We may still be in the depths of winter, but planning is already underway for our Canal Pride Days volunteer events in the spring. Sponsoring Canal Pride is a great way for your business or family to contribute to preservation and beautification projects in the Park. Our sponsors provide the money that make Canal Pride possible. In 2019, our volunteers completed over 7,000 hours of service in the Park, valued at $204,131. Read More
The C&O Canal Trust is conducting a t-shirt artwork contest to commemorate the 13th anniversary of our Canal Pride events. Amateur artists are invited to create and submit artwork that celebrates the 13th anniversary of this volunteer-driven event. The winning design will be printed on our Canal Pride t-shirts and worn by hundreds of volunteers as they work in the C&O Canal National Historical Park during the spring and summer months. Read More
Because the C&O Canal National Historical Park hosts a variety of diverse landscapes, 219 rare, threatened, and endangered plants can be found here!
One of the most common threats to the natural ecosystems of the C&O Canal National Historical Park are invasive plant species. Invasive species are not native to the area and have a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Many invasive plant species not only outcompete the native plants, but they have little to no native predators, allowing invasives to thrive and spread in the Park. Read More
After 23 years at the C&O Canal National Historical Park — 16 as its Superintendent — Kevin Brandt is retiring on September 14, 2019. The C&O Canal Trust sat down with him as he reflected on his long National Park Service career. Read More
After three years of fundraising, planning, and construction, the C&O Canal Trust, the nonprofit partner of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, today cut the ribbon at the newly-rehabilitated Swains Lockhouse. This historic lockhouse, located at a popular entrance point to the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) at Lock 21 in Potomac, Maryland, will join the C&O Canal Trust’s award-winning Canal Quarters program as the seventh lockhouse available to guests for overnight stays. Read More
After three years of fundraising, planning, and construction, the doors to the newly-rehabilitated Swains Lockhouse will swing open to guests this summer. This historic lockhouse, located at a popular entrance point to the C&O Canal National Historical Park at Lock 21 in Potomac, Maryland, will join the C&O Canal Trust’s award-winning Canal Quarters program as the seventh lockhouse available to guests for overnight stays. Read More
The Canal Towns Partnership (CTP), a group of nine communities surrounding the C&O Canal National Historical Park, are offering a free shuttle to transport C&O Canal cyclists and hikers around the towpath washout between mile marker 48 at Point of Rocks and mile marker 55 at Brunswick. Read More
At 184.5 miles long and with more historical structures than any other national park, the C&O Canal National Historical Park is always a work in progress. This summer, however, visitors will be able to enjoy the fruits of several big projects nearing completion. Read More
Each year, the C&O Canal Trust welcomes spring with our annual Canal Pride Days. These public events draw hundreds of volunteers from the community and allow Canal lovers to help ready the Park for the busy season by tackling a variety of preservation and maintenance projects. Read More
Visitors accessing the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) at Edwards Ferry (Mile 30.8) will find a smooth surface running to Whites Ferry (Mile 35.5) – the first five miles of the towpath to be resurfaced as part of the Park’s proposed multi-year, 80-mile towpath resurfacing project. Read More
Please sign the petition below to support the Trust’s advocacy for continued funding from the Maryland State Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for towpath repair and resurfacing. Complete the form that follows to show your support before midnight on May 12. Read More
When the sun sets and the visitors have gone home, bats take to the skies over the C&O Canal National Historical Park. But these nocturnal and useful residents are facing a serious problem common to bats nationwide: White-Nose Syndrome (WNS).
April is Archeology Month in Maryland! To celebrate, we wanted to bring you a look at the archeological work that takes place along the canal. The C&O Canal National Historical Park is home to nearly 300 identified archeological sites that span back approximately 9,000 years. Many more exist that have not been documented.
Canal Quarters lockhouses are popular for their historic charm, proximity to the towpath, and unique overnight lodgings. Through the years, the lockhouses have also been the destination for marriage proposals. Recently, George Marshall contacted us to relate his story about his recent experience at Lockhouse 6. Read More
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
What’s it like to work in a national park? Would this be a good fit for me?
This spring and early summer, a group of teenagers from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the National Park Service have had the opportunity to answer those questions as participants in a new Canal For All program developed by the Trust to inspire these young people to aspire to a career in the Park Service they may not have yet considered. Read More
Even though it’s technically been spring for a few weeks, it sure hasn’t felt like it! And while there’s still a bit more cold weather to come, the next few weeks look like they could be the true beginning of warm weather for the Canal.
In honor of spring (slowly) coming to the area, we at the Trust have compiled a list of things we love about spring on the Canal. Read More
It’s February, and spring is still weeks away. Snow may be sparse right now, but it’s only a matter of time. There is so much that the C&O Canal offers during the winter that you might not know about. Below, we bring you 10 of our favorite things to do along the C&O Canal in the winter: Read More
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
Life can be hectic, especially during the holidays. If you’re still searching for last-minute gift ideas for that special someone, we can help. We’ve compiled a list of affordable items sure to please everyone. Read More
The Trust is able to make a positive impact along the 184.5-mile length of the Park only with the support of our donors and the help of committed volunteers. In fiscal year 2018, 1,302 Trust volunteers performed 10,032 hours of service, worth $281,690 in in-kind labor.
Following a yearlong process, the C&O Canal Trust has launched its new strategic plan, covering 2019 to 2023, that lays out ambitious but achievable goals to strengthen private support for the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) through philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy. Read More
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.
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
Get out your cameras! 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. Read More
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
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
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
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.
The C&O Canal Trust will be holding its first-ever C&O Canal Giving Days April 21-29, 2018, coinciding with National Park Week. C&O Canal Giving Days is an opportunity for the community to make financial gifts to support the ongoing preservation and beautification of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Read More
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