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, Jordan Junction and Big Woods 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.
There are many places to picnic along the C&O Canal. Picnic tables are located at many of the visitor centers and boat launch areas throughout the park. Please check the Recreation Guide by Milepost for locations
Carderock Picnic Area
A permit is required April to October to rent the facilities. To obtain a permit call 301-767-3731.
Friday-Sunday, and Holidays is $250
The picnic pavilion at the Carderock Recreation Area is a large covered pavilion, open on three sides, that accommodates a maximum of 200 people.
Convenient and ample parking is available for all attending your event.
There are 30 picnic tables in or around the pavilion and electricity, in the form of 4 110-volt outlets, is available for your use. There are 2 large grills outside the pavilion and a large fireplace within the pavilion. Water and comfort stations are located nearby.
There is backstop for softball/baseball and volleyball poles on site Visitors need to bring their own sports equipment i.e. volleyball nets, bases etc.
The permit allows use of the pavilion between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and sunset only. The park closes at dark, which is one half-hour after sunset.
Payment MUST be received at the time the reservation is made. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards are accepted. Holding dates without payment is not permitted. Once payment has been received, cancellations and refunds must be requested in writing at least 10 days prior to the event. NO RAIN DATES or PARTIAL REFUNDS are given.
Did You Know?
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...