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Canal towns announcing new initiative

September 19, 2011

Eight communities bordering the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park will announce a new collaborative visitor attraction initiative Friday at 10 a.m. at Ferry Hill Place, 16500 Shepherdstown Pike, Sharpsburg.

The new initiative, known as the Canal Towns Partnership, is a regional cooperative effort among towns in Maryland and West Virginia bordering the C&O Canal park to ensure that visitors to the region and cyclists and hikers on the towpath find welcoming communities, and a variety of services and amenities.

The partnership is an outgrowth of a cooperative effort that began in 2009 among the C&O Canal’s gateway towns — Cumberland, Hancock, Williamsport, Sharpsburg, Brunswick and Point of Rocks in Maryland, and Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry and Bolivar in West Virginia. It hopes to increase hiking and bicycling tourism along the C&O Canal towpath, and increase the number of people visiting the towns seeking goods and services.

The partnership, governed by a board of two representatives from each of the towns, has developed interpretive kiosks along the towpath directing visitors into their communities. It has also created informational brochures for each town.

For more information, go to www.canaltowns.org.

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