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.
On Thursday, August 8, the first boat traveled across the newly-restored Conococheague Aqueduct in Williamsport, MD. The C&O Canal National Historical Park hosted Governor Larry Hogan, Senator Ben Cardin, and Senator Chris Van Hollen, among other elected officials at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by hundreds of people. Read More
In 1954, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas famously joined the effort to protect the C&O Canal’s unique beauty and preserve it as a “sanctuary for everyone.” Thanks to Justice Douglas and countless others, visitors can continue to marvel at its wild serenity. Picking up this torch of appreciation and advocacy for the Canal is a special group of C&O Canal Trust volunteers called Quartermasters, who help to maintain the lockhouses and assist guests of the Trust’s Canal Quarters program. 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
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.
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
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
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)
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
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.
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
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.
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
free background music from https://www.fesliyanstudios.com
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
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
If you’re planning on heading out to hike or bike along the towpath in the next couple of weeks, you might want to try out the five-mile section between Edwards Ferry and Whites Ferry (Mile 30.8 – Mile 35.5). This is the first stretch of the towpath to undergo a complete “makeover” as part of the Park’s multiyear, 80-mile towpath resurfacing project. The towpath has been graded to facilitate water drainage, and resurfaced with the same durable material that bikers enjoy on the Great Allegheny Passage (Trail) from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. Read More
A new documentary featuring the C&O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP Trail) will air in March on WQED in Pittsburgh and in May on MPT in Maryland. One of America’s most treasured biking destinations, cyclists from around the world enjoy 335 uninterrupted miles of breathtaking scenery and fascinating history on the two connecting trails, which run from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh, PA. Fellow cyclists serve as the tour guides on this video journey. Read More
Last year, the C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal National Historical Park worked with Dr. Josh Howard of Passel Historical Consulting on a project that traced the history of the African American Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) along the C&O Canal. The resulting report, “Our Only Alma Mater:” The Civilian Conservation Corps and the C&O Canal, was recently awarded an Excellence in Consulting Award from the National Council on Public History. Read More
The C&O Canal National Historical Park has much to offer during the winter months to park visitors who enjoy the colder temperatures. Snow on the ground provides the opportunity for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and offers a beautiful backdrop for hiking, dog walking, bird watching, and photography. Frigid temperatures usually find folks taking to the ice for a solitary skate or a pickup game of ice hockey. Enjoy winter photos of the C&O Canal National Park, courtesy of our monthly Facebook photo contest entrants. 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
The C&O Canal Trust recently launched a new Job Skills Development Program that will provide hands-on experiences in a National Park setting to disadvantaged youth ages 14-17 during the spring and summer of 2019. The program will expose its participants to training in preservation, conservation, and maintenance projects, and will also provide enrichment programs will resume building, recreational opportunities, and job shadowing. Read More
2019 is going to be a very busy year for our Canal Pride program as the Trust works with volunteers from our canal communities to help the Park recover from the floods of 2018 and the effects of the government shutdown. Beginning in March, the Trust will recruit over 1,000 Canal Pride volunteers to undertake projects throughout the year along the 184.5-mile length of the canal: campground and picnic area improvements, towpath and trail repairs, building maintenance and historic preservation, invasive plant and trash removal, native landscaping, and more.