The Paw Paw Tunnel is one of the most significant engineering features on the Canal. To save building six miles of canal along the river, the C&O Canal Company decided to construct a tunnel through a steep topographic ridge now called Tunnel Hill. When work began on the tunnel in 1836, the builders estimated the project would be completed within two years. The tunnel ultimately required 14 years to complete due to labor issues and violence, funding shortfalls, work stoppages, and the challenges of digging a 3,118-foot tunnel through the hard, loose shale. The tunnel opened in October 1850 with rockslides continuing to be a challenge throughout the tunnel’s history.
Latitude and Longitude
(39° 32' 29.6902" N, 78° 27' 34.8800" W)
The Paw Paw Tunnel has no street address, search "Paw Paw Tunnel Campground" or follow the directions below.
From Cumberland, MD
From Paw Paw, WV
Last updated: February 12, 2022