C&O Canal Guide by Milepost

NPS Photo

Are you looking 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 D.C. and Cumberland, Maryland. It is about a 4 hour drive end to end. We strongly recommend that you do a little research and plan your trip before you camp! Some of our campsites are up to 5 miles from the nearest parking area.

The park offers two different types of campsites: Hiker Biker campsites and Drive In campgrounds. Read more below to find out which type of campsite will work best for you.

Peak season is April 16-November 15. Off peak season is November 16 to April 15.

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, 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. Please Note: 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.
Hiker-Biker Campsites
    • Mile 16.6 Swains Lock
    • Mile 26.1 Horsepen Branch
    • Mile 30.5 Chisel Branch
    • Mile 34.4 Turtle Run
    • Mile 38.2 Marble Quarry
    • Mile 42.5 Indian Flats
    • Mile 47.6 Calico Rocks
    • Mile 50.3 Bald Eagle Island
    • Mile 62.9 Huckleberry Hill
    • Mile 75.2 Killiansburg Cave
    • Mile 79.2 Horseshoe Bend
    • Mile 82.7 Big Woods
    • Mile 90.9 Opequon Junction
    • Mile 95.2 Cumberland Valley
    • Mile 101.2 Jordan Junction
    • Mile 110 North Mountain
    • Mile 116 Licking Creek
    • Mile 120.6 Little Pool
    • Mile 126.4 White Rock
    • Mile 129.9 Leopards Mill
    • Mile 133.6 Cacapon Junction
    • Mile 139.2 Indigo Neck
    • Mile 144.5 Devils Alley
    • Mile 149.4 Stickpile Hill
    • Mile 154.1 Sorrel Ridge
    • Mile 157.4 Purslane Run
    • Mile 162.1 Town Creek
    • Mile 164.8 Potomac Forks
    • Mile 169.1 Pigmans Ferry
    • Mile 175.3 Irons Mountain
    • Mile 180.1 Evitts Creek
The Paw Paw Campsite with picnic tables and grills
Paw Paw campsite

NPS photo

Drive-in Campgrounds

  • Reservation only,

  • $20 per site per night, pass holders may be entitled to additional discounts

  • Trailer length may not exceed 20 feet

  • No RV Hookups

  • Drive-in campsites are equipped with grills, chemical toilets, and water.

  • 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.

  • 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. There is a limit of eight people per site.

Group Campsites

  • Reservation only,

  • $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.

  • Mile 11.5 Marsden Tract (civic and scout organizations only)
  • Mile 110.4 McCoys Ferry
  • Mile 140.9 Fifteenmile Creek
  • Mile 173.3 Spring Gap

Private Accomodations

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


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.
  • Do no bring firewood into the park; it may be collected from grounded dead material and used in campgrounds only, do not remove wood.
  • 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.

Last updated: September 12, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740



Contact Us