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Explore Your Canal

#MyCanal – Riding the Towpath: A Natural vs. Man-Made Continuum by Joe Schlag

By | Explore Your Canal

I embarked on my first towpath ride on Saturday, July 29, planning to ride from Georgetown to Cumberland over a week’s time. This was not my first time going long-distance on the towpath, as I participated in the Sierra Club’s 50 mile walk from Washington, D.C. to Harpers Ferry, WV when I was a decade younger. But this was my first time traversing the miles by bike. Read More

The Bald Eagle Has Landed

By | Explore Your Canal

The Bald Eagle, considered a sign of strength since the times of the ancient Romans, has been our national symbol since 1782. Fun fact: Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to his daughter in 1784, described the bald eagle as “a bird of bad moral character”. This regal bird has now become an icon symbolizing American strength and fortitude. 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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6 Things We Love About Spring on the Canal

By | Explore Your Canal

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

Presidents and the C&O Canal

By | Explore Your Canal

The C&O Canal is wonderful for many reasons, but one of them is its vast history. With the White House only a 10-minute walk from the Park, various Presidents have enjoyed the Canal and the Potomac River over the years for both its recreational opportunities and tranquility.

Without further ado, let’s take a stroll through history on the Canal with our former Presidents. Read More

Recreation After Restoration: CCC Life Along the Canal

By | Explore Your Canal

William Allen lived and worked at Camp NP-2 in Cabin John, and was well known to his fellow enrollees as the “camp jitterbug No. 1” for his dancing all about the camp. In June 1938, the camp welcomed a new batch of enrollees from Baltimore. Not long after that, Allen stopped dancing – those “Baltimore boys” were experienced visitors to jazz clubs, and Allen was essentially shamed into early dancing retirement by his friends. Read More

The CCC and the C&O

By | Explore Your Canal

The C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) traces its existence as a recreational site to hundreds of young black men. These men, all of whom were out-of-work and between 18 and 25 years old, lived and worked at two camps (Camp NP-1 and Camp NP-2) operated by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), located along the canal near present-day Carderock Recreation Area from 1938-1942. Read More

Canal Town Spotlight: Sharpsburg, MD

By | Explore Your Canal

History
Sharpsburg has arguably one of the most colorful histories of any of our Canal Towns. In 1763, a man named Joseph Chapline founded Sharpsburg (then called Sharps Burgh) in honor of his friend, Governor Horatio Sharpe. Chapline chose this tract of land because of its easy access to water. The “Great Spring” of Sharpsburg can still be seen in the large pool that sits in the middle of the block behind Town Hall. Read More

Snapshots of 2017 on the C&O Canal

By | Explore Your Canal

January getting you down? Look back at 2017 in the C&O Canal National Historical Park with each month’s photo contest winner! These photos capture the beauty of the park, which cannot be rivaled anywhere else. Next time you visit the park, make sure you bring your camera and submit a photo to our monthly contest. For more information on the contest and how to enter, visit our website. 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

Canal Town Spotlight: Brunswick, MD

By | Explore Your Canal

History

Brunswick should really be called a “Railroad Town”, but we like them, so they are a Canal Town anyway!  Unlike any of the other towns, the B&O Railroad built Brunswick far more than the canal ever did. While the Canal came through in the 1830’s, it was the decision by the B&O Railroad in the late 1800’s, to relocate their rail yard here that truly made the City of Brunswick.  For a time, the six-mile long railroad yard at Brunswick was the largest in the world. Read More

A Look Through the Lens at 2016 on the C&O Canal

By | Explore Your Canal

Take a look back at 2016 in the C&O Canal National Historical Park with each month’s photo contest winner! Each of these photos represents something that makes the C&O Canal National Historical Park great! Next time you visit the park be sure to capture some of the beauty you encounter and submit it to our photo contest. For information on how you can enter the photo contest visit our webpage at https://www.canaltrust.org/news/photo-contest/. Read More