Paw Paw Tunnel Towpath Open
The rockslide at Paw Paw Tunnel towpath has been cleared. The towpath is now open for hikers and bikers.
Georgetown Boat Rides Suspended
Boat rides at Georgetown are suspended until further notice. For a mule-drawn boat ride please contact Great Falls Tavern.
Paw Paw Tunnel Closure
In January 2013 the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park experienced a significant rockslide near towpath mile 155, just downstream of the Paw Paw Tunnel. While investigating the rockslide, numerous other large rock formations were discovered to be on the verge of collapse. Due to the potential threat of another significant rockslide in addition to the current blockage, the towpath area just downstream of the east portal of the tunnel will remain closed until the path can be cleared and the remaining rock stabilized.
April 2013 Update
On April 2, 2013 park crews began clearing stone debris off of the canal towpath just downstream of the Paw Paw Tunnel. Work on clearing the slide was delayed until a thorough geotechnical analysis could be accomplished to ensure that park workers could clear the debris safely and determine if any stabilization work was needed. This analysis was conducted last week and made possible by a donation from the Allegheny Trail Alliance. As a result of the engineering study repair work to remove the slide and complete interim stabilization has begun. Superintendent Brandt stated that "If the weather and our equipment hold up the plan is to complete these steps over the next two to three weeks. At that time, the towpath will reopen downstream of the Paw Paw Tunnel and the Tunnel Hill Trail detour will no longer be necessary."
Tunnel Hill Trail Detour
In order to bypass the closed area, all hikers and bicylists must use the Tunnel Hill Trail to detour around the Paw Paw Tunnel.
The park has looked into alternate routes. At this time, there is no other safe alternative to bypass the tunnel. If there are any changes to this, the public will be informed.
Paw Paw Tunnel
The tunnel is only accessible from the west entrance (nearest the parking area). Visitors can walk through the tunnel. However, after exiting the east end visitors will find the towpath blocked and barricaded and must return to the parking area through the tunnel.
For your safety and the safety of others, park staff request visitors adhere to all signs and barricades directing them away from the hazard area. We appreciate your patience while the park works to stabilize the rockslide and surrounding area.
Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chesapeakeandohiocanal
Call the Cumberland Visitor Center at 301-722-8226
Did You Know?
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.