Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park - MD Travel Blog

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The house of the lockmaster was later extended and served as a tavern

It has become almost a tradition for me... Easter -> visit Washington DC! And that is what happened. During my journey to my hotel in Virginia I wanted to visit the Maryland Section of Great Falls Park. I already visited the Virginia side and site of this beautiful area twice (see here and here). The Maryland section is called Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park.

In my first blog about the site I mentioned the Patowmack Canal, a small canal at the Virginia shore of the Potomac River used to navigate small cargo ships along the forceful rapids. The Patowmack Canal was closed in 1828 when a brand new and much broader canal was constructed at the Maryland shore of the river: the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.

The Great Falls of the Potomac River. Seen from Olmsted Island

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal was a marvel of engineering. The 296.9-km (184.5-mile) long canal connected the city of Cumberland in Maryland with Washington DC and was mainly meant to transport coal. It negotiates a height difference of 184 meters (605 ft) using 74 locks.

The canal opened in 1833 and operated until 1924, when a huge flood damaged the sytem. The slowly decaying system was purchased by the National Park Service in 1938. After a plan to use the land to construct a scenic parkway (fortunately) failed it was decided to restore the canal, making it a perfect hike, bike, and fishing spot. The locks in the lower section still operate and the NPS operates a touristic boat tour in this section.

Due to some traffic jams I unfortunately arrived only 70 minutes before sunset. My focus was primary the Great Falls, which can be visited closer than from the Virginia side. I will have to go back for some more detailed canal exploring.

More pictures below!

vances says:
Used to work in Georgetown and often enjoyed lunch by the canal. Truly is amazing how wonderfully it remains in the neighborhood!

:^)
Posted on: Apr 13, 2013
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The house of the lockmaster was la…
The house of the lockmaster was l…
The Great Falls of the Potomac Ri…
At the bank of the C&O Canal
At the bank of the C&O Canal
The house of the lockmaster was la…
The house of the lockmaster was l…
The house of the lockmaster was la…
The house of the lockmaster was l…
Lock #19
Lock #19
A section of the canal was drained
A section of the canal was drained
Great Falls streaming along Olmste…
Great Falls streaming along Olmst…
Great Falls streaming along Olmste…
Great Falls streaming along Olmst…
The boardwalk and bridge over the …
The boardwalk and bridge over the…
Great Falls streaming along Olmste…
Great Falls streaming along Olmst…
Potomac River
Potomac River
Potomac River
Potomac River
Sunset
Sunset
An engineering marvel, the C&O Can…
An engineering marvel, the C&O Ca…
Potomac River
Potomac River
Potomac River
Potomac River
GPS profile of my short walk (rend…
GPS profile of my short walk (ren…
The C&O Canal in operation around …
The C&O Canal in operation around…
The Great Falls of the Potomac Ri…
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park - MD
photo by: mdalamers