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There’s Nothing Like Pawpaw Season

By Blog
Throughout much of the American South, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, fall arrives on the wings of red or gold foliage and the taste of the pawpaw fruit. Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a small understory tree with large deep green leaves that can be found from the eastern portion of Texas to South Carolina and north to Michigan. It is the only temperate member of a large, tropical family of plants (Annonaceae) and produces North America’s largest edible fruit. This distinctive but obscure-looking green fruit ripens in September and October and is relished by humans and wildlife alike. The taste is usually compared to a banana mixed with a complex assortment of mango, vanilla, pineapple, and citrus flavors. Read More

New Superintendent Tina Cappetta Previews Her Vision for the C&O Canal

By News

Tina Cappetta took up the position of Superintendent of the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) in January 2020, following nine years as Superintendent of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Hampton National Historic Site, and Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Over her 30-year National Park Service career, she has held positions in 10 parks around the nation, including at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in upstate New York, where she was the superintendent. From 2002 to 2004, she was Chief of Resources at the C&O Canal NHP.

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Canal Pride Has Provided $1 Million in Value to C&O Canal

By Canal Community Days, News
Entering its thirteenth year, Canal Pride is testament to the value of bringing volunteers, funding partners, and in-kind donors together to ensure that the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) remains a safe and welcoming venue for all those who love the Park. Since 2008, the C&O Canal Trust has recruited over 11,000 Canal Pride volunteers who have given 32,844 hours of service in the park, valued at close to one million dollars. These park beautification projects are a great benefit to the C&O Canal, as the maintenance division often has its hands full caring for the 184.5

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Nature in January on the Canal

By Blog, Explore Your Park
January can be such a quiet month. The bustle of the holidays are over, and people are returning to a normal rhythm at work. Things can be similarly quiet within the C&O Canal National Historical Park. With the cooler temperatures and shorter days, fewer people are venturing out to explore. But there is still so much to see in the Park in January. If you have a chance, go for a hike on the towpath and see what you can find while the world is quieter.

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Winning Photos from Our 2019 Facebook Photo Contests

By Photography

Each month, the C&O Canal Trust holds a photo contest on our Facebook page of photographs taken in the C&O Canal National Historical Park and its surrounding Canal Towns. Anyone can vote by “liking” their favorite photos. The winner receives bragging rights and their photo at the top of our Facebook and Twitter pages for one month. We receive beautiful photos every month and wanted to share our 2019 winners with you.

January- Winter at Cushwa in Williamsport by Mark Crilley

February- Snowy Sunday Along the Potomac by Wanda Poffenberger

March-Lockhouse 44 in Williamsport at Mile Marker 99.25 by Ray Jackson

April- Drawn by Sweet Nectar by MJ Clingan

May- New Start by Kurt Sobina

June- Baby Barred Owl by Sandy Rosenblatt

July- Summer Night in Hancock, MD by Stephen 'Van' Van Meter

August- Towpath Curve After Great Falls by Debra Kanter Klaus

September- Sunset through the Lock Gates at Violette's Lock by Kara McNulty

October- Reflection in Hancock, MD by Jimmy Lapelosa

November- Dam 4 by Jon Wolz

December-Towpath near Oldtown by Preston P. Piper, Jr.

Want to enter your own photos into our 2020 contests? Visit our website to learn how you can see your photos on our Facebook page!

Canal Lockhouses Get New Roofs

By Blog, Canal Quarters
Great News! Lockhouse 22 (Pennyfield) and Lockhouse 25 (Edwards Ferry) recently received new roofs from the National Park Service. Both of these lockhouses are part of the C&O Canal Trust’s Canal Quarters program and are available for overnight stays, allowing visitors a chance to experience a small part of what a lock keeper’s life was like during the days of the Canal’s operation. These new roofs are essential for the preservation of the lockhouses themselves, and the history inside them.   

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Charles Fisk’s Impact on the Canal

By Blog, History

Written by Karen Gray- C&O Canal National Historical Park Historian

Charles Bezaleel Fisk (June 14, 1806–Jan. 11, 1866) is the only C&O Canal engineer who served throughout the construction period, being hired as a mere assistant engineer in 1828, rising to the position of chief engineer in April 1837, and leaving the canal in 1852. Fisk’s name is on the builders stone in the middle of the berm parapet of the Monocacy Aqueduct, the keystone of the upstream portal of the Paw Paw Tunnel, and the C&O completion obelisk beside the Wisconsin Avenue bridge over the canal in Georgetown on the NW side.

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Support the Trust in 2020

By News

Help the Trust get off to a great start in 2020!

As a small nonprofit that depends on charitable donations for 77 percent of its revenue, we need your help to continue working to preserve and enhance the C&O National Historical Park! Read More

Volunteers Contribute Thousands of Hours to the Park

By News, Volunteer

Welcoming close to 5 million visitors annually and stretching 184.5 miles long, the C&O Canal National Historical Park requires many boots on the ground to maintain its trails and towpath, operate programs, and assist visitors. The National Park Service would not be able to do this without the invaluable efforts of the many volunteers who contribute thousands of hours of service each year. Read More

Becky Curtis departs after 8 years with Trust

By News
In September, the C&O Canal Trust said goodbye to long-time Director of Programs and Partnerships Becky Curtis, who has moved with her husband to Santa Barbara, CA. Becky joined the Trust in 2011 and has played an integral role in the organization’s growth over the past eight years.
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Community Bridges Overnight Programs

By News

On August 22nd and 28th, the C&O Canal Trust hosted two groups of girls from Community Bridges Inc. at Lockhouse 6. As part of the Trust’s Canal for All Initiative, the groups were given a brief lecture about the history of the canal from a Canal Classrooms teacher and spent the night in the lockhouse.

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Canal Classrooms 2018/2019 Reaches Over 7,000 Students

By News

Over 7,000 K-12th grade students benefited over the 2018/2019 school year from the Park’s award-winning Canal Classrooms program.  This curriculum-based program, supported in part by C&O Canal Trust donors, allowed young people from a wide variety of backgrounds to learn the unique history of the C&O Canal and to deepen their knowledge of the natural world in one of the most biologically diverse national parks in the United States.

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23 Miles of Towpath Now Resurfaced

By News

Year One of the Park’s multi-year towpath resurfacing project is complete! Towpath users can now enjoy 23 miles of completely rehabilitated towpath, from Edwards Ferry (Mile 30.8) to Whites Ferry (Mile 35.5) in Montgomery County, and from Brunswick Family Campground (Mile 54) in Frederick County, to the Shepherdstown Bridge (Mile 72) in Washington County.

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Conservation Job Corp Wraps Up for 2019

By News

The Conservation Jobs Corps (CJC) is a new program built off the successful Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC). After years of seeing the benefits that MCC provides to young adults and the natural resources they protect and restore, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources expanded the program to include a younger age group. By partnering with community organizations, teens and young adults are able to work alongside natural resource staff to conserve Maryland’s natural landscapes.

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Park Updates: August 2019

By News

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

History of the Conocoheague Aqueduct

By History

C&O Canal aqueducts are essentially bridges of water, allowing boats to pass over creeks and rivers flowing into the Potomac River. The Conococheague Aqueduct is one of eleven that were built to allow boats to make it from DC to Cumberland.

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Thank You to Our Canal Towns!

By News, Towns and Communities
A big thank you to all of our Canal Towns partners who stepped up to fund a daily shuttle around the towpath breach at Culvert 82 (Mile 52.5). Following the flash flood in May 2018 took out that section of the towpath there was no safe way for hikers and bikers to go around the breach.

Latino Conservation Week Celebration at Great Falls

By News

This year, the C&O Canal hosted 90 middle school students from Identity Inc. at Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center in celebration of Latino Conservation Week. This week was created in 2014 by the Hispanic Access Foundation to provide Latino youth and families with outdoor recreation opportunities near their homes and for Latino communities to demonstrate their commitment to conservation. Sherry Guillen, the Community Volunteer Ambassador for the Park, organized a day of hiking, biking, and learning activities. Guillen wanted kids to realize what resources are available to them and provide them with recreational opportunities that they might not have experienced before. There were many first-time experiences that day, including being in the Park, seeing Great Falls, and riding a bike.

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C&O Canal Superintendent Kevin Brandt Announces Retirement

By News

C&O Canal Superintendent Kevin Brandt has announced his retirement from the National Park Service effective at the end of September 2019. Brandt helped to found the C&O Canal Trust 12 years ago as the official nonprofit group supporting the C&O Canal National Historical Park and has worked in partnership with us as we have grown our programmatic and philanthropic support to the park

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C&O Canal Park Updates: July 2019

By Uncategorized


Resurfaced Towpath- C&O Canal Trust

Towpath Resurfacing

The first 5-mile section of towpath resurfacing between Edwards Ferry and Whites Ferry is complete and work is now underway on the stretch between Brunswick and Harpers Ferry. The Park anticipates completing rehabilitation of the towpath all the way to Packhorse Ford near the Shepherdstown Bridge this year. Horseback riders are asked to stay off the newly-resurfaced sections for about three weeks to give the new stone dust surface time to harden.




Locks 3 & 4 Project (Georgetown)

Fletchers Cove- Carole Lewis Anderson

Re-watering of the canal between Georgetown and Fletchers Cove is imminent! A small section of the canal will remain dry to facilitate replacement of the 31st Street bridge by the District of Columbia. Water will be channeled through the dry area via a pipe.



Locks 5-22 Project

Lockhouse 22 by Denise Schleckser

Work is close to complete on the water management structures between Lock 5 (Fletchers Cove) to Lock 22 (Violettes Lock/Inlet Lock 2). The Park has re-watered the canal from Pennyfield to Violettes Lock, and will re-watering from Great Falls to Pennyfield once work is finished on Lock 19 in July, at which time the Charles F. Mercer boat operation will resume.


Conococheague Aqueduct

Monocacy Aqueduct- C&O Canal Trust

Construction on the rehabilitated aqueduct is complete. Contractors are currently waiting for the newly-poured concrete to cure before applying brown stain to the inner wall, built to look like wood to replicate the “fix” to the aqueduct following the collapse of the wall of the aqueduct in 1922. Following water testing, the aqueduct will be officially re-watered, hopefully in July. The ribbon-cutting for the project is expected to take place sometime in August.




Paw Paw Tunnel Rock Scaling Project

Paw Paw Tunnel by Greg Wilson

Rock scaling of the cliff above the towpath on the upriver end of the tunnel will begin as soon as the final engineering design is complete. Hikers and bikers will be able to continue to use the tunnel once the work begins, with flaggers controlling tunnel traffic when necessary.

An Owl Rescue at the C&O Canal

By Uncategorized

You may have seen this on our Facebook page:

A baby barred owl, sitting in water.

Photographer- Sandy Rosenblatt


We received this adorable photo and the accompanying story through our Facebook photo contest and we are so happy that Sandy thought to share her experience with us!

Now that the contest is over and the winner is announced (this photo in fact! Congrats Sandy Rosenblatt!), we can share all the details!

Sandy was walking along the towpath by Lock 8 in Cabin John, MD and turned to take a dirt trail down to the river. Along the way, she came upon a woman asking for help and she was led to where this barred owlet was sitting in the water. The woman explained that she didn’t know how to help but knew that something needed to be done. Together, they gently took the owlet out of the water and began to warm it up in Sandy’s jacket. After calling animal control, they sat with the owl, keeping it warm and comforting it. The owlet was taken to Owl Moon Raptor Center where they confirmed that although it was uninjured, it was still too young to be able to fly and would likely not have survived the night in the chilly waters. They guessed that he fell into the water and washed downstream.

Go to our Facebook page to see a video with more adorable images and footage provided to us by Sandy Rosenblatt https://www.facebook.com/CanalFriends/videos/447900339104646/


Remember, don’t touch wildlife unless you have spoken with a licensed wildlife rehabilitation specialist. Many times, the baby animal is fine and the parents are close by or are returning soon! Fawns can be left for hours while their mothers go out and forage. Fledgling birds (those that have feathers), may be found out of their nest and look lost, but their parents are normally within earshot and are feeding them throughout the day. For more information about specific species, check out this website 

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Thank You Canal Pride Volunteers!

By Canal Community Days, News, Uncategorized
We had a great showing of support at our first Canal Pride Day of 2019 at the Paw Paw Campground, held Saturday, April 27. Forty volunteers tackled many tasks during the three hour event. The volunteers removed invasive plant species like garlic mustard and Japanese barberry, beautified the campground, and resurfaced the towpath inside the Paw Paw tunnel.

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Vermicomposting Workshop Scheduled for June 8

By News
Vermicomposting, the process of using worms to break down food, has many benefits that can indirectly impact the C&O Canal National Historical Park and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Food waste and trash both bring challenges to the Park, contributing to climate change and impacting the native ecosystems we are trying to protect. If you are interested in learning how you can contribute to the health of the C&O Canal, improve your home gardens, and spare your wallet, join the C&O Canal Trust for this free educational workshop, scheduled for Saturday, June 8.

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Park Project Updates

By News

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 that nearing completion. Read More