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 will have 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
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
The C&O Canal National Historical Park was awarded $3.45 million from the Transportation Alternatives Program through the Maryland Department of Transportation, thanks to the vocal support of the C&O Canal Trust and the greater canal community: $2.45 million for “A Rewatered Canal” and $1 million for “Towpath Rehabilitation: A Safe Towpath.” Read More
Benches will be placed from Swains Lock west to Cumberland
C&O Canal Trust Bench Program Provides Donors a Way to Express Appreciation for the Park, Provide Visitor Amenities
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
Winter is a wonderful time to experience the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) on your own, with a friend, or by attending a special event or ranger program. The park is open daily and visitors are welcome to join rangers for the following fun and exciting activities, December through February. Read More
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
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
The C&O Canal Trust announces the release of its new mobile app, “C&O Canal Explorer,” to aid users in exploring the 184.5 miles and 20,000 acres of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. The app is available for download on both Android and Apple devices from their respective app stores.
Interested in a wild and wonderful combo of cutting-edge theater, outdoor adventure, and sight-seeing? If so, visit Shepherdstown, West Virginia in July! Read More
The C&O Canal National Historic Park has something for everyone when it comes to water activities. From a relaxing day of fishing on the Potomac River to kayaking along the canal, most folks can find a fun way to make a splash! Read More
The volunteer Quartermasters responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the C&O Canal Trust’s Canal Quarters lockhouses have been honored with the Harrison Award for Volunteers at Preservation Maryland’s Best of Maryland Preservation Awards Ceremony. Read More
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
May 2 is Washington County Gives. Your donation to the Trust will be matched whether you live in-county or not! Plus, join us on May 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Stone Wall Tavern in Hagerstown for a celebration to wrap up Washington County Gives! A portion of beer sales will benefit the Trust. Read More