The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is one of the wonders of a young nation's engineering prowess. Today it's the heart of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, which starts from Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and runs 184.5 miles to Cumberland, Maryland.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
With more than 400 units in the National Park System, trying to zoom in on any one particular park for a visit can be a challenge. Over the past 12 months the Traveler has "explored" quite a few parks, and we list those stories here to help you plan your next national park adventure.
The C&O Canal Trust, in partnership with the C&O Canal National Historical Park, is searching for stories from African-American workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps who worked along the C&O Canal from 1938-1942. Workers themselves or descendants of workers are encouraged to contact the park to share memories from their time along the canal, for use in a new exhibit to be housed in Canal Quarters’ Lockhouse 10.
A multi-year task to restore the first mile of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Georgetown is underway, with an end goal of preserving the important history and charm of the area and bringing back the beloved mule-pulled canal boat rides.
National Park Service
Crossing the powder-blue bridge spanning the Potomac River at Point of Rocks, Maryland, I feel like I’ve time-warped to another century. With my husband and two children in tow, we have left behind the bustling Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., to stay in a historic lockhouse along the C&O Canal. For one weekend at least we hope to experience what life was like for a 19th-century lock tender and his family, whose livelihood was tied to the daily rhythms of moving boats and goods. If history had gone in a different direction, however, our stay would have been impossible.
The public has spoken. And at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, the staff listened and agreed to shelve, at least temporarily, a plan to increase user fees.
Next weekend offers you a great chance to check out the lockhouses along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal that sheltered the lock keepers back when the canal was a key transportation route.
Take a look around the National Park System and you'll see historic buildings being moved, citizen science at work, and a wonderful evening gathering around a historical park.