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C&O Canal Trust

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 | Explore Your Canal

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 | Explore Your Canal

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

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 | Explore Your Canal

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 | Explore Your Canal

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

Artwork Contest announced to celebrate Canal Pride program’s 10th anniversary

By | News

The C&O Canal Trust today announced a t-shirt artwork contest to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their Canal Pride events. Amateur artists are invited to create and submit artwork that celebrates the 10th anniversary of this volunteer-driven event. The winning design will be printed on our Canal Pride t-shirts and worn by our volunteers as they work in the C&O Canal National Historical Park during the spring months. Read More

10 Discoveries Along the C&O Canal

By | Explore Your Canal

The C&O Canal National Historical Park holds hundreds of secrets along its 184.5-mile length and is a wonderful place to explore both the natural and man-made worlds. In the Canal Discoveries section of the C&O Canal Trust’s website, Park Rangers describe 48 of these gems.

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we’ve picked out 10 gems that you might not know about. The next time you are out in the Park, be sure to visit these sites! Read More

C&O Canal Trust Searching for African American CCC Workers’ Stories

By | News

The C&O Canal Trust, in partnership with the C&O Canal National Historical Park is searching for stories from African American workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) who worked along the C&O Canal from 1938-1942. Workers themselves or descendants of workers are encouraged to contact the Park to share memories from their time along the canal, for use in a new exhibit to be housed in Canal Quarters’ Lockhouse 10. Read More

World Bank has Canal Pride!

By | Canal Pride, News

On December 1, sixteen volunteers from World Bank participated in a Canal Pride event where they worked on beautification and preservation projects at Great Falls. A small group of volunteers joined Billy Goat Trail Steward Bob King to hike along Billy Goat Trail A, where they removed a lot of left behind trash as well as helped restore some off-trail areas. Read More

Hidden Hiking Gems of Great Falls

By | Explore Your Canal

Everyone loves Billy Goat Trail Section A. Come down to Great Falls any weekend during the summer months and you’ll see a line of people stretching along the whole trail. With tricky rock scrambles, unique wildlife, and amazing river views, it is not difficult to see why this trail is so beloved and well-known. But if you’ve already experienced the magic of “Billy Goat A” or you just want a little more solitude with your wilderness, check out these great, lesser-known trails in the Great Falls area.

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9 Great Things to Do When You Visit Cushwa Basin in Williamsport

By | Explore Your Canal

The Cushwa Basin, located in Williamsport, MD, is situated at the confluence of the Conococheague Creek and the Potomac River. Because this area is such a popular entry point to the C&O Canal towpath, there is a National Park Service Visitors Center located here, in the historic Cushwa Warehouse beside the basin. The warehouse is in the process of being restored to interpret the 1920’s era on the Canal, and the neighboring Conococheague Aqueduct is also being rebuilt. This historic area was once the home of brick manufacturing and shipment of coal along the Canal — canal boats would use the turning basin to load coal and bricks  on their trips between Cumberland and Georgetown.

All Canal Lovers should visit the Cushwa Basin, check of the Visitors Center, hike the towpath, and explore Williamsport. Check out this list of 9 things you can do next time you visit!
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C&O Canal Trust selected for Whole Foods’ Nickels for Nonprofits

By | News

We are pleased to announce that the C&O Canal Trust has been selected as a participant in Whole Foods’ Nickels for Nonprofits program! From now until the end of the year, you can help the Trust earn nickels in honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial. Every time you shop at one of the five Montgomery County, MD Whole Foods stores, bring your own bags. Whole Foods will credit you a nickel for each bag you bring, and you can donate those nickels to the C&O Canal Trust! Read More