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 Overnight campsites and Drive In campgrounds. Read more below to find out which type of campsite will work best for you.
Peak season is April 15-November 15. Off peak season is November 16 to April 14.
Click here for a PDF version of the Recreational Guide by Milepost.
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.
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.