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LandmarksPhotographyPlanning Your Visit

Picturesque Places on the C&O Canal

By April 17, 2017January 29th, 2020No Comments

Though most places in the C&O Canal National Historical Park are worthy of a picture, here are a few places that we find to be exceptionally photogenic.

Lockhouses are some of the most often photographed structures in the Park and for good reason — they are as beautiful as they are historic. But you don’t have to settle for taking pictures of these historic buildings. You can stay the night in one! Our award-winning Canal Quarters program has six lockhouses for you to choose from. For more information visit https://www.canaltrust.org/programs/canal-quarters/.

Pennyfield Lockhouse - Sharon Neubauer

Pennyfield Lockhouse – Sharon Neubauer

Lockhouse 6 - Lucy Uncu

Lockhouse 6 – Lucy Uncu

Great Falls is perhaps the most visited area of the park. It’s not hard to understand why. With an abundance of activities to enjoy and the gorgeous scenery, Great Falls is an outstanding venue for photography. From the historic Great Falls Tavern (built in 1829 as a lockhouse), to the falls, and the scenic views from nearby hiking trails, this gorgeous setting will have you snapping pictures left and right.

Great Falls Tavern - Louis Skenderis

Great Falls Tavern – Louis Skenderis

Great Falls - Brian Cipperly

Great Falls – Brian Cipperly

Twelve years and six million bricks went into the building of Paw Paw Tunnel. The awe-inspiring nature of this construction feat will make it hard to focus on anything else, but we suggest you take time to focus your camera lens to capture a picture of this engineering marvel.

Paw Paw Tunnel - Steve Dean

Paw Paw Tunnel – Steve Dean

Paw Paw Tunnel - Anni Hultsch

Paw Paw Tunnel – Anni Hultsch

The towpath is the gateway to an abundance of photo worthy spots in the park. Not only does the towpath lead to all of the picturesque places on our list, but the photo opportunities here are as endless as the towpath seems.

April on the Towpath near Mile 105 - Rali Roesing

April on the Towpath near Mile 105 – Rali Roesing

Towpath near Swain's Lock by Maria Dunn

Towpath near Swain’s Lock – Maria Dunn

Maryland Heights Trail is located in the Harpers Ferry area. This trail leads to the Jefferson Rock overlook with a great view of Harpers Ferry that Thomas Jefferson deemed “worth a voyage across the Atlantic”. Watching the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers converge around the quaint towns of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar will have you reaching for your camera in no time. Not only is looking down on Harpers Ferry worth a picture but the town itself is picturesque, as are our many Canal Towns!

Maryland Heights Overlook - NPS

Maryland Heights Overlook – NPS

Harpers Ferry - David McMasters

Harpers Ferry – David McMasters

Cushwa Basin is one of the few places along the canal wide enough for canal boats to turn around. This wide area of the canal and the restored Cushwa Basin warehouse from the 1800’s are known for being exceptionally photogenic.

Cushwa Warehouse - Amy Allen

Cushwa Warehouse – Amy Allen

Cushwa Basin - Stacey McGee

Cushwa Basin – Stacey McGee

The locks along the canal have been the subject of many great photos through the years. These locks demonstrate the ingenuity that went into the making of the canal. Having a picture of one of the locks in the park is a must!

Violette's Lock - Stan Collyer

Violette’s Lock – Stan Collyer

Locks 1, 2 and 3 - Eric Schweitzer

Locks 1, 2 and 3 – Eric Schweitzer

The C&O Canal National Historical Park is full of great photo opportunities; it looks as if it is constantly posing for a picture! Be sure to enter your photos in our monthly photo contest!