Happy 50th Anniversary, C&O Canal National Historical Park!


Check out the C&O Canal Apparel Collection


Spend the night in a Canal Quarters lockhouse


Download the C&O Canal Explorer Mobile App and Explore Your Canal!


Please note: Our phones are currently out of order. Please email info@canaltrust.org for assistance.

Welcome to the C&O Canal Trust

The official nonprofit partner of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

Funding Priorities

Towpath Forever

Ensuring that the towpath and its resources are here forever.

Canal Classrooms

Exposing thousands of students to outdoor education programs along the Canal.


Canal Quarters

Step back in time as you spend the night in one of six historic lockhouses.


Discover the Canal

Learn about the C&O Canal and plan your trip with our trip planning tools, mobile app, and itineraries.

Canal Pride Days

Canal Community Days

(Formerly Canal Pride Days) Volunteer your time to help conserve the C&O Canal.


Canal Towns

Visit these nine unique destinations that border the Canal.


C&O Canal Trust Reflects on Programs This Year

As the volunteer project season draws to a close, I am amazed at how quickly and eagerly people have stepped up to help take care of the park, especially when it was needed most: a time when the definition of “normal” has been upended, the park has been loved a little too hard, and when it could be unhealthy for some people to venture out into public spaces. Still, you came, and now we admire the results.

Nearly as many park-lovers volunteered with the Canal Community Days cleanup events as in pre-pandemic years – over 400 – a reassuring trend. Not just families and individuals, but school classes and student groups, corporations, and local organizations have reached out looking for new ways to support and experience the park.

The Trust acquired the Canal Stewards program from the park a year ago and since then, the number of Stewards caring for their favorite park sites has tripled, surpassing 50 in October, and continues to grow.

In July 2021, the Canal For All program restarted again after eighteen months away, reconnecting nearly 300 underrepresented and disadvantaged youth and adults with Trust-led opportunities within the park. In addition to welcoming the return of our long-time Montgomery County partners, the Canal For All Program expanded to include community organizations in Washington County as well, focusing on history and nature at Four Locks. 

Collectively, community program participants have removed over 3,000 pounds of trash and invasive species, and repaired, cleaned, and painted many features throughout the park. They’ve stood in 190-year-old lockhouses, scouted out local species, scrambled up rocks and hiked trails, some for the very first time. We thank everyone who has joined and supported Trust programs over the past year, and we look forward to seeing all of you again soon.

C&O Canal Trust Celebrates a Successful Year for Canal Community Days

Great Falls Canal Community Days by Francis Grant-Suttie

Canal Community Days is the C&O Canal Trust’s annual volunteer program. Each year, we recruit and manage hundreds of volunteers to undertake a range of preservation, beautification, maintenance, and conservation projects along the 184.5 mile length of the C&O Canal National Park, working closely with the National Park Service to identify priorities that can be completed by volunteers of all ages.  (more…)

Trust Raises Over $150,000 at Picnic in the Park
On Sunday, September 12, the C&O Canal Trust hosted Picnic in the Park to celebrate and raise funds for the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s 50th anniversary. The event was held at Carderock Pavilion where over a dozen picnic tables were beautifully decorated with photos of well-known Park landmarks and bouquets of locally-grown flowers. (more…)

C&O Canal Trust Reflects on Canal For All Programming This Year
The C&O Canal Trust’s Canal For All program was launched in 2017 with the goal of engaging young people from underrepresented communities in programs in the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP). This year, the Canal For All program has grown to provide fun and educational programs  with community partner organizations in and around the C&O Canal. Summer partners included the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, Girls Inc., and Community Bridges. (more…)

2021 TowpathGO! Raises Over $18,000 to Preserve the Park

Early morning jog at Violettes Lock by Paul Graunke

This year, nearly 20 participants volunteered to join TowpathGO! fundraiser. Together, they raised over $18,000! What caused these individuals to answer the TowpathGO! call? (more…)

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Remember the C&O Canal Trust in Your CFC Giving

Our campaign number is 98180 in the Chesapeake Bay Area. Thank you for selecting us as the beneficiary of your workplace giving!

C&O Canal Explorer
Mobile App

Download our new mobile app to your Android or Apple phone and explore the C&O Canal in a whole new way. Get the app!

Stay The Night at a Lockhouse

Canal Quarters lockhouses offer a historic, recreational, and educational experience like no other. Book your stay today!

Enter our Monthly Photo Contest

The C&O Canal Trust sponsors a monthly photo contest highlighting the best photos you have taken of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Find out how to enter here!

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