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.

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Canal Pride Days Dates and Locations Announced  

The 8th Annual Canal Pride Days kickoff season will run from April to May, including events all along the Towpath from D.C. to Cumberland. Space is limited at events, so sign up early to ensure your spot. Groups, families, individuals, and businesses are all welcome and encouraged to participate.  Events include:

  • Saturday, April 11, 2015: Take control of litter! Over 20 sites along the C&O will participate in the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. To find a site near you and sign up, please visit
  • Saturday, April 18, 2015, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Help ring in the Canal Pride season at Great Falls! Projects will include preserving historic buildings, improving the grounds, and painting buildings, benches, picnic tables and more at the Historic Great Falls Tavern.
  • Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Show your Canal Pride at Williamsport by cleaning and painting exhibits, fixing potholes, building trails, and more! 
  • Saturday, May 2, 2015, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Revitalize the picturesque area around the Paw Paw campground by cleaning and replacing grills, painting picnic tables, and maintaining trails!

Please click here for more information.  


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!