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C&O Canal Trust

C&O Canal Trust To Assist C&O Canal National Historical Park in Shutdown Recovery Efforts

By | News

With the re-opening of the government, the C&O Canal Trust, the official nonprofit partner to the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP), will be working closely with Park staff in the coming weeks to assess damage done to the C&O Canal NHP during the month-long closure, and to identify immediate and longer-term maintenance needs. The Trust will then leverage its extensive volunteer network to provide boots on the ground to take care of those projects suited to the capacity and skills of community volunteers. Read More

Fighting Floods at Swains

By | Swains

The C&O Canal Trust is rehabilitating Swains Lockhouse to prepare it to join the Canal Quarters program. Former residents of this lockhouse, the Swain family, have decades of memories from their life in the house, when they endured several floods and crafted methods for protecting their home through necessity. Visitors can see the metal high water markers on the side of the house placed by family and various official entities. Bert Swain, who lived at Lock 21 from 1957-1980, generously shared his family memories and photos for this post.

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Changes at Swains

By | Swains

The C&O Canal Trust is rehabilitating Swains Lockhouse at Lock 21 to become the newest addition to the Canal Quarters program. Bert Swain, who lived at Lock 21 from 1957-1980, generously shared his family memories and photos for this post about changes to the lockhouse and the family business over the years. Read More

Protecting the Past in the Face of Floods

By | Swains

Flood History

With its location along the Potomac River, it’s not a matter of if the C&O Canal and its lockhouses will be flooded but when. The Canal has experienced flooding ranging from inconvenient to destructive throughout its history. In early June of this year, the Potomac reached its highest level in 8 years as rehabilitation work continued at Swains Lockhouse. Read More

C&O Canal Trust to Host Annual Park After Dark Benefit to Support the C&O Canal National Historical Park

By | News

The C&O Canal Trust will be hosting its Eighth Annual Park After Dark gala event on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. to benefit the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP). This unique event is held under the stars at the Historic Great Falls Tavern within the C&O Canal NHP and features live music, great food, libations, a silent auction, a campfire, and more. A paddle raise will also be held to raise funds to make long-term sustainable repairs to the towpath and fix damage from the recent flooding. Read More

Furnishing Lockhouse 21

By | Swains

Canal Quarters Program

The Canal Quarters program hosts visitors for overnight stays in lockhouses to deepen their appreciation for the Canal’s history. Each lockhouse has been furnished to represent a time period in American history, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience life as a lock keeper once lived. Swains Lockhouse is currently being rehabilitated and will be furnished as it could have appeared in 1916, with some creative liberties in the amenities and an ADA-accessible first floor. Read More

Why Fish Need Ladders

By | Nature

Fish was a principle food source for early settlers in Maryland and Virginia. As settlements began to creep westward, the demand for fish meant that this valuable food source also needed to move westward from the Chesapeake Bay to its western tributaries. The Great Falls area on the Potomac River posed a challenge since the migrating fish could not go upstream beyond the falls. Industry, canals, and dams also negatively affected this migration.

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Work at Swains is finally beginning!

By | News, Swains

Two years ago, we announced the rehabilitation of Swains Lockhouse and successfully raised $75,000 for the project. Well, the wheels of historic preservation sometime turn slowly, and we encountered several delays while we looked for a contractor who could restore Swains to its former glory in a fiscally-responsible manner. We persevered and are thrilled that construction began last week on the rehab! Read More

C&O Canal Trust to Host Clean Up Event in C&O Canal National Historical Park to Mark MLK Day of Service January 15

By | News

The C&O Canal Trust will be hosting a clean-up event at Lock 8 in the C&O Canal National Historical Park to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Monday, January 15. Approximately 30 volunteers from the local area will be removing invasive winter plants and picking up trash around Lock 8, located off Clara Barton Parkway in Cabin John, Montgomery County, MD. Read More

10 Things You Can Do on the C&O Canal When It’s Cold Outside

By | Things to Do

It’s December, and winter is only days away. Snow may be sparse at this point, but it’s only a matter of time. You morosely put away your riding gear and bring out the ear muffs for your runs… but wait! There is so much that the C&O Canal offers during the winter that you might not know about! To commemorate the C&O Canal Trust’s 10th Anniversary in 2017, we bring you 10 of our favorite things to do along the C&O Canal in the winter: Read More

The Beautiful Fall Foliage of the C&O Canal

By | Photography

We are in the peak fall foliage season here in Maryland, and we have collected some of our favorite photos of the canal bursting with color!

Where possible, we have linked the photos’ descriptions to their locations in the C&O Canal National Historical Park so you can go out and see the beautiful fall color for yourself! Read More

C&O Canal’s Swains Lockhouse Rehabilitation Awarded $100,000 Centennial Challenge Grant

By | News, Swains

The C&O Canal Trust announced today that the National Park Service Centennial Challenge Program has provided a $100,000 matching grant to support the rehabilitation of Swains Lockhouse in Potomac. The grant, supported by Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, will be matched by $108,160 raised by the C&O Canal Trust, the Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern, and the C&O Canal Association. It will be used to fund deferred maintenance on a critically-endangered lockhouse. Read More

C&O Canal Trust Named ‘One of the Best’ Nonprofits by the Catalogue for Philanthropy

By | News

Following a competitive review, the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington has named the C&O Canal Trust one of the best nonprofits in the Washington, DC, area. To be included in the Class of 2017-18, the C&O Canal Trust underwent extensive vetting and was judged to have met the Catalogue’s high standards. Potential donors can be confident that the nonprofits in the Catalogue are worthy of their support. This is the first time the Trust has been included in the Catalogue. Read More

10th Annual Canal Pride Events Announced

By | News

The C&O Canal Trust, in partnership with the C&O Canal National Historical Park, has announced the dates of their 10th annual C&O Canal Pride Days, the single largest volunteer event to take place in the Park each year. An estimated 300-400 volunteers from around the community are expected to attend and will spend the morning working on projects to restore and revitalize the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

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1850s shop ledger provides peek into C&O Canal history

By | History, Stories

The archives of the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) hold a merchant’s ledger (1856-1858) from Williamsport, MD that provides details about everyday life along the canal and insights into park history. The ledger’s more than 260 lined pages provide insight into the foodways, economics, and material culture of people along the canal whose stories have often become invisible to the historical record.

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Top Canal Town Attractions along the C&O Canal

By | Towns and Communities

Many Park visitors know that there are towns all along the towpath. Through-hikers and -bikers are especially fond of the local businesses that offer food, respite, bike repair, and a host of other items and services trail-weary travelers can appreciate. To celebrate the C&O Canal Trust’s 10th anniversary, we give you our picks for the top attractions in several of the canal towns along the towpath – many are members of the Canal Towns Partnership, which assists its communities with trail-based tourism and recreation. Read More