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Help us create a safe, smooth C&O Canal towpath! Let your voice be heard!

Please sign the petition below to support the C&O Canal Trust’s advocacy for continued funding from the Maryland State Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for towpath repair and resurfacing. Complete the form that follows to show your support before midnight on May 10.

Photo by Jeff Orner

We, the undersigned, as frequent users of the towpath that comprises the 184.5-mile spine of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, request that the State of Maryland award $2.1 Million in FY25 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding for the continued rehabilitation of the C&O Canal towpath.

The C&O Canal towpath is one of the premier cycling routes on the east coast, each year attracting legions of cyclists from the Greater Washington region and beyond. They use the towpath as a recreational trail and as a commuter route, and with the linking of bike trails nationwide, the towpath is an increasingly important tourist attraction for the state of Maryland.

Improvements to the towpath are essential to restoring and maintaining a smooth, safe, continuous trail surface – one with no roots, rocks, or ruts, and with good drainage during high-water events.

We applaud the State of Maryland for awarding a total of $6.5 million in TAP funding to the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) over seven years (2017-2023) to rehabilitate 92.4 miles of the towpath. This work represents the rehabilitation of the towpath from Violettes Lock to Big Slackwater, the Western Maryland Rail Trail Towpath Connector, and most notably the towpath at Spring Gap Campground and Cumberland. The next few years of the program are specifically targeting Allegany County and the western regions of the Park.

We request that the State of Maryland approve the Park’s FY25 TAP funding application to repair and resurface 15 miles in Allegany County from mile marker 140.9 (Little Orleans Campground) to mile marker 155 (Paw Paw Tunnel). Rehabilitation of this section of the towpath, together with the previous towpath sections that have been rehabilitated, will bring the total repair and resurfacing to 105.76 miles.

The C&O Canal NHP is the nation’s most visited national historical park. We ask that the State of Maryland continue to partner with the Park and the C&O Canal Trust to ensure that the C&O Canal towpath is a first-class venue for all who use it – welcoming, safe, and robust, regardless of the weather.

Respectfully yours,

The petition has closed. Thank you!