Hiking in the C&O Canal National Historical Park

A ranger hikes with several school students.

The C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) is a popular place for hiking. The main spine of the Park, called the towpath, runs the length of the Park for 184.5 miles. It is flat, providing an easy hike for people of all ages. A variety of hiking trails connect to the towpath.


Hiking Trails:

Great Falls Area

The Great Falls area in the eastern portion of the Park has 14 miles of easy and more difficult hiking trails, including the popular Billy Goat Trails. Read a description of all 18 trails and look at a map.

Paw Paw Tunnel Trail

The Paw Paw Tunnel Trail in the western end of the Park is a strenuous two-mile hike overtop the Paw Paw Tunnel with views of the Paw Paw Bends.

More Information on Hiking

The C&O Canal NHP also connects to the Potomac Heritage Trail, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Additional information on hiking in the C&O Canal NHP can be found on the Park’s website.

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