Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal: A Historical East Coast Waterway

The parks is maintained by the National Park Service and is free to use the over 100 miles of trails.  This park is in Williamsport, Maryland, just across the Potomac River from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.  Williamsport was once surveyed by George Washington and considered a prime spot for building the nation's capitol city.  

The C & O Canal is over 195 miles of canals built in early America to transport goods up and down the Potomac River in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C.  Boats would move along a lock and dam system and a "keeper" who lived in a house next to the lock would operate it.  Today it is a series of waterways and miles of bike and hiking trails, just perfect for an evening walk at sunset. 

An old stone bridge built around the time of the Civil War, one of 19 other stone bridges in Washington County, Maryland at twilight (I will be posting a blog about them). 

A man fishes near a small bridge in the canal.

Mile marker 99 along the bike and walking trail.

As one nears one of the locks, they can see along the canal banks where it was built up with stone and brick (above).  I was walking on this trail when I encountered these geese and their little ones.  I took about five minutes to inch closer and closer to the birds and then went onto a crouch to take the picture below. 

My daughter saw the open trail through the wooded area along the canal and took off running.  I think long, straight trails like this just beg you to run, rather than walk.  At any rate, she challenged me to a race, and that's what we did. 

This building is used by the National Park Service as a visiting center for the park. 

This is one of the lesser known national parks, but worth the time it takes to get to know it at peel back the layers or history, or just camp, walk or ride a bike along a great East Coast river. 


  1. I like the baby geese!!!! I missed out on the bridges again!!!

  2. No, I didn't visit all the bridges. This one happens to be in the park. The bridges have been there for over 150 years, I suspect they will be there when we get a chance to visit them again.

  3. I would love to ride a bike along this trail. Doesn't look like it gets too many visitor, which in my mind is definitely a plus.

  4. There are more visitors than you might think, but the trails go on and on and on. Over 190 miles worth.

  5. A link to the park