The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. Based on guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, access to the park is as follows:
Face Masks - In areas CDC identifies as high COVID-19 community level, masks are required for everyone in all NPS buildings, regardless of vaccination status. In most low and medium COVID-19 community level areas, masks are optional, but visitors should follow signs and instructions from park staff and volunteers. U.S. COVID-19 Community Levels by County.
Washington, DC - Optional. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
Montgomery County, MD - Optional. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
Canal Boat at Great Falls - REQUIRED. Masks are required for everyone to board and ride the boat, regardless of vaccination status.
Frederick County, MD - Optional. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
Washington County, MD - Optional. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
Allegany County, MD - REQUIRED. Masks are required for everyone in all NPS buildings and enclosed public transportation, regardless of vaccination status.
Fee Collection at Great Falls - Credit, debit, or contactless payment (such as Apple Pay or Google Pay) ONLY. No cash or checks accepted. Digital passes are available via www.recreation.gov.
While the listed areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased, and services may be limited. When recreating, please follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, and avoid crowding and high-risk outdoor activities.
Towpath Detour. Due to a washout half a mile below the boat ramp, the pedestrian footbridge has been relocated 100 feet upstream from its original location along the towpath. Follow a designated pathway from the towpath, across the footbridge and stream, and back onto the towpath.
Dargan Bend (MP 64.9)
Open, Boat ramp
Antietam Creek Area (MP 69.6)
Open,Campground, be cautious of rising water levels
Including Downsville, MD; Williamsport, MD
Snyders Landing (MP 76.6)
Open, Boat ramp
Taylors Landing (MP 80.9)
Open, Boat ramp
Dam #4/Big Slackwater Area (MP 84.4)
High Water Impacts, Towpath at Dam #4/Big Slackwater Boat Ramp (MP 84.4) to McMahons Mill (MP 88). Road detour is needed during high water events. Expect rough and/or slick towpath conditions caused by water events. Some debris accumulation may occur. Bikers may need to dismount in some areas.
Closed. Pedestrian bridge at Dam 4 Winch House (mile marker 84.6) closed to all traffic.
Reopening, Cumberland Visitor Center. Face Masks are REQUIRED for everyone in all NPS buildings in Allegany County, regardless of vaccination status.
Drinking Water Conditions
Faucet handles are turned ON for the season.
Drinking water is generally available from mid-April (around the 15th) to mid-November (around the 15th) at Hiker/Biker and Drive-In Campsite locations, approximately every 5 to 7 miles. Potable water may not be available at each hiker/biker campsite. Please plan to bring water purification tablets with you.
Well water within the park is treated with iodine - do NOT drink if you have any iodine allergies or if you are on medication for an overactive thyroid. In general, well water is clean and able to be used without additional treatment. However, you are advised to boil or treat the water before use for your own protection.
Water availability is subject to change. Always bring plenty of water with you when camping as a backup option. Please plan your trip accordingly.
On Lock 3 (MM 0.49)
On Fletcher's Cove - Lower Parking (MM 3.21) Off Fletcher's Cove - Upper Parking (MM 3.21) On Lock 5 (MM 5)
Off Lock 10 (MM 8.8) On Carderock Recreation Area (MM 10.5)
Off Marsden Tract (MM 11.5)
Off Anglers Access (MM 12.2) On Great Falls Tavern Restrooms (MM 14.3) On Swains Lockhouse (MM 16.64)
On Swains Campground (MM 16.7)
Off Seneca Creek/Rileys (MM 22) On Horsepen Branch Campsite (MM 26)
On Chisel Branch Campsite (MM 30.5)
On Turtle Run Campsite (MM 34.4)
On Marble Quarrry Campsite (MM 38.2)
On Indian Flats (MM 42.4)
On Calico Rocks Campsite (MM 47.7)
On Bald Eagle Island Campsite (MM 50.3) On Lock 34 (MM 61.5) On Huckleberry Hill Campsite (MM 62.9)
On Antietam Creek Campground (MM 69.6)
On Killiansburg Cave Campsite (MM 75.4)
On Horseshoe Bend Campsite (MM 79.7)
On Big Woods Campsite (MM 82.4)
On Opequon Junction Campsite (MM 90.8)
On Cumberland Valley Campsite (MM 95.2)
On Cushwa Basin Restrooms (MM 99.7)
On Jordan Junction Campsite (MM 101.2)
On Four Locks Picnic Area (MM 108.9)
On North Mountain Campsite (MM 109.2)
On McCoys Ferry (MM 110)
On Licking Creek Campsite (MM 116)
On Little Pool Campsite (MM 120.7)
On White Rock Campsite (MM 126.5)
On Leopards Mill (MM 129.9)
On Cacapon Junction (MM 133.6)
On Indigo Neck (MM 139) On Fifteen Mile Creek Campground (MM 140.9)
On Devils Alley (MM 144.5)
On Stickpile Hill Campsite (MM 149.3)
On Sorrel Ridge Campsite (MM 154.1)
Off Arbaugh (MM 155) On Paw Paw (MM 156)
Off Purslane Run Campsite (MM 156.9) On Town Creek (MM 162)
On Potomac Forks (MM 165) On Pigmans Ferry (MM 169) On Spring Gap (MM 173) On Irons Mountain Campsite (MM 175.4) On Evitts Creek Campsite (MM 180)
On Cumberland Visitor Center (MM 184.5)
Due to construction projects, maintenance activities, and weather, water levels in the lower portions of the canal are likely to vary throughout the year.
This can affect a variety of activities throughout these areas.The park currently actively manages water levels within two main sections of the lower portions of the canal: between Lock 4 (MP 0.54) and Lock 5/Inlet Lock 1 (MP 5.02) and between Lock 17 (MP 13.99) and Lock 23/Inlet Lock 2 (22.12).
Below, the term “watered”* refers to the canal when it is holding water. The term, “de-watered”* refers to the canal when it is not holding water. When de-watered, it can be assumed the water level will not support boating in the canal. *Water levels can change unexpectedly.
Last Update: 6/09/2022
Current Status Between Locks 3-4: Watered
Current Status Between Locks 4-5: Watered
Current Status Between Locks 5-6: De-watered
Current Status at Widewater: Watered
Current Status Between Locks 17-19: Watered
Current Status Between Locks 19-20:De-watered
Current Status Between Locks 20-21: Watered
Current Status Between Locks 21-22: De-watered
Current Status Between Locks 22-23: Watered
Current Status Between Lock 44 - Conococheague Aqueduct: Watered
Section A of the Billy Goat Trail often closes due to flooding. Under normal conditions, the trail is closed when the gauge at Little Falls reaches 5 feet and reopens when the gauge falls to 4.8 feet. However, under certain circumstances, the trail may be closed at lower levels. Please call the Great Falls Tavern Visitors Center at 301-767-3714 during regular business hours for the latest information on trail closures.