Quick, can you name the national historical park that greeted more visitors in 2012 than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Grand Teton national parks, not to mention 383 other units of the National Park System?
If you closely read the headline to this post, then you rightly guessed the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. By the end of 2012, the park had seen 4,712,377 visitors, enough to place the unit at No. 11 on the park system's list of visitation.
That's quite a crowd when you think about it. Of course, they were spread out along the park's 184.5 miles that wind through western Maryland and down into Washington, D.C.
Working to help the National Park Service maintain the historical park is the C&O Canal Trust, a non-profit that puts charitable dollars to work on projects as diverse as repairing a breach in the towpath at a place known as "Anglers" or working to pare vegetation encroaching on the Capital Crescent Trail, a rail-trail running from Georgetown to Silver Spring.
Along with tending to the towpath and natural resources along the canal, the Trust also helps the Park Service care for a vast number of historic structures -- more than 1,300 -- such as the lockhouses that dot the canal. In fact, thanks in part to the Trust you can actually spend a night in a lockhouse.
So the next time you find yourself looking to make a charitable donation, consider the C&O Canal Trust and the good work it's doing to preserve this historic corridor.
To help spread the word of the Trust's work, we've added their decal to the Rocketbox atop our Subaru Outback. Send us a decal of your logo and, if your organization is somehow tied to the parks, we'll add it to the box for all to see as we make the rounds of the National Park System.