Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Williamsport

4.5
#36 of 163 in Museums in Maryland
Specialty Museum · Museum
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Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
114 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • No boat tours due to being short staffed. Visitor Center young lady in one of the warehouses was very knowledgeable. Good Jr. Ranger offerings. Good location to see the lift locks, turning basin... 
    No boat tours due to being short staffed. Visitor Center young lady in one of the warehouses was very knowledgeable. Good Jr. Ranger offerings. Good location to see the lift locks, turning basin...  more »
  • Visitor center is closed according to the answering machine. Outdoor areas are accessible. The aqueduct is probably the most interesting thing. 
    Visitor center is closed according to the answering machine. Outdoor areas are accessible. The aqueduct is probably the most interesting thing.  more »
  • I really enjoyed the Williamsport and Dam 5 areas of C&O Canal park. I liked it even better than Harpers Ferry. Definitely drive the 5 miles up to Dam 5. 
    I really enjoyed the Williamsport and Dam 5 areas of C&O Canal park. I liked it even better than Harpers Ferry. Definitely drive the 5 miles up to Dam 5.  more »
Google
  • We visited the Great Falls Park in Virginia before coming to the side on this side, and the view was different but just as good as the Great Falls side! We also walked along the canal (starting from lock 20), and the trail was nice and also suitable for biking. There’s plenty of parking space around lock 20. Overall, we had a good time visiting the park.
  • We visited the Great Falls Trail Tavern Visitor Center (MD side) on Labor Day weekend. Surprisingly, no one checking for pass or collecting fees. At 9AM, still plenty of parking available. This was the last day of the canal "boat rides" (only at 11AM and 2PM) so we wanted to be there for the 10AM tickets giveaway (free) for the 11AM "trip". They have a small restroom facility (worn down and not very clean) and then a small visitor center. The park rangers were around everywhere and very friendly and helpful. They gave away the boat tickets (50 in total) in front of the visitor center and at 10AM there were probably 20 of us in line. The boat loads at 5 minutes prior and is a basic wood bench on an upper level. Small reproduction boat. The boat is not motorized and is normally pulled by mules, but today was pulled by rangers and park volunteers (they worked up a sweat, it was tough work). The boat travels a grand total of about 100 yards (the length of a football field) and then returns back to where you started - the main point of the trip being to enter and go through a restored version of the original manual locks. They did explain this and took questions, but in retrospect, if you have ever seen or been through locks before, I would skip this part. Otherwise, the park is well marked with a lot of trails and beautiful views of the falls. Great way to spend a day outdoors and getting familiar with the canal and locks.
  • They are not open, I have talked to other local park ranger and they said it was because of covid and a lack of volunteers and rangers. I really wanted to go on the boat ride. The river seems pretty though and it's the same one that flows by Harper's Ferry
  • Beautiful easy hiking trails right by the quiet water, very scenic route to enjoyed with friends, family or a couple afternoon walk. There are some shades and benches along the way but it can still get very hot, be sure to bring water and use sunblock. Our dog is older so we bring her a fan, a bottle of water and a carriage for her so little pet won't get overheat. :)
  • Usually get in at the McLean, VA entrance. We always saw the people on the other side. Finally took the time to check out the view from the MD side. Nice walkway to the falls. You walk over portions of the river to get there. Great views from this side as well, although it is a little more crowded at the lookout area. It was also bonus “meet the mules” day when we visited. You can take a trail and walk along the river or follow the towpath. Towpath is great for cycling or hiking. Plenty of fish, ducks, geese and turtles to see too. America the Beautiful pass or daily entry fee to get in. Well worth it for a lovely day out.

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