C&O Canal Visitor Center at Williamsport

Williamsport is the only place on the canal where examples of major canal structures can be viewed within a half-mile stretch. A half mile re-watered section of canal leads through the turning basin, under the only Railroad Lift Bridge as well as the only Bollman Iron Truss Bridge over the canal to Lockhouse 44 and the adjacent lock. The Conocheague aqueduct is located across from the turning basin.

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Hours

Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Fees

Fees are only collected at the Great Falls Visitor Center. Access to other areas of the trail is free.

 

Three Day Pass

$5 - per private, non-commercial vehicle (include motorcycles, passenger cars, pickup trucks, RV's and vans).

$3 - per person 16 years of age or older when entering on foot or bicycle

Park passes are valid for the date of purchase plus two days at Great Falls Park, Virginia and the Great Falls area of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park on the Maryland side of the Potomac River.

 

Annual Pass

$20 - Valid for one full year from the month of purchase. Permits access to Great Falls Park, Virginia and the Great Falls area of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. The annual pass allows entrance for the pass holder and additional passengers in a single private non-commercial vehicle, or pass holder plus three adults when entering on foot or bicycle.

 

Commercial Tour

$25 - 1-6 passenger capacity
$40 - 7- 25 passenger capacity
$100 - 26+ passenger capacity vehicle

Activities

Bicycling, Fishing, Birdwatching, Hiking / Backpacking, Boating and Kayaking, Horseback riding, Camping, Ice skating, Canal Quarters, Nature walks, Climbing, Ranger Programs, Cross country skiing, Wildlife viewing

History

Williamsport and the surrounding area has a fascinating history. Situated at the confluence of the Conocheaghe Creek and the Potomac River, Williamsport was first settled in 1740. In 1790 George Washington considered it for the capital city of the United States but rejected Williamsport because of the inability of large ships to navigate the Potomac to this point. Close by is Falling Waters where the Confederate Army made its escape across the rain-swollen Potomac after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Weather

Last updated: January 04, 2019
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