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Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2019

A lot happened in 2019 and that meant a lot of blog posts! Here is the round up of the 10 most popular blogs of the past year.

Inside Paw Paw Tunnel by Randy Miller

This blog from 2018 continues to be the most popular one we have, and we can see why! This tunnel is one of the canal’s engineering marvels and walking through the dark, humid tunnel for over half a mile makes it feel even more impressive. Read how building this tunnel nearly bankrupted the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, caused fistfights once it was completed, and may be haunted today.

Parking can be one of the most frustrating things about visiting the beautiful Great Falls. This blog helps you visit the C&O Canal National Historic Park like a local, including 18 different parking lots near Great Falls to cure your parking blues.

Great Falls parking lot by Sean Matthews

Resurfaced towpath at mm 64.8 by Simon Barber

There was big news in February: Towpath resurfacing had begun! If you have traveled any length of the towpath, you know how rough some parts are. Heavy winds and rains, in addition to the thousands of feet and bicycle tires on the towpath every year, have taken their toll. Divots and potholes make the towpath dangerous to traverse. In 2019, the Park began to resurface the 80 worst miles of the towpath.

In May 2018, a storm caused flash flooding near Brunswick, and the rising waters of Little Catoctin Creek washed out historic Culvert 82, taking a portion of the towpath with it. Communities that are a part of the Canal Towns Partnership saw the need to create a safe alternative for towpath users until the Park could repair the breach and sponsored a shuttle through the summer months.

Low water crossing

German Street in Shepherdstown, WV

The many towns that line the Park are packed with things to do and places to eat. Check out our pick of the top attractions in these communities.

Hiking is one of the most popular activities along the C&O Canal, and thankfully, there is no shortage of trails for visitors to explore.

Billy Goat Trail A by Sean Matthews

South of Old Anglers by Christopher Berry

Every year, we receive hundreds of photos for submission into our monthly Facebook Photo Contests, so we know that most Park visitors have their cameras on hand when heading into the Park. Here is our list of some of the most photogenic places in the beautiful C&O Canal National Historical Park.

There is no better way to see what life was like on the canal than by taking a boat ride on the canal itself. You can experience a history lesson, see the Charles F. Mercer up close, and meet the famous C&O Canal mules. Rides had been temporarily suspended due to maintenance needs but they are due to resume this summer.

The Mercer in Action by Mike Mitchell

Chocolate ice cream overlooking the towpath by C&O Canal Trust

No matter the weather, it is always ice cream season! Try to hit all seven of these popular ice cream shops along the C&O Canal.

After three years of fundraising, planning, and construction, the doors to the newly-rehabilitated Swains Lockhouse opened! It joins the C&O Canal Trust’s award-winning Canal Quarters program as the seventh lockhouse available to guests for overnight stays.

3 views of Swains: historic (Image: Bert Swain), rehab, and post-rehab (Image: Vicki Capone)