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Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park

The C&O Canal follows the route of the Potomac River for 184.5 miles from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD.

The canal operated from 1828-1924 as a transportation route, primarily hauling coal from western Maryland to the port of Georgetown in Washington, DC, Hundreds of original structures, including locks, lockhouses, and aqueducts, serve as reminders of the canal's role as a major Chesapeake transportation system during the Canal Era.

The canal's towpath also provides a nearly level, continuous trail through the spectacular scenery of the Potomac River Valley. Every year millions of visitors come to hike or bike the C&O Canal in order to enjoy the natural, cultural, and recreational opportunities available.

There are a number of visitor centers along the Canal, they are listed below:

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Image Credit: NPS / Chris Spielmann
Last updated: February 03, 2020
Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail Journey Through Hallowed Ground Potomac Trail