Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Things to Do

  • Cumberland Visitor Center in the old train station
    Cumberland Visitor Center in the old...
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  • End or the Beginning point of the C&O
    End or the Beginning point of the C&O
    by mtncorg
  • Bow of a C&O canal boat
    Bow of a C&O canal boat
    by mtncorg

Most Recent Things to Do in Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

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    LOCK 33

    by mtncorg Written Oct 28, 2006

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    Lock 33 across from Harpers Ferry
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    Waterpower from the Potomac was provided to the Armory and Musket Factory at Harpers Ferry - now in West Virginia - by a dam just upstream. Water from the dam also provide water to this section of the C&O Canal. Three river locks allowed communication between the Potomac and the Canal over the length of the 185 mile length of canal. Harpers Ferry was thought to have potential to be a major port along the canal and one of the river locks was built here. However, the river lock was rarely used as property owners and the B&O Railroad tied up potential dock areas on the Harpers Ferry side. By the time of the Civil War, the river lock had become too small for canal boats and the lock was filled in after flood destruction in 1889.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • National/State Park

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    MONOCACY AQUEDUCT

    by mtncorg Written Oct 28, 2006

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    C&O crossing the Monocacy River
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    To allow canal boats to cross streams and rivers that entered into the Potomac River, it was necessary to build aqueducts - 11 were built. The largest and most famous was the aqueduct that crossed over the Monocacy River. Built between 1829 and 1833, the aqueduct is 438 feet long. Confederate soldiers tried to destroy the aqueduct during Lee's first invasion of the North during September, 1862, but the solid granite blocks proved to tough, the gunpowder needed for other tasks. Floods have proven more of a hazard over the years, as they have over the whole length of the Canal in general - a major flood in 1924 finally shut down the Canal for good. In response the National Park Service has moved to stabilize the structure, first in 1971 and again in 2004-5. Of the original 11 aqueducts, only one has collapsed.

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    • Architecture
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

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    TOW/BICYCLE PATH

    by mtncorg Written Oct 28, 2006

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    Towpath along the old canal near Hrpers Ferry
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    Mules cover only small portions of the 185 miles of the Canal anymore and those areas for the benefit of local tourists as opposed to the original purpose of moving heavy amounts of cargo up and down the Canal. Today the old towpath is the province of the mountain bike. The C&O seems to be a minor bauble in the crown of the local bicyclist - whether they can cover the ground in 1, 2, 3 or whatever days. There are great websites for
    covering the length of the trail on bike and another way is to in the Potomac with sea kayak. Campsites, B&B's, restaurants and grocery stores are covered in some detail by the Washington DC bike website. Go for it!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Cycling
    • Hiking and Walking

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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Travel Guide

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Things to Do

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