184.5 Miles of Adventure!

Preserving America's early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today it endures as a pathway for discovering historical, natural and recreational treasures!

Mule-drivers walk with the mules on the towpath while pulling a replica passenger canal boat.

Public Boat Rides

Seasonal boat rides are offered at Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center and at the Williamsport Visitor Center.

Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center in autumn reflecting in the watered canal.

Visitor Center Hours and Seasons

Seven visitor centers are spread over the 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal. Each has separate hours and seasons.

Great Falls of the Potomac on a misty day.

Fees and Pass information

Entrance fees are collected at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center entrance of the canal.

Bikers entering the Paw Paw Tunnel

Hiking and Biking at the C&O Canal

The Canal towpath offers 184.5 miles of biking and hiking. Hiking trails are also found at Great Falls and Paw Paw.

Sign at Hiker-Biker Campsite identifying next nearest site.

Camping Information

Hiker-Biker and Drive-In Campsites are available every few miles up and down the canal and are open year round.

A historic image of a cargo canal boat getting loaded with coal in Williamsport

History of Park People and Places

Discover the fascinating People, Places, Stories and Collections that compose the C&O Canal's unique history

Musician performing under tent with audience at Canal Days.

Schedule of Events

Throughout the year celebrations, activities, and presentations are scheduled along the 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal.

Ranger stands near school bus delivering students for field trip.

Education opportunities

Information on Field Trips, Curriculum Materials, Professional Development, Canal Classroom Corps, Partnerships

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740


(301) 739-4200
This phone number is answered Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm.

Contact Us