Winter Activities

Snowshoeing on the towpath
During the winter months, visitors may enjoy snowshoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing, and hiking at the C&O Canal.

NPS Photo

Ice conditions at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park are not monitored by park staff. Ice skating and sledding are not permitted in the widewater area of the park. In other areas of the park, ice skating and sledding are permitted at your own risk. In most watered areas of the park, the canal ranges in depth from 6 feet to 15 feet and the canal maintains a constant flow of water beneath the ice. Please use extreme caution.

Ice Fishing

Are you looking to ice fish along the C&O Canal? Review ice fishing regulations before heading out:

  • A person may fish through the ice in any non-tidal waters of the State during the lawful open season if an angler's license first is obtained. MD Code §4-604(b)
  • A person may not cut a hole through the ice measuring more than 10 inches in any direction for the purpose of ice fishing. MD Code § 4-602
  • All tip ups and rods used by a person engaged in ice fishing shall be under the immediate control of the person. MD Code § 4-602
  • No more than 2 hooks or 2 hook units per line. MD Code § 4- 617(a)
  • When ice fishing, no more than 5 tip ups or rods may be used. MD Code §4-602
  • It is illegal to operate portable engines or Power Augers. 36 CFR §2.12(a)(3)
  • It is illegal to build fires along the shoreline or on the ice. 36 CFR §2.13(a)(1)
Photo of cross-country skiers on towpath at lock 19.
The towpath can be an excellent place to cross-country ski and enjoy winter at the canal.

NPS Photo

The C&O Canal has 184.5 miles of towpath for visitors to enjoy during the winter. When the canal is covered in snow, it offers a beautiful winter landscape for hikers and cross-country skiers.

Last updated: September 22, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740



Contact Us