There are many ways to volunteer in the park! C&O Canal has rewarding volunteer positions for a wide variety of interests.
Current Volunteer Opportunities
Antietam Creek Campground Host
Do you want to live in a national park for a month or more? Do you enjoy camping? Apply for the Antietam Creek Campground Host position! Hosts are responsible for welcoming campers and helping them get acquainted to the campground.
Billy Goat Trail Stewards
Are you an avid hiker and fan of the C&O Canal’s Billy Goat Trail? Then join the ranks of the Billy Goat Trail Stewards! These volunteers are well versed in Leave No Trace principles, and the ins and outs of Bear Island.
This program operates out of the Cumberland, Williamsport, Great Falls, and Georgetown Visitor Centers. Members patrol the canal on bicycle and offer information to visitors, report hazards, and serve as resource protection stewards.
Canal Steward Program
Do you have a favorite section of the C&O Canal? Perhaps it is a stretch of towpath, or a particular historic building, lock, aqueduct, campsite, picnic area, Canal Quarters Program or boat ramp? If so, we could use your help! Become a C&O Canal Steward and adopt a site! Adoption areas are available from Georgetown to Cumberland.
Walkers wanted! Do you love walking? Do you have a favorite part of the canal you like to walk? Are you interested in volunteering for the C&O Canal? If so, you are just the person we are looking for!
Mercer Boat Crew
The Charles F. Mercer, in Great Falls, is currently the only mule pulled boat on the C&O Canal. Volunteers assist in the operation of the boat during the visitor season.
Share your knowledge (or learn something new!) about the C&O Canal’s unique history, geology, ecology, and more with park visitors! Hike the towpath and trails greeting and welcoming visitors, and provide them with park information.
Trails and Rails Program
The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park began an exciting new program onboard Amtrak’s Capitol Limited between Cumberland, Maryland, and Washington, DC, in May, 2012. A recent addition to the National Park Service Trails & Rails Program, this route runs through the Potomac River valley parallel to the historic C&O Canal and through the town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
Volunteers at the C&O Canal visitor centers welcome thousands of park visitors every year and provide invaluable information regarding the park’s historical, natural and recreational resources. Visitor centers are located in Georgetown, Great Falls, Brunswick, Williamsport, Hancock, and Cumberland.
The EMS/PSAR program was started as an effort to reduce heat-related illnesses and encourage better preparation and planning amongst park visitors. PSAR volunteers hike the trails along the Mather Gorge landscape, asking visitors questions about their hiking plans. PSAR volunteers include EMTs and are often the first park representatives on scene with an ill or injured hiker. EMS/PSAR volunteers carry basic medical gear and can call for additional personnel if advanced medical or technical rescue skills are required.
For more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact the volunteer coordinator.
Last updated: February 16, 2023