Through the Lens of the Past: History

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Beginning in Georgetown and extending to Cumberland, MD, the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal stretches for 184.5 miles providing scenic views and a variety of recreational and educational opportunities for park visitors. Construction on the canal began in Georgetown 1828 and ended in 1850 after making it only half way to its intended endpoint of the Ohio River in Pittsburg, PA. Over the past century, the towpath and the canal have existed initially as a transportation route and more recently as a recreation area for local residents and visitors. The Chesapeake &Ohio Canal is one of the finest examples of America's canal-building era and in 1971 the Chesapeake &Ohio Canal National Historic Park was established "to preserve and interpret the historic and scenic features of the Chesapeake &Ohio Canal, and to develop the potential of the canal for public recreation, including such restoration as may be needed."

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Last updated: March 31, 2016