The Potomac River is rife with obstacles that thwart water transportation. Rapids and waterfalls, products of the river’s elevation change, prompted C&O Canal visionaries to invest in a flat-level water route to run alongside the river. The idea was simple, but the construction quickly proved to be arduous. To bypass many of the geological obstacles, canal engineers devised unique structures such as aqueducts, lift bridges, incline planes, tunnels, and lift locks. These required the special skills of the stone cutters and masons whose work produced masonry marvels still appreciated today. Lockhouse 22 at Pennyfield reflects the early phase of canal construction, because of its lift lock and proximity to Dam 2 and its guard lock.
Pennyfield is exemplar of the basic types of structures (aqueducts, locks, and lock houses) built along the C&O Canal. The furnishings in Lockhouse 22 are evocative of the mid-1830s to early 1840s period.
Pardon our dust while we clean up from the flash flooding! On July 8th 2019, Montgomery County, MD, suffered a major rain event resulting in a flash flood. This event caused the erosion of a large area on the west side of Lockhouse 22. We have fenced off the area, and it should not impact your stay at the Lockhouse. Please do not use the outside grounds immediately west of the house. The picnic table and fire ring have been moved to better accommodate your stay.
Features & Amenities
- No Heat
- No Electricity
- Water pump at Swains Lock (Lock 21) at towpath mile 16.64 (3 miles) – Apr 15-Nov 15
- Fireplace not operational
- Fire ring
- Picnic table
- Two bedrooms with two twins and two trundles each
- Portable toilet
- Linens and pillows not provided
- Fireplaces are NOT functional
End of Pennyfield Lock Rd.
Potomac, MD 20854
Click here to see directions and map.