Harpers Ferry and Bolivar
Harpers Ferry and Bolivar have been an epicenter of historic activity since their founding. Today, visitors can immerse themselves in the historic fabric of these towns and can also enjoy the many recreational and retail opportunities that make them unique. Read More
This is our first installment of Canal Towns Spotlight which aims to show what makes the Canal Towns located along the C&O Canal National Historical Park so great. We’ll get started with the artistic enclave of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Read More
Raise your hand if this has happened to you: A beautiful Saturday or Sunday dawns, and you pack your family into the car for an adventure in the C&O Canal National Historical Park. When you arrive at Great Falls to park, the line of cars to get in is a mile long! Read More
Take a look back at 2016 in the C&O Canal National Historical Park with each month’s photo contest winner! Each of these photos represents something that makes the C&O Canal National Historical Park great! Next time you visit the park be sure to capture some of the beauty you encounter and submit it to our photo contest. For information on how you can enter the photo contest visit our webpage at https://www.canaltrust.org/news/photo-contest/. Read More
We are looking for volunteers to help us in the Park during our 10th annual Canal Pride events, the largest volunteer events in the C&O Canal National Historical Park each year! We hope you will make plans to join us to help spruce up the Park for the upcoming season. Read More
We compiled this list of fun museums in our Canal Towns as a way for you to pass the cold winter months when temperatures make the Park feel slightly less appealing. We did not anticipate this warm, Park-worthy weather, but we are sharing this list with you anyway –save it for the April showers! Read More
To some of us, winter is a time to stay indoors by the fire. But why would you stay indoors when the C&O Canal National Historical Park offers some of the most scenic areas to explore during the winter months? So put on some warm clothes and come experience the C&O Canal as a winter wonderland! Read More
At the C&O Canal Trust, we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary of providing financial and programmatic support to the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Over the years, we have picked up some tips from our Park Ranger colleagues to make the most of our visits to the Park. Here, we share 10 of our favorite tips with you. Learn and know before you go! Read More
The C&O Canal National Historical Park boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the area. Not only is our Park magnificent to look at, but it is home to many natural and man-made wonders. The architects and builders who built the canal had to overcome rocky land, mountains, and changes in elevation, and through these difficulties, many architectural wonders were born. Below, we take a closer look at 10 of them in honor of the C&O Canal Trust’s 10th anniversary. Read More
When you visit the Park, be sure to head out to the western end for a visit to the Paw Paw tunnel. Built as a bypass to very challenging terrain at Paw Paw Bends on the Potomac River, the 3,118 foot long tunnel, built by hand in the mid-1800s and containing close to 6 million bricks, is an engineering marvel.
There are a variety of hiking trails in or near the Park. Probably the most well-known is the Billy Goat Trail, comprised of three sections (A,B, and C), with three different levels of difficulty. At 1.7 miles in length, and with an estimated completion time of 2-3 hours, Section A is the most strenuous for the serious hiker. Section B offers more of a mid-level hiking challenge and is great for birdwatching in the spring, while Section C offers an easy stroll and plenty of shade for the warm summer months as well as beautiful leaf color in the fall.
Near Harpers Ferry, the canal joins the Appalachian Trail and affords several unique hiking experiences with plenty of history thrown in. Weverton Cliffs is a popular trail with steep terrain, switchbacks, and a pretty view of the Potomac River. Maryland Heights, site of the first Civil War battle in Maryland between Confederate and Union forces, provides a wonderful view of the town. Hike up to Jefferson Rock and you’ll see the view that inspired Thomas Jefferson to say “…this scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic…”
Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the towpath, near milepost 112, lies Fort Frederick – a historic stone frontier fort used during the French and Indian War as well as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Continue heading west to the Town Creek area of the Park and you can access Green Ridge State Park, the Paw Paw Tunnel, and Town Creek Aqueduct for a variety of hiking options.
View from Maryland Heights
The C&O Canal and towpath are truly year-round attractions within the Park. While biking, hiking, and running are enjoyed by many, it takes a true appreciation for cold weather to enjoy the park when the temperature drops and snow begins to fall. Read More