Lockhouse 21

Lockhouse 21, locally known as “Swains” after the family who lived there for over a century, is the newest lockhouse to join the Canal Quarters program. Opening in July 2019, this lockhouse has been completely modernized and is ADA-accessible with a bathroom and Murphy bed on the first floor, ramps into the house, and hallways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

The house will interpret 1916, the year the National Park Service was formed and the date when the C&O Canal was beginning to transition from a working canal to a recreational space. Unique period furnishings will transport visitors to the early twentieth century, and scrapbooks will tell stories of a time when Woodrow Wilson was President, the United States had not yet entered World War I, and the women’s and civil rights movements were gathering steam.

Lockhouse 21 features accessible parking, accessible ramps to the front door and within the first floor of the building (upon request during booking), accessible bathroom, kitchen, and picnic area facilities, and single-sized Murphy bed located on the first floor. The second floor is only accessible via stairs.

>> Learn more about the rehabilitation of Swains Lockhouse here

>> View photos of the rehabilitation here

>> WTOP’s feature on Swains Lockhouse


Towpath Mile: 16.7
Parking: Available
Price Per Night: $160
Additional Fees: One-time $20 maintenance fee; One-time $20 occupancy fee for groups of 6-8 only
Time Period Depicted: 1916
Nearest Communities: Potomac

Book Now Gift Certificates

Features & Amenities

  • 1910s kitchen with stove, oven and refrigerator
  • 1910s bathroom with tub/shower
  • One bedroom with double bed and a trundle; One bedroom with 2 twins and 2 trundles; and an ADA-accessible Murphy bed on first floor
  • Central AC/heat
  • Fire Ring
  • Easy access to the Capital Beltway
  • Linens and pillows not provided
  • Fireplaces are NOT functional


Lockhouse 21
10700 Swains Lock Rd
Potomac, MD 20854
Click here for directions and a map.

Photo Gallery: Lockhouse 21