Basic Information

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740

There are many access point along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. There is no main entrance. Please visit our directions page to determine how to get to your closest access point.

C&O Canal Towpath

The towpath is open 365 days/year

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Monday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Tuesday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Wednesday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Thursday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Friday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Saturday: Sunrise - Sunset

The Washington, D.C. area has a four-season Mid-Atlantic climate. Summertime is warm and humid, while winter can be cold and snowy. Precipitation averages 2-4” monthly, year-round. Park areas above the Monocacy Aqueduct tend to have slightly cooler temperatures as well as higher precipitation. Washington and Allegheny Counties lie in the Ridge and Valley country of the Appalachian Mountains. Please plan for cooler weather and higher precipitation especially in the winter months.

Entrance Fees:

Great Falls Entrance Fee- Per Vehicle - $10.00

Per private, non-commercial vehicle (include motorcycles, passenger cars, pickup trucks, RV's and vans)., Park passes are valid for the date of purchase plus two days at the Great Falls area of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park on the Maryland side of the Potomac River.

Great Falls Entrance Fee- On Foot or Bike - $5.00

Per person 16 years of age or older when entering on foot or bicycle. Park passes are valid for the date of purchase plus two days at the Great Falls area of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park on the Maryland side of the Potomac River.

C&O Canal Towpath - $0.00

Entrance to the towpath from any access point other than Great Falls is Free.

Great Falls Commercial Tour Entrance Fee - $25.00

1-6 passenger capacity plus $3 per person

Great Falls Commercial Tour Entrance Fee - $40.00

7- 25 passenger capacity

Great Falls Commercial Tour Entrance Fee - $100.00

26+ passenger capacity vehicle

Entrance Passes:

Great Falls Annual Pass - $30.00

Valid for one full year from the month of purchase. Permits access to Great Falls Park, Virginia and the Great Falls area of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. The annual pass allows entrance for the pass holder and additional passengers in a single private non-commercial vehicle, or pass holder plus three adults when entering on foot or bicycle.

The Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center

The Great Falls of the Potomac have drawn people to the river's shore for centuries. To Native Americans it was a gathering place, to George Washington it was an impediment to navigation, to thousands of visitors every year it is an awe-inspiring site. Tourists have been drawn to the Great Falls of the Potomac long before there was a canal. The Great Falls Tavern carries on a long tradition of hospitality for visitors to the C&O Canal.

Williamsport Visitor Center

Situated at the confluence of the Conococheague Creek and the Potomac River, Williamsport was first settled in 1740. Williamsport is the only place on the canal where examples of major canal structures can be viewed within a half-mile stretch. A half-mile rewatered section of canal leads through the turning basin, under the only Railroad Lift Bridge on the canal, and continues to Lock House 44 and the adjacent lock. The Conocheague Aqueduct is located across from the turning basin.

Brunswick Visitor Center

The Brunswick Visitor Center shares the building with the Brunswick Railroad Museum. For over a century Brunswick has been a railroad town. This once bustling company town is now a quiet place since the decline of the railroads. The remains of the rail yard are still visible from the canal towpath. There is an admission charge for the Railroad section of the museum.

Ferry Hill Plantation Visitor Center

Come see exhibits depicting the history of the house, Henry Kyd Douglas, and the impact the families had on the C&O Canal as well as the surrounding communities. Hands-on area for children as well as models of the house help visitors experience the past.

Hancock Visitor Center

Nestled along the towpath at milepost 123 in Hancock, Maryland, the charming Bowles House has seen its share of American history. This house is open seasonally.

Cumberland Visitor Center

Located in the Western Maryland Railway station, the visitor center features a spacious exhibit area full of interactive and educational displays about the history of the C&O Canal and Cumberland. Pass through a model of the Paw Paw Tunnel and step back into the hey day of the canal. Awaiting you is a life size section of a canal boat. View exhibits on the canal's construction, cargo, mules, locks, and crew.

 
While you are planning your visit to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park please be aware of conditions that may affect your visit. Click on the links or photos below or use the navigation to the left to learn more about Operating Hours and Seasons, Fees, Permits and Reservations, as well as River Conditions.
 
 
The Potomac River flowing calmly on a misty day.

Current River Conditions

River Conditions are variable throughout the year, sometimes causing trail closures.

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.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740

Phone:

(301) 739-4200

Contact Us