C&O Canal Guide by Milepost

NPS Photo

Want to spend a night under the stars at the C&O Canal? Then you've come to the right place! The C&O Canal is a 184.5 mile long linear park stretching between Washington, DC, and Cumberland, Maryland. It is about a 4 hour drive end to end.

The park offers two different types of campsites: Primitive Campsites for hikers and bikers, and Reservable Campgrounds for individuals and groups. There are no RV hookups in the park. Read more below to find out which type of campsite will work best for you.

Private accommodations are available in many canal towns or stay in a refurbished lockhouse operated by the C&O Canal Trust.

Download the Recreational Guide by Milepost (pdf).

Tent camping is available at all of our campsites.
Camping allows you to enjoy the tranquility of the C&O Canal at night. Pictured here is Indian Flats hiker biker campsite.

NPS Photo

Hiker-Biker Campsites

  • No fee; first-come, first-served; no reservations.
  • Stays limited to one night per site, per trip.
  • With the exception of Swains (Mile 16.6), all campsites are located anywhere from 1 to 5 miles from the nearest parking area. Use the Recreation Guide by Milepost above to determine the nearest parking area to your campsite of choice. Please plan accordingly.
  • All sites have: chemical toilet, water, a picnic table, and grill.
  • Potable water may not be available at each campsite. Water is treated with iodine. Please plan to have water purification tablets with you. Water is turned off from mid-November to mid-April each year.
The Paw Paw Campsite with picnic tables and grills
Paw Paw campsite

NPS photo

Reservable Campgrounds

  • By reservation only. Make a reservation.
  • No RV Hookups.
  • Trailer length may not exceed 20 feet
  • Campsites are equipped with grills, chemical toilets, and water.
  • Stay is limited to 14 days between May 1 and October 1. Stay is limited to a total of 30 days for the entire calendar year.

Drive-in Campgrounds

  • Antietam Creek and Paw Paw have adjacent parking, but visitors cannot park at the actual campsite. Visitors may not park and sleep in recreational vehicles in these parking areas.
  • $20 per site per night, pass holders may be entitled to additional discounts.
  • Limit eight people per site.

Group Campgrounds

  • $40 per site per night during peak season, and $20 during non-peak season.

  • Groups with more than eight people need to use the group campsites or register for more than one site in the campground.

Camping Regulations

  • Camp only in designated sites.
  • No overnight permits required for vehicles in Chesapeake and Ohio Canal parking lots. The National Park Service is not responsible for cars or their contents; do not store valuables in cars.
  • This is a trash free park; take all trash away.
  • Quiet hours: 10 pm and 6 am
  • Pets must be leashed at all times.
  • Bring only kiln fired or dried wood into the park; it may also be collected from grounded dead material in park and used in campgrounds only, do not remove wood. Bring handsaws to cut to size.
  • Fires restricted to grills and fire rings provided or portable grills positioned off the ground. Coals must be extinguished and removed from the park.
  • Single campsites at drive in campgrounds allow a maximum of two tents and eight people.
  • Hiker-Biker campsites can fix a maximum of five to ten tents, depending on the campsite. Please refer to signage at the campsite for specific details.
  • Do not tie ropes to trees and structures.
  • The use of hammocks at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal NHP is permitted at designated hiker-biker campsites and within campgrounds where reservations are required. If attaching to trees, hammocks must have straps that are at least one inch wide. Plastic zip cords, nails or screws are not permitted for the purpose of anchoring a hammock.
  • Do not wash dishes, bathe, or clean fish near wells.
  • Draining or dumping refuse from trailers or other vehicles is prohibited.

Recreation Guide by Milepost

Sortable data table contains a listing of services by location.
MileLocationBike servicesBoat rampBoat rentalsCamping - Fee AreaCamping - TentCanal quartersCanoe/Kayak rampFee AreaFoodGroceriesLodgingParkingPicnic tablesRestroomsVisitor CenterWaterMileLocation
Download This Dataset

Last updated: March 9, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

142 W. Potomac St.
Williamsport, MD 21795



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