C&O Canal Update – July 15, 2020

Hello Level Walkers!
Here is another update from the park. I’ve had the pleasure of working with both Linzy and Brendan – and I know many of you have too. Naturally, I am sad to see them move on, but happy for them that they are moving along their career paths.
The first group of reactivated level walkers has been busy!  I’m looking forward to seeing more of you get back out there; many of you asked about that and will hear more from me soon.
Thanks!
Steve

Dear Volunteers,

Last weekend, the C&O Canal Trust held a successful trash clean-up event. Volunteers collected a total of 45 bags of trash from 5 locations in Palisades: Fletchers Cove, Chain Bridge, Carderock, Anglers, and Great Falls. The Canal Trust is holding another trash clean-up event in the middle and west districts of the park on 7/25. For more info and to sign up visit the Canal Pride Days website.
This week I have exciting news to share with you about two of our park staff:
  • Linzy French, Assistant to the Superintendent, has accepted a promotion at Cape Cod National Seashore! Beginning in August, Linzy (who has been with C&O for 6 years) will be the Visual Information Specialist at Cape Cod. If you would like to send congratulations, she can be reached at linzy_french@nps.gov
  • Brendan Wilson, Supervisory Park Ranger in Georgetown, has accepted a promotion at Vicksburg National Military Park! Beginning in August, Brendan (who has been with the park for 4 years) will be the Chief of Interpretation, Education, and Partnerships at Vicksburg. If you would like to send congratulations, he can be reached at brendan_wilson@nps.gov
We at C&O Canal are sad to see such great colleagues go, but we are so excited for Linzy and Brendan and their new opportunities!
Emily H. Hewitt

Annual Volunteer Dinners

Hello Level Walkers,

The following message is from the Volunteer Coordinator for the C&O Canal NHP.  The volunteer dinners are a great opportunity to meet park staff and your fellow volunteers.
Thanks,
Steve

Dear Volunteers,
Please save-the-date for this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinners. To RSVP for the dinner, please email chohvip@gmail.com and indicate which dinner you will attend, which program(s) you are with, how many will be in your party, and if you will be bringing a dessert for the annual dessert contest.
Dates and locations for this year’s dinners are as follows:
  • Cumberland on October 2nd from 5:45pm – 9pm at the Western Maryland Railroad Station
  • Williamsport on October 3rd from 5:45pm – 9pm at the Springfield Barn
  • Palisades on October 10th from 5:45pm – 9pm at the Glen Echo Park Bumper Car Pavilion

Four Locks Tunnel Closure and Park Events

Hello Level Walkers!

Here are a few updates from the park about access and upcoming VIP Speaker Series events. Thanks, as always, for your support. – Steve

C&O Canal will temporarily close Four Locks Tunnel for needed repairs, June 10-13

Clear Spring, Md – Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, in conjunction with Washington County Roads Department, will be repairing a major pot hole at the downstream end of the Four Locks boat ramp tunnel, located along the access road to the Four Locks parking lot and boat launch area. The repair will necessitate the closure of the Four Locks parking lot and boat ramp from June 10-13th  2019. This repair is necessary to preserve private and public property and prevent further damage. Property owners who use this access road will be provided other means of egress.  Check our website and Facebook page for additional updates: www.nps.gov/choh, www.facebook.com/chesapeakeandohiocanal.

VIP Speakers Series – Saturday, June 15, 2019 – Canal Quarters Tour: Lockhouse 25 at Edwards Ferry

From 10:00 a.m. until noon on Saturday the 15th, Don Streets and Linda Bergofsky will guide an open house tour of Lockhouse 25. Lockhouse 25 is situated at Edwards Ferry and serves as a Canal Quarters location that can be rented to public tenants for overnight stays. Not only do Don and Linda serve as caretakers of the historic site, but they bring its history to life through their own personal touches. Known to dress in homemade, period clothing, and lead interpretive tours of the space, they will craft an authentic setting and educational experience for this Speaker Series event. To reserve space(s) in this program, please email your headcount to chohvip@gmail.com. Space is limited to the first 15 sign-ups.

VIP Speakers Series – Saturday, June 29, 2019 – Oldtown Dragonfly Walk

Did you know? The C&O Canal has the most diverse population of odonates – dragonflies and damselflies – in the entire National Park Service! On Saturday, June 29th, join Steve Dean in Oldtown, Maryland from 10:00 a.m. until noon to learn more about these fascinating creatures, and what it is that draws them here. Participants will meet with Steve at Lock 70 and engage in a short informational discussion, before walk downstream for about 1½ miles, and then back. The talk and walk will take up to two hours. Bring comfortable walking shoes and water, as well as (if you have them): a dragonfly guide, camera, spotting scope and/or binoculars. A handout about dragonflies will be available. To RSVP for this program, please email your headcount to chohvip@gmail.com.


Above – Culvert 139 downstream arch at Four Locks; May 4, 2019; Levels 41/42

Below – Pondhawk (female) on wayside at Oldtown; June 30, 2018; Levels 62/63

Pondhawk

News and Upcoming Events

Hello Level Walkers!

Look for your Along the Towpath newsletters in mid-March. There’s a lot of good stuff in this issue.  While you’re waiting for Along the Towpath, check out the VIP Newsletter Winter 2019 produced by the park’s volunteer office.  It looks great, and will fill you in on the volunteer programs and staff.

The park recently released some updates about park events in the near future.  The updates follow. There are some great programs, consider checking them out!

Steve

Spring Events at C&O Canal National Historical Park

Spring is a wonderful time to explore the wonders of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal). Come for a visit and bike or walk the towpath, stop by a visitor center, enjoy the arrival of spring, or attend one of our special events. The park is open daily, and visitors are welcome to join rangers for the following special events and programs, March through May:

March 16 – Women’s History on the C&O Canal, 11:00-12:00, Great Falls Tavern, Potomac MD. Canal historian Karen Gray will discuss the vital role of women who worked on the C&O Canal.

March 16 – Music from the 19th Century, 12:30-3:00, Great Falls Tavern, Potomac MD. Join the Mountain Dulcimers of Northern Virginia for live music and try your hand at playing this unique instrument

April 13 – Celebrate the Potomac River, 10:00-3:00 Great Falls Tavern, Potomac, Md. Visit the Chesapeake Bay Roving Ranger Mobile Visitor Center. Learn how you can help maintain this beautiful area.

April 13 – Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, Various locations across the Park – Join the 31st Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. Learn more and sign up: http://trashnetwork.fergusonfoundation.org

April 27 – Canal Pride Days, 9:00-1:00, Paw Paw Campsite, Oldtown, Md. Join the C&O Canal Trust for a day of service and fun. Space is limited! Learn more and sign up: www.canaltrust.org/programs/canal-pride-days.

May 4 – Canal Pride Days, 9:00-1:00, Great Falls, Potomac, Md. Join the C&O Canal Trust for a day of service and fun. Space is limited! Learn more and sign up: www.canaltrust.org/programs/canal-pride-days.

May 18 – Canal Pride Days, 9:00-1:00, Cushwa Basin, Williamsport, Md. Join the C&O Canal Trust for a day of service and fun. Space is limited! Learn more and sign up: www.canaltrust.org/programs/canal-pride-days.

May 25 – Williamsport Launch Boat Tours, Cushwa Basin, Williamsport, Md. These FREE 1-hour programs include riding in a historic replica canal launch boat from the Cushwa Basin to Lock 44 and back to the Cushwa Warehouse. Reservations are taken by phone at (301) 582-0813, 7 days in advance, starting May 18, 2019.

May 25 & 26 – Spring in the Park, 9:00-4:30, Great Falls Tavern, Potomac, Md. Outdoor activities include Leave No Trace Workshops and dog friendly Bark Ranger programs. Music by the National Capital Chapter of the Music Box Society International (Sunday only).

*The programs at Great Falls Tavern are free, but there is an entrance fee to the park of $15 per single vehicle.

C&O Canal Spring Visitor Center and Lockhouse Hours

Stop in one of our visitor centers to speak with a ranger or volunteer and learn about the park.

Abner Cloud House, 4940 Canal Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007, First Sunday Each Month 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Brunswick Visitor Center (301) 834-7100, 40 West Potomac St., Brunswick, MD 21716, Thurs. 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Fri. 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Sun. 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Cumberland Visitor Center (301) 722-8226, Western Maryland Railway Station, 13 Canal St., Room 100, Cumberland, MD 21502, March – Open Daily 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., April – December – Open Daily 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.\

Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center (301) 767-3714, 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854, Wed.-Sun. 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Hancock Visitor Center, 439 East Main Street,, Hancock, MD 21750, May 25 – September 1, 2019, Sat. and Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. staffing permitting

Lockhouse 24, Milemarker 22.8 (in Poolesville, Md.), Late April – early June, Sat. and Sun., 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Lockhouse 44, Milemarker 99.30 (in Williamsport, Md.), For hours of operation, call (301) 582-0813

Lockhouse 70, Milemarker 166.70 (in Oldtown, Md.), May 25 – September 29, 2019, Sat. and Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Lockhouse 75, Milemarker 175.60 (in Cumberland, Md.), May 25 – August 31, 2019, Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., staff permitting

Williamsport Visitor Center (301) 582-0813, 205 W. Potomac St., Williamsport, MD 21795, Wed.-Sun. 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Image – Make room for ducks! – Level 62, Oldtown – June 3, 2017

 

Upcoming C&O Canal National Historical Park Events

Hello Level Walkers!

We’ve had plenty of rain and heat, but summer has been relatively quiet as far as news. I do have a few updates to catch up with.

Annual Volunteer Dinners. The C&O Canal NHP is having their annual volunteer appreciation dinners in October. There are three dinners –

  • Cumberland on Wednesday, October 3rd at the Alleghany College of Maryland Continuing Education Building
  • Williamsport on Thursday, October 4th at the Barn at Springfield Farm
  • Great Falls on Thursday, October 11th at the Bumper Car Pavilion at Glen Echo Park

The dinners are from 5:45 to 9:00 p.m. Please email your RSVP to chohvip@gmail.com or call Claire Connor at (301) 745-5810. See the attached notice for further info.

These are great events for C&O Canal NHP volunteers to meet and mingle with park staff and your fellow volunteers. Normally I try to be at all three dinners to meet you, but this year I can only be at Great Falls.

Fall Events & Programs at C&O Canal National Historical Park. The park recently sent out a schedule of events.  These events are great opportunities to get out on the canal in the beautiful fall conditions we have and experience your park. Give a program or two a try!

September – Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, Potomac, Md. Interpretive program schedule:

  • Meet the Mules, Thursdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. Meet one of our hard working canal mules and learn about their role in canal history.
  • Tavern Talk, Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. Hear stories about the tavern’s colorful history during this 30-minute presentation.
  • Boat Talk, Friday through Saturday, 12 p.m., Sunday 12 & 2 p.m. Join a park ranger aboard the Charles F. Mercer and learn about life on a canal boat during this 30-minute presentation.
  • Great Falls Walking Tour, Friday and Saturday 2 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. Take a 1-hour walk along the towpath out to the mighty Great Falls on the Potomac and learn about the park’s natural and cultural history.
  • Living History Demonstration: “Eels, Turtles, and Blackberry Pie” every Sunday in September (weather permitting) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn about the diet of those who lived and worked along the canal in the 19th century.

September & October – Williamsport Launch Boat Tours, Williamsport Visitor Center, Williamsport, Md. These FREE 1-hour programs include riding in a historic replica canal launch boat from the Cushwa Basin to Lock 44 and back to the Cushwa Warehouse. Tour times are Saturdays and Sundays, 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Reservations are taken by phone at (301) 582-0813 or in-person, 7 days in advance, starting September 1, 2018.

September & October – Lockhouse 44 – Williamsport, Md., Saturdays and Sundays, 1:15-4:15 p.m. This historic lockhouse represents the life of locktenders in the early 20th century. Join a ranger to learn about life on the C&O Canal (staffing dependent).

September & October – Boat Replica Tours – Cumberland, Md., Fridays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The replica canal boat The Cumberland is open for touring. The full-sized replica cargo boat is located at Canal Place in downtown Cumberland, Md., near the Western Maryland Railway Station. Explore the mule stable, hay house, and captain’s cabin and learn about the life of the C&O canal boatmen (inclement weather cancels).\

September 1, 15, 22 & October 20 – Paw Paw Tunnel Tours – Paw Paw, W.Va., Saturdays, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Meet a park ranger at the small open amphitheater at Paw Paw Campground for a brief formal talk followed by a guided tour through the Paw Paw Tunnel. Learn about the challenges of building the tunnel, the geology of the area, and how the current rock scaling and pinning project may help avert future rock slides. The park ranger will remain in the area between the tunnel and the amphitheater between programs.

September 2 & 16 – Bike Ride with a Ranger – Cumberland, Md., Sundays, 10 a.m. Meet a ranger at the Cumberland Visitor Center for a 10-mile round trip bike ride from the canal Terminus to Evitts Creek Aqueduct and back. Learn about the canal basins and boat yards and view the westernmost aqueduct on the canal in this 90-minute to two-hour ride.

September 7 – 9 – River and Rails Festival at Canal Place – Cumberland, Md. Family festival event at Canal Place to focus on planned Cumberland River Park. Celebrate the river, canal, and rails in the Queen City. Tours of the replica canal boat, talks, fishing for children, kayaks on the basin, music and food. For more information contact the Canal Place Authority at (301) 724-3655.

September 8, October 6, & November 3 – Dulcimer Music – Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, Potomac, Md., 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Join us for live music by the Mountain Dulcimers of Northern Virginia and try your hand at playing this unique instrument.

September 22 – Blacksmith Demonstration – Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, Potomac, Md., 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Learn about the art and science of blacksmithing during this demonstration. In the 19th century if something broke, you would probably call a blacksmith. Things were generally made to last; if it broke it was often repaired or re-purposed instead of being thrown out. Recycle and reuse was the attitude of the day.

September 29 – VIP Speaker Series – Lock 75, North Branch, Cumberland, Md., 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Join photographer Steve Dean at the westernmost lock on the C&O Canal. Pick up some pointers from a talented photographer who has photographed the canal from every angle! Steve is an expert on the canal culverts and dragonflies, but also knows cameras! Join Steve to explore this beautiful section of towpath with an eye to capturing some good photos along the way.

September 29 – Bike Your Park Day – Various Locations throughout the park, all day. Enjoy the C&O Canal by cycling the towpath! Borrow a bike for free from the Williamsport or Great Falls Visitor Centers or join a ranger guided ride. Meet a ranger at the Little Tonoloway parking lot/boat ramp at 9:30 a.m. for a 16-mile ride or 9:30 a.m. for a 19-mile bike ride from the Terminus at Cumberland to Lock 75, North Branch, and back. Enjoy this C&O Canal bike adventure as fall gets underway!

September 29 & 30 – Living History Demonstrations with the 7th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment – Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, Potomac Md., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., & 3 p.m. each day. Relive the year 1862, when the country was in the middle of the Civil War and a hostile border existed along the Potomac River. The park will host a Civil War living history weekend with these re-enactors. Visitors are invited to walk through their camp and learn about the history of the canal during the war.


Above  – It’s been a great summer for dragonflies. An Eastern Pondhawk (f) dines on a delicious fly for lunch. Level 16, August 25, 2018

Below – The announcement for the C&O Canal Volunteer Appreciation Dinners (Image – NPS)

VIP Dinner Flyer 2018 (1)

 

Park Events, Visitor Centers and Calendar Photos

Hello Level Walkers!
Three messages from the National Park Service follow.  I hope you are able to get out and enjoy the towpath during some of the spring weather!
Steve

Summer Fun at the C&O Canal National Historical Park

Experience the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) this summer. Bike or walk the towpath, stop by a visitor center, ride a boat in Williamsport, or attend a park ranger program or special event.

June 9, July 7, August 4: Dulcimer Music. Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center*, 2:30 pm; 30 minutes, Join the Mountain Dulcimers of Northern Virginia for live music and try playing this unique instrument.

May 12–13: Civil War Encampment. Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center*, demonstrations at 11 am, 1:30 pm, and 3 pm; 60 minutes.  In 1862, the United States was in the middle of the Civil War with a hostile border along the Potomac River; explore this story with the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry, walk through the camp, and talk to historical re-enactors through the entire weekend.

May 26 through September 2: Williamsport Launch Boat Tours. Williamsport Visitor Center, Wednesday through Friday, 1 pm, 2:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am, 1 pm, 2:30 pm; all tours 60 minutes. This free program includes riding a historic replica boat from the Cushwa Basin to Lock 44 and back. Call (301) 582-0813 for reservations. Reservations recommended and can be made seven days in advance, starting May 19, 2018.

May 26 through September 2: Life of a Lock Keeper. Lock house 44 near Williamsport Visitor Center, Friday through Sunday 1:15 pm to 4:15 pm. Lock keepers and their families were essential to the canal’s operation. Stop by lock 44 to discover what they did and how they lived on the C&O Canal.

May 27: Organ Grinders. Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center*, 9 am to 5 pm. The National Capital Chapter of Music Box Society International demonstrates this unique and historic type of entertainment.

June 2: Maritime Voices. Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center*, 12 pm and 2 pm; 45 minutes. The Washington Revels Maritime Voices musical ensemble revives songs featuring life on the canals and waterways of 19th-Century America.

June 30: Dragonfly Walk. Lock 70 in Oldtown, Maryland,10 am; 2 hours. Discover the “odonates” – dragonflies and damselflies – in the most diverse population in the National Park system. Walk 1.5 miles downstream along the C&O Canal. Bring comfortable shoes and water, a dragonfly guide, camera, spotting scope or binoculars.  Space limited to 25 people; Reservations: chohvip@gmail.com.

July 28: Canal Thru Ride Slideshow. Trolley Barn at Williamsport Visitor Center, 2 pm; 60 minutes.Take a virtual thru ride along the C&O Canal towpath and discover dams, locks, lockhouses, culverts, bridges and aqueducts. Space limited to 25 people; Reservations: chohvip@gmail.com.

August 25: Protecting the Canal: 1861-1865. Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center*, 2 pm; 60 minutes. Explore Civil War efforts to protect the C&O Canal and the effect of war on families living along it. Space limited to 25 people; Reservations: chohvip@gmail.com.

August 25: Meet the Canal Mules. Williamsport Visitor Center, 10 am to 2 pm.  Meet hardworking National Park Service Mules Eva and Dolly and imagine pulling canal boats for a living.

Additional programs and activities will be scheduled throughout the summer months. Call or stop by park visitor centers at Cumberland, Williamsport, and Great Falls Tavern to find out about additional special programs.

*Park entrance fees may be charged at Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center but park ranger programs are free.


Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Visitor Center Summer Hours

Brunswick Visitor Center (301) 834-7100

40 West Potomac Street, Brunswick, Maryland

Thursday and Friday 10 am to 2 pm; Saturday 10 am to 4 pm; Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm; Closed Monday through Wednesday

Cumberland Visitor Center  (301) 722-8226

Western Maryland Railway Station, 13 Canal Street, Room 100, Cumberland, Maryland

Open Daily 9 am to 5 pm

Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center (301) 767-3714

11710 MacArthur Boulevard, Potomac, Maryland

Wednesday through Sunday 9 am to 4:30 pm; Closed Monday and Tuesday

Williamsport Visitor Center (301) 582-0813

205 West Potomac Street, Williamsport, Maryland

Wednesday through Sunday 9 am to 4:30 pm; Closed Monday and Tuesday


Call for Photos – 2019 C&O Canal Calendar

The park is now accepting photo submissions for the 2019 C&O Canal Calendar!
Photos of all parts of the park, through all four seasons will be included in the calendar. So if you have photos of historic structures, flora/fauna, visitors, volunteers, or just about anything else in the park, please submit them!
Once again this year, we ask that you submit your photos via Google Drive to chohvip@gmail.com. To do this, compose an email and hover your mouse over the plus sign next to the attachments, click on the drive icon (resembles recycling logo), upload the photos you would like to share, and send to chohvip@gmail.com. If you have any issues with this, please feel free to attach photos to a standard email sent to the same email address.
Please label your photo files with the name of photographer and location.
– Ex. BigSlackwater_John_Doe.
The deadline for submission is Friday, May 25th, 2018. If your photograph is selected, you will be contacted and credited in the calendar.

Above and below – Paw Paw Tunnel, Level 58, March 31, 2018

PPT mon

Level Walker Updates

Hello Level Walkers,

As the Association’s annual meeting approaches, I look forward to seeing some of you there.  If you need a level walker hat or have any questions, it will be a good time to catch up with me. If you have any questions about the annual meeting, please contact me.

If you are out there on the towpath, please keep in mind that icy conditions can persist even when it is above freezing, and tree limbs are prone to falling this time of year.  I observed both of these conditions first hand on Friday – though I did have the towpath all to myself!

The following updates are from the National Park Service.  The Weverton access change is a concern for many of us, and I don’t know if there will be any kind of work-around. I will update you if I hear anything on that.

Thanks for all you do!

Volunteer Program Assessment. The park is conducting an assessment of the volunteer program.  The park will use this information to improve the volunteer program.  The deadline to respond to the assessment is February 28th.
You will need to enter your name and email address to complete the survey.  This is so the park can follow up for more information if needed.
The survey is available at: https://goo.gl/forms/bhIOtPFeek58lVc13
Weverton Railroad Crossing (near Harpers Ferry). CSX has notified the Park that the railroad crossing at Weverton (off of Keep Tryst Road) is to be only used by CSX personnel. There is no longer access from the parking lot at Weverton to the C&O Canal towpath or Appalachian Trail.
Both the AT and the National Capital Region are aware of the change of status.  Private crossing signs have been installed and trains are not required to sound horns. Trains go through this area very rapidly and it is an unprotected crossing, making it a safety hazard!
Special Events at Great Falls:
  • Great Falls Tavern is hosting a pop up exhibit during the month of February called “What Would You Do To Be Free?” focusing on the stories of runaway slaves on the Canal
  • Feb 17 – VIP Speaker Series: Great Backyard Bird Count (9:00-11:00)
  • Feb 18 – Annual George Washington Ball with music and dancing (1:00-4:00)
  • Feb 25 – Presentation on the African-American CCC at the C&O Canal (12:00-1:00)
  • March 10 – VIP Speaker Series: Aqueducts of the C&O Canal (2:00-3:00)
  • March 18 – Irish Laborers on the C&O Canal (1:00-2:00)
  • March 24 – VIP Speaker Series: Grand Old Ditch (2:00-3:00)
  • March 25 – Women’s Life and Work on the C&O Canal (1:00-3:00)
  • March 31 – Northern Virginia Mountain Dulcimers (12:30-3:00)

Above – Culvert 93, Israel Creek, at Weverton,  January 20, 2018

C&O Canal VIP Speaker Series

The C&O Canal NHP is continuing the popular VIP Speaker Series in 2018.  The first two events have been scheduled. The following announcements are from the C&O Canal NHP.

Join Steve Dean on January 27th at 2 p.m. in the Great Falls Tavern for his presentation on the C&O Canal’s historic aqueducts. Steve will cover each aqueduct and its interesting features, past and present restoration projects, and the role aqueducts played in canal operations. This program is limited to the first 20 guests, to RSVP, please contact Kelsey Smith, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator, at kelsey_smith@nps.gov or  mary_gentile@partner.nps.gov  (Note: if you miss the aqueduct presentation in January, it will be the program at the Association’s Fall Heritage Hike.)

On February 24th at 9 a.m. Jim Nelson, C&O Canal volunteer, will be leading a Great Backyard Bird Count in Great Falls. Join Jim at the Great Falls Tavern and then head out on a 2 1/2 mile walk along the towpath as you get to view some of the canal’s amazing birds. This program is in conjunction with the Audubon’s Great Backyard Bird Count, so there will be an opportunity to provide data to help researchers learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them. This program is limited to the first 20 people, to RSVP, send an email to mary_gentile@partner.nps.gov


Above – Tonoloway Creek Aqueduct, Level 47, November 16, 2017

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

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 programs@candocanal.org. 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 kelsey_smith@nps.gov. 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 kelsey_smith@nps.gov. The Great Falls Tavern is located at 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854.


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