Give Today to Support Towpath Repairs and Improvements
2018 was a terrible year for the towpath. Torrential rain and flooding made existing problems worse and caused new damage that is challenging an already underfunded Park.
In May 2018, flash floods created a breach in the towpath at Culvert 82 near Brunswick. Then, over the spring and summer of 2018, the Potomac River flooded twice, inundating much of the towpath, scouring gravel from its surface in some areas and depositing thick silt in others, creating hazardous washouts, pot holes, and ruts along the towpath, and damaging culverts and other structures.
You can help by donating to our Towpath Resurfacing fund.
Preservation of the towpath is paramount to ensuring that all visitors – bikers, hikers, runners, history buffs, paddlers, climbers, nature lovers, Park users of all ages – have access to the rich assets of the C&O Canal. It is the Park’s spine, bringing together diverse communities and inviting exploration along almost 200 miles of the Potomac River Valley.
Our goal is to raise $50,000 in 2019 to fund repairs to the towpath and support the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s five-year plan to make significant improvements to 80 miles of the towpath most critically in need of attention. The Park’s long-term goal is to provide a towpath that is as smooth and safe as possible and that runs continuously for 184.5 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland.
The Park kicked off the first year of the Towpath Resurfacing plan in the fall of 2018, using $1 million in funding from the state of Maryland’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), secured with the assistance of an advocacy campaign led by the C&O Canal Trust. Repairs are underway to extensively repair and resurface the towpath between Edwards Ferry and Whites Ferry, and between Brunswick Family Campground and Packhorse Ford – a total of 21 miles. Work includes removing the grassy median and hazardous rocks and tree roots, grading the towpath to facilitate efficient drainage after storms and floods, and resurfacing the towpath with crushed limestone, the same durable material used on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) which connects to the C&O Canal towpath to provide a smooth 340 mile trail from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC.
The Trust is continuing to work with the Park to identify and advocate for public infrastructure funding to allow for completion of the five-year towpath improvement plan. With your support, we will also be providing direct financial support for the project.
Please give today.