C&O Canal

September 19, 2005

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal was built to move goods west through the Potomac Valley to Pittsburgh, but only made it as far as Cumberland, Md.

It flanks about 79 miles of the Potomac River through Washington County.

The canal was in use from 1850 until 1924, when flooding caused serious damage.

The canal sat in ruins until 1954, when U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas walked virtually the entire way to bring attention to its beauty and to keep it from becoming a highway. The walk prompted Congress to declare the park a national monument in 1961. It was named a national historical park in 1971.

Today, millions of people use the canal for hiking, biking, camping, picnicking and horseback riding.

For information, call 301-739-4200 or go to

A partial list of the park's access points includes:

Dargan Bend at mile post - 64.9

Antietam Creek at mile post - 69.6


Lock 38/Sharpsburg at milepost - 72.7

Snyders Landing at milepost - 76.6

Taylors Landing at milepost - 80.9

Big Slackwater at milepost - 85.5

McMahons Mill at milepost - 88.1

Williamsport at milepost - 99.8

Four Locks at milepost -109.0

A full list of the park's access points and recreational activities, by milepost, can be found at

Hours: Sunrise to sundown. Visitors center is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily; closed Monday and Tuesday.

Cost: Free

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