former Georgetown Flour Mill.

The C&O Canal begins in Georgetown. The canal made extra money by selling water to numerous factories in Georgetown to power water driven machinery such as water wheels, etc. Many factories were located next to canal property. More...