Activities in the Williamsport Area –October 27 and 28

Hello Level Walkers!  If you aren’t attending the Heritage Hike but are looking for something to do on the canal this weekend, consider one of these fine activities hosted by National Park Service rangers in the Williamsport area. Thanks! – LWC

Fall is a wonderful time to discover the wonders of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal). Join rangers for special talks, walks, a bike tour and a sing-along on Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28.

Friday, October 27 – Williamsport Visitor Center, 205 West Potomac Street, Williamsport, Md.

10:30–11:30 a.m. – Ranger talk on the “Art of Interpreting Natural and Cultural Resources.”

Noon – One-mile round-trip hike to historic Lockhouse 44. Learn about C&O Canal history, lockhouses and how locks work.

2:00–3:00 p.m. – Canal music lesson and sing-along.

Saturday, October 28 – Four Locks Boat Ramp, Clear Spring, Md.

11:00 a.m.–noon – Ranger-led half mile walk on “Rediscover the Community of Four Locks.”  Learn about how canal operations supported this once-vibrant community.

1:00–3:30 p.m. – Ranger led five-mile round-trip bike ride to Dam 5. Discuss the clever engineers who used 19th-century marvels to navigate both the river and canal.

Pack a lunch to eat in the picnic grounds between the walk and bike ride!

Four Locks Boat Ramp is located in Clear Springs, Md. It can be reached by turning onto Four Locks Road from Maryland Route 56, driving 0.6 miles, and then bearing right onto Starliper Road to the boat ramp parking lot.

For more information about any of these programs, call the C&O Canal Williamsport Visitor Center at 301-582-0813.

Above – Locks 49 and 50, Level 42, October 17, 2014

Below – Lock 44, Level 37, May 6, 2017

lock 44

Volunteer Dinner Survey

Hello – this is a short message about the park’s volunteer dinners.  Thanks to all of you who showed up!  It was great to see you, and to meet some of you for the first time. Whether you attend the dinners or not, realize that the C&O Canal NHP, the Association and I all appreciate your efforts on the canal.  The C&O Canal has a volunteer program that is the envy of other parks, and you are part of the reason why.

The park is looking for feedback on the dinners and welcomes your opinion if you attended. Please see the following from the park’s volunteer program manager.  Thanks! – LWC

Thanks to everyone who came out for the volunteer dinners. Please take a few minutes to complete the following SHORT survey –
Please complete the survey by Monday, October 23rd.
Your feedback will help us with planning for next year’s volunteer dinners.
Please share this email with park volunteers.
Thank you,
Emily H. Hewitt
Volunteer Program Manager
C&O Canal National Historical Park

Above – Dam 5, Level 40, October 5, 2017

Fall VIP Speaker Series Events

These announcements are for two upcoming events in the park’s VIP Speaker series. These are both great events worthy of your consideration.  Contact the park for further questions and to reserve a seat.

If you haven’t made a reservation for the Heritage Hike and still want to attend, or if you mailed in your reservation in the last few days (October 11-13), please contact me as soon as possible at There is still room for the dinner, but there are only a few bus seats left. – LWC

October Speaker Series

Paul Parish will present a program on colonial surveying on Saturday, October 28, 2017, beginning at 10 a.m. in the park’s education gathering space in Building D at 10 Howard Street, Canal Place, Cumberland.

Over the past 16 years, Mr. Parish has completed extensive research and training on colonial surveying. This program will describe surveying methods of the 18th century using original and replica surveying instruments as visual aids. Just as today, lands had to be surveyed and legally documented based on the various different types of land grants. Please join us to learn more about warrants, patents, land measurements, and the fees and costs involved.

Prior to Mr. Parish becoming a volunteer with the C&O Canal he was a captain of the Cumberland Fire Department. He has a love and passion for teaching others and has been presenting living history programs since 1975. Paul is currently volunteering with the canal’s Trails & Rails program on the Amtrak Capitol Limited and has also assisted with tours of the replica canal boat, The Cumberland.

Space for this program is limited to the first 30 participants. Please RSVP with your name and how many will be in your party. For more information or to RSVP, contact Kelsey Smith, assistant volunteer coordinator at For directions or additional information call the Cumberland Visitor Center at 301-722-8226.

November Speaker Series

Join Karen Gray, PhD, librarian and longtime park volunteer, on Saturday, November 4th at 2 pm at the Great Falls Tavern to learn more about the myths and truths of the 184.5 miles of the canal.

This exciting one-hour presentation will reveal the latest research and how it has changed our understanding of the canal’s operation and history. Gray will also suggest that there is continued value in the canal’s myths and stories that we have believed to be true for so long.

The program is free, but there is an entrance fee to the park of $10.00 per single vehicle. Space is limited to the first 25 guests. If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP with your name and how many will be in your party. For more information or to RSVP,  please contact Kelsey Smith, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator, at The Great Falls Tavern is located at 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854.

Above – Approaching Cumberland, Level 69, October 24, 2015