The C&O Canal Trust is the official non-profit partner of the C&O Canal National Historical Park and works in partnership with the National Park Service to protect, restore, and promote the canal. The Trust seeks to ensure the Park’s  natural, historical, and recreational potential is fully realized.

Park Photos

Park News

Help Protect a Great Park

Join volunteers and staff for a day of finding and mapping invasive plants. The event will take place on Thursday June 25th at the Great Falls Tavern in Great Falls Park, Potomac, MD.

The C&O Canal NHP plays an integral part in protecting the important natural and cultural resources of the Potomac Gorge. Invasive plants are threatening these important resources so we need your help to identify where the priority populations of invasive plants are.


Thursday June 25th

9:00   Introduction
9:30   Hand out materials (Species list, map, assigned area, methods)
9:45   Break up into groups
10:00 Search
12:00 Lunch together
1:00  Search
3:00  Wrap up

How to help

  • Register by email:
  • Come on Thursday June 25th 9am-3:30pm
  • Bring: a smart phone (if you have one), clean hiking boots, lunch. Those without phones are very welcome!
  • Get IPAlert app:

What we will do

  • Find weeds
  • Map weed locations
  • Help protect a great park
  • Explore a great park

More Information

Mark Frey
Phone: 202-339-8317


National Park Service and Outdoor Foundation Select C&O Canal Association as 2014 Challenge Cost Share Program Recipient

Recently, the National Park Service and the Outdoor Foundation announced recipients of the 2014 Challenge Cost Share Program, which supports projects that promote urban outreach, youth engagement and connecting people to the outdoors. The partners selected 20 projects, from 187 applications, and will award nearly $400,000 that will be matched by an additional $885,000 in direct and in-kind contributions from recipients. A total of 14,000 youth are expected to be engaged through the program.

The C&O Canal Association received $15,000 to support its work to engage Maryland school children as well as nearby Pennsylvania and West Virginia youth at the replica canal boat The Cumberland.  Located in Cumberland, Maryland, the full-sized replica canal boat is used to interpret the canal story to elementary and middle school children in the region.  The project is being completed in conjunction with Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park and a second park partner, the Canal Place Preservation & Development Authority (CPPDA). Grant funds will allow for replacement of boat decking, window repair, improvement of the drainage systems and other work to extend the life of the boat.

Situated at the terminus of the C & O Canal and built in 1976 as a Bicentennial project, The Cumberland allows National Park Service staff a great opportunity to introduce local youth to the history of the canal at Cumberland and the environmental connections between the C &O Canal and the Potomac River. About 2,500 visitors, primarily school children, tour the boat each year; however, with improvements and repairs to the boat, coupled with a major expansion of park curriculum based education programs at Cumberland, we expect to double visitation to The Cumberland.


Give Back to The Park You Love

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park has many opportunities for our visitors who are interested in volunteering for the park. Whether your interest is in living history, bike patrolling, park maintenance, or staffing a visitor center, the C&O Canal has many rewarding volunteer jobs.

Throughout the country, thousands of individuals assist the National Park Service by volunteering their time and talents. These people who work side-by-side in partnership with NPS employees are called Volunteers in Parks, or VIPs. VIPs care about the parks- their past, present, and future- and care about the people who come to visit the parks.

Wherever they work, whatever their job, VIPs help the park service in its challenging mission: To conserve the parks’ natural and historical resources and to provide for their enjoyment in a way that will leave them unimpaired for future generations. Volunteer opportunities available at the C&O Canal National Historical Park are listed under “Get Involved”.

Check back with us regularly for upcoming volunteer opportunities! Give back to the park you enjoy, love, or want to improve!