Great Falls Canal Boat Rides

Boat programs have concluded for the 2016 season. Please check back in spring of 2017 for the new program schedule!

The Charles F. Mercer is also available for your private event! Call 301-767-3714 for details.

Charles F. Mercer replica packet boat in Lock 20

Great Falls Mule Drawn Boat Rides

Take a trip back in time to the 1870's! Ride along the historic C&O Canal in a boat pulled by mules. Experience rising 8 feet in a lock. Hear park rangers in period clothing describe what life was like for the families that lived and worked on the canal. Enjoy life at a slower pace.

$8.00 for adults (ages 16-61), $6.00 for seniors (ages 62 +), and $5.00 for children (ages 4-15). Children aged three and under ride free.

Ten or more people are required to make advance reservations for the boat ride. Otherwise, seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Charles F. Mercer boat capacity is 65 people. The boat programs last approximately one hour.

Purchase tickets and board the boat at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac MD 20854

Public Boat Rides

Spring 2016 Season (March 26 - May 30th)

Tours Available Saturday & Sunday - 11:00am, 1:30pm, 3:00pm

Summer 2016 Season (June 3 - September 4)

Tours Available Friday, Saturday & Sunday - 11:00am, 1:30pm and 3:00pm

Fall 2016 Season (September 10 - October 16)

Tours Available Saturday & Sunday - 11:00am, 1:30pm and 3:00pm

Please call ahead as special circumstances may affect this schedule.

To Reserve Tickets for a group of 10 or more

During Visitor Center operating hours (Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00AM to 4:30PM) one of our rangers will be happy to assist you with making a reservation on the Charles F. Mercer canal boat at Great Falls. The Visitor Center desk can be reached at 301-767-3714.

After Visitor Center operating hours, you can leave a message. You will be contacted by a ranger to confirm the details of your reservation. Please make sure you speak with a ranger before the day of your requested boat tour.

Thank you!

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740


(301) 739-4200
This phone number is answered Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm.

Contact Us