Tuesday
Sep062011

Major Flooding Expected: C & O Canal National Historical Park Prepares

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park News Release
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Contact:  Peggie Gaul, 301-739-6072
                
Major Flooding Expected: C & O Canal National Historical Park Prepares

HAGERSTOWN, MD – Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park declared a flood emergency as of 9:30 A.M., Tuesday, September 6, 2011.  Park staff is preparing for what could be one of the top ten major floods in our area, according to the National Weather Service forecasts.

Areas of the park are being closed, including hiker/biker campgrounds, drive up campgrounds, boat ramps, visitor centers, and day use areas.  Portable toilets throughout the park are being emptied and closed. The Great Falls entrance road, Billy Goat A Trail, and the Great Falls Overlook will be closed beginning Wednesday, September 7.  The Canal Quarters program which provides overnight accommodations in some of the historic lockhouses has been temporarily suspended.  A section of the towpath has been closed between Offutt Street and Brehm Road in Allegany County because of a weakened culvert.  Additional closures are likely through the week.

Visitors are asked to refrain from entering the park and respect all safety barriers. There is a risk of being swept away by swift water or becoming stranded along the towpath as the waters rise. The rising water will be carrying extremely hazardous debris, trees, and man-made objects.  In addition to the rising water, water logged soils can lead to other hazards, including uprooting of trees and falling branches. Visitors are advised to observe the rising water from a safe distance

An internal incident command team was established to manage information, coordinate resources, and ensure the orderly implementation and completion of the Park’s Flood Emergency Response Plan.  The team’s top priorities are protection of life and the physical well-being of employees and visitors, and protection of park resources and government property.

Tuesday
Aug302011

Temporary Closure of Sycamore Island Pedestrian Bridge

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park News Release
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Contact:  Peggie Gaul, 301-739-6072
                
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Announces Temporary Closure of Sycamore Island Pedestrian Bridge.


CABIN JOHN, MD – Beginning Tuesday, September 6, the National Park Service will temporarily close the Sycamore Island Bridge for repairs.   The pedestrian bridge which crosses the C&O Canal provides access from MacArthur Boulevard to Sycamore Island.  Repairs are expected to take approximately one month and will include deck replacement, structural maintenance and painting.  The steel truss bridge dates back to the early 1900’s.
    

www.nps.gov/choh

Friday
Aug192011

Canal Days at Williamsport - August 27-28, 2011

Join us for Canal Days at Williamsport, August 27-28, 2011!

Cushwa Basin Programs and Events

Saturday, August 27, 2011

9:00-4:30 Visitor Center open with exhibits, films, and gift shop

10:00-4:00 Trolley Barn
                   Life on the C&O Canal exhibit
                   On the Canal power point presentation (11:00 & 1:00)

10:00-4:00 Canal Launch Boat Viewing

10:00-4:00 Lock House 44 open for tours and lock demonstrations

10:30 & 1:30 Ranger led Bike Ride

Sunday, August 28, 2011

9:00-4:30 Visitor Center open with exhibits, films, and gift shop

10:00-4:00 Trolley Barn
                   Life on the C&O Canal exhibit

10:00-4:00 Canal Launch Boat Viewing

10:00-4:00 Lock House 44 open for tours and lock demonstrations

12:00-3:00 Matthew Dodd - Songs and Stories of the Canal

3:00 Canal Family Reunion at the Trolley Barn

Ride the free Trolley from Byron Memorial Park to Cushwa Basin to Lock 44 and back
Williamsport Canal Days August 27-28, 2011.

Friday
Aug192011

C&O Canal Active Trails Event

An Active Trails event will be hosted by the C&O Canal on Saturday August, 27th at Fletcher’s.  The event will run from 10:00am until 3:00pm.  We hope to reach out to the current park users and promote a “share the trail” mentality with the various types of trail users the towpath and Capital Crescent Trail see on a daily basis.

If anyone has time to help make the event as successful as possible and reach as many park visitors as we can we would certainly appreciate it.  

We would like to have stations that offer:

  • Water - talk about the importance of hydration
  • Bike Bell installations - bells are the universal warning system for bikers to alert other trail users of their approach
  • Bike Maintenance Tips - overview of the basics of what every biker should have and how to use it when you need it
  • Trail Etiquette and Safe Trail Use
  • General Park Information
  • Info about Great Falls Bike Loaner Program - set to kick off this Fall, more details to come


Volunteers can sign up for 2 hours shifts or for the entire day if you are available for that long. Set-up begins at 9:30am, Tear down/Clean up at 3:00-3:30pm.

If you are available for any amount of time between those hours, please contact Rebecca Jameson, 301-767-3709.  We would love to have you come out to help support this event!

Friday
Aug122011

Interpretive Training Opportunity for Volunteers

September 15th - 10AM-12PM

The C&O Canal National Historical Park will be offering a free training at the Historic Bowles House Visitor Center in Hancock, MD.

Interpretation is a key part of communication for any park unit. The information that we share with visitors is important , but how we deliver that information is equally valuable. In this 2-hour workshop, participants will learn about the basics of an interpretation formula,how we identify the pieces of interpretation, and practice some ofthe skills in our interpretive portfolio.

Space is limited - please RSVP by September 5th to Hollie Lynch 301-745-5877

Thursday
Aug112011

Ranger Led Programs at Hancock

C&O Canal National Historical Park News Release

Release Date: August 10, 2011
For Immediate Release
Hollie Lynch, Park Ranger, (301) 491-0149

C & O Canal features Ranger Led Programs August 14 in Hancock, Maryland


Hancock, MD. – The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park will feature ranger led programs for youth and adults on Sunday, August 14, 2011 at the park’s historic Bowles House Visitor Center located at 439 E. Main Street, Hancock, Maryland.
Starting at 10:00 a.m. youth and families can join a park ranger to ‘Bike through History’, a 2 hour ride along the C & O Canal towpath. Visitors will learn about canal operations near Hancock and see historic structures along the old canal, including Lock 52 remains, Tonoloway Aqueduct, Round Top Cement Mill ruins and the unique geological feature known as Devil’s Eyebrow. The program will begin at the Bowles House Visitor Center and will include a 9 mile loop ride. Children 15 years of age and under are required to wear helmets by Maryland State Law. Please bring plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Following the bike tour, a Junior Ranger Explorers program will be offered from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the visitor center. Youth ages 15 and under are welcome to participate. The program will feature a variety of activities encouraging youth to explore the park through nature, history and recreation. Youth participating in activities will receive a National Park Service Junior Ranger badge or patch and a certificate.

In addition to programs, the C & O Canal’s Bowles House Visitor Center is free and open to the public Friday to Tuesday, Memorial Day weekend through October, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The historic home is free to tour and features a variety of videos, photographs and exhibits that interpret the stories of families who occupied the home and canal operations in Hancock, Maryland. For more information on events and programs or to schedule a group tour please contact the visitor center at (301) 745 – 5877 or visit the website at www.nps.gov/choh .

Wednesday
Aug102011

Palisades Administrative Volunteer

Use your administrative talents to help the National Park Service! The C&O Canal National Historical Park is looking for a volunteer to serve as Administrative Clerk for the maintenance division. If you have previous experience working in an office setting you can put your skills to use while spending time at the beautiful Great Falls location of the park.

Major duties of this position include:

- Receives and directs telephone calls and/or visitors;
- Types occasional correspondence; i.e., memos, letters, forms, reports;
- Assures proper operation of office equipment (fax machine, copier, printers);
- Requisitions office supplies, printing support & related material;- Establishes, updates & maintains office records;
- Distributes and controls incoming and outgoing mail

This position is located in the Maintenance Shop at Great Falls in Potomac, Maryland, and requires a commitment of at least 6 months. Volunteer uniform will be provided.

Apply here, or contact Danny Filer for more information: danny_filer@nps.gov 301-714-2218.

Thursday
Jul282011

Volunteer First Aid/CPR Instructor Opportunity

Volunteer CPR/First Aid Instructor

Are you a Certified CPR/First Aid Instructor? Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to become a volunteer at your national park!

The C&O Canal Volunteers-In-Parks Program is currently seeking a Certified CPR/First Aid Instructor to volunteer their services and provide CPR/First Aid training to our volunteers. Trainings are held four to six times per year, often on weekends. It is critical to our operations to have all of our volunteers certified, particularly the Bike Patrol and Billy Goat Trail Stewards. Uniform items will be provided, as well as opportunities for park wide recognition.

Please contact Danny Filer, Volunteer Coordinator, at 301-714-2218 or danny_filer@nps.gov

 

Monday
Jul182011

Safety Tips - Summer Heat

Safety Alert - The Heat is Back

 If you didn’t get a chance to enjoy the low humidity and mid 80’s of the past week, then you will have to wait…  Higher humidity and mid to upper 90’s is BACK with heat indexes above 105 for the rest of this week.

Check out these safety tips from John Adams, the C&O Canal Safety Officer and stay safe this summer!


Friday
Jul152011

C&O Canal features Porch Pickin’ Bluegrass Event in Hancock, Maryland

Release Date: July 12, 2011
For Immediate Release
Hollie Lynch, Park Ranger, (301) 491-0149

C&O Canal features Porch Pickin’ Bluegrass Event August 6th, 2011 in Hancock, Maryland

       Hancock, MD. – On Saturday, August 6th, 2011 the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park will host a Porch Pickin’ Bluegrass event from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the park’s historic Bowles House Visitor Center located at 439 E. Main Street, Hancock, Maryland. Bring a lawn chair and come enjoy the festive atmosphere along the canal. The event is free, open to the public and will feature live bluegrass music by local musicians and artwork by local artists who will bring their easels to paint and sketch during the afternoon.

     In addition to programs, the C & O Canal’s Bowles House visitor center is open to the public Friday to Tuesday, Memorial Day weekend through October, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The historic home is free to tour and features a variety of videos, photographs and exhibits that interpret the stories of families who occupied the home and canal operations in Hancock, Maryland. Youth ages 15 and under are welcome to participate in the Junior Ranger program and activities during the event.

     For more information please contact the Hancock Visitor Center at (301) 745 – 5877 or visit the website at www.nps.gov/choh .

Monday
Jul112011

C&O Canal features July Ranger Led Programs in Hancock, Maryland

C&O Canal National Historical Park News Release
Release Date: July 11, 2011
For Immediate Release
Hollie Lynch, Park Ranger, (301) 491-0149

C & O Canal features July Ranger Led Programs in Hancock, Maryland

       Hancock, MD. – The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park will feature ranger led programs for youth and adults during the month of July at the park’s historic Bowles House Visitor Center located at 439 E. Main Street, Hancock, Maryland.

     On Saturday, July 16th starting at 10:00 a.m. youth and families can join a park ranger to ‘Bike through History’, a 2 hour ride along the C & O Canal towpath. Visitors will learn about canal operations near Hancock and see historic structures along the old canal, including Lock 52 remains, Tonoloway Aqueduct, Round Top Cement Mill ruins and the unique geological feature known as Devil’s Eyebrow. The program will begin at the Bowles House visitor center and will include a 9 mile loop ride. Children 15 years of age and under are required to wear helmets by Maryland State Law. Please bring plenty of water to keep hydrated.

     Following the bike tour, a Junior Ranger Explorers program will be offered from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the visitor center. Youth ages 15 and under are welcome to participate. The program will feature a variety of activities encouraging youth to explore the park through nature, history and recreation. Youth participating in activities will receive a National Park Service Junior Ranger badge or patch and a certificate.

     On Monday, July 18th and July 25th, visitors can join a ranger on a Canal Walk at 9:30 a.m. from the Bowles House Visitor Center. The 2 mile walk will feature an overview of canal history and highlight historic structures near Hancock, Maryland. The walk will last approximately 60 minutes. Visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring drinking water.

     In addition to programs, the C & O Canal’s Bowles House visitor center is free and open to the public Friday to Tuesday, Memorial Day weekend through October, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The historic home is free to tour and features a variety of videos, photographs and exhibits that interpret the stories of families who occupied the home and canal operations in Hancock, Maryland. For more information on events and programs or to schedule a group tour please contact the Hancock Visitor Center at (301) 745 – 5877 or visit the website at www.nps.gov/choh .

Monday
Jul112011

Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center Volunteer Shifts Available

The Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center is in need of volunteers to cover the following shifts at the front desk for the month of July.

Saturday 7/16 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Saturday 7/23 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Saturday 7/30 - 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Contact Ranger Rebecca Jameson if you have any questions or would like to volunteer 301-767-3709

Tuesday
Jul052011

Annual Retreat through Williamsport

C & O Canal Events during the Annual Retreat through Williamsport

Williamsport, MD. – The 2nd Annual Retreat through Williamsport: Civil War Weekend will be held July 6th through July 10th, 2011, in Williamsport, Maryland. In partnership with the Town of Williamsport, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park will feature a variety of events and speakers on Saturday, July 9th and Sunday, July 10th.  All programs are free to the public and will begin at the C & O Canal’s Cushwa Basin Visitor Center located in Williamsport, Maryland.

Saturday, July 9th, 2011:

  • 2:00 p.m. Music by Susquahanna Travelers
  • 3:00 p.m. Tim Snyder, Author – C & O Canal during the Civil War
  • 4:00 p.m. Karlton Smith, NPS Ranger – Civil War Medicine and the Gettysburg Campaign
  • 5:00 p.m. Ted Alexander, Author & Speaker – Hagerstown & Williamsport on the Retreat: A          Tale of Two Towns
  • 6:00 p.m. Williamsport Civil War History Walking Tour – The guided walk will begin at the               Cushwa Basin Visitor Center and end at River Bottom Park 
  • 8:00 p.m. Campfire at River Bottom Park with Storyteller Matthew Dodd, featuring music by           Susquahanna Travelers

Sunday, July 10th, 2011:

    10:00 a.m. March to Falling Waters with NPS Park Ranger Curt Gaul. The program will begin at the Cushwa Basin Visitor Center in Williamsport, Maryland. Visitors will enjoy stories from Confederate and Union re-enactors along the 5 mile hike to the Falling Waters Potomac River Crossing. Although there is no cost for attending the program, the hike is limited to the first 120 participants. If you are interested in joining the program, please make a reservation by calling the C & O Canal at (301) 582-0813. The C & O Canal Association is providing a bus for a return trip to Cushwa Basin.

    
In addition to C & O Canal events, the Town of Williamsport will feature reenactments and speakers on Saturday, July 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Barn at Springfield Farm in Williamsport, Maryland. For a complete event agenda please visit www.williamsportretreat.com .

Following the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1863, the Confederate Army retreated through Williamsport, Maryland. The Retreat through Williamsport: Civil War Weekend interprets the events of the Confederate and Union Armies in and around Williamsport from July 5 – 14, 1863. Through 2013, the Town of Williamsport and the C & O Canal National Historical Park will continue building events and programs to commemorate the approaching Sesquicentennial, 150th Anniversary.

For more information please contact the C & O Canal National Historical Park at (301) 582-0813 or visit the website at www.nps.gov/choh

Friday
Jul012011

Billy Goat A Reroute

The National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP, recently implemented a minor reroute of the Billy Goat A trail near Great Falls, MD.

The original trail route gave a false sense of ease to hikers unfamiliar with the area. The new reroute becomes difficult straightaway, reflecting the intensity of the entire trail. This gives unprepared hikers the opportunity to turn back sooner. This reroute will improve hiker safety, while providing beautiful Gorge views the hikers seek out.

The reroute was created using existing social trails in order to minimize our impact on the sensitive Potomac Gorge environment. The original path is closed and in the process of being re-vegetated.

 

For timely updates on trail conditions- be sure to follow us on Twitter @chohtrails

Thursday
Jun302011

Summer Activities at the C&O Canal

Georgetown

Mule-Drawn Canal Boat Rides

11a, 1:30p, 3p - April 1 through August 15

 

Great Falls

Mule-Drawn Canal Boat Rides

11a, 1:30p, 3p - May 15 through October

 

Riley’s Lockhouse

Saturdays and Sundays, March - June and Sept - October

1p-4p

Join volunteers in period costume for a guided tour of one of the C&O Canal’s original lockhouses and explore the life of a lock-keeper!

 

Lander Lockhouse

Saturdays, April - October

11a-2p

Join park volunteers for a glimpse at life as a locktender. First floor is open with period furnishings.

 

Ferry Hill Plantation

Sundays, May - September 4

12p-4p

Tour historic Ferry Hill Plantation, home of Henry Kyd Douglas, author of “I Rode with Stonewall.” Learn about the families who lived here and how the site has changed over time.

 

Paw Paw “Tunnel Time”

Saturday and Sundays, May - August

1:30p-3:30p

Meet a ranger located at the entrance to the single largest structure along the C&O Canal to learn more about the history. For those planning to hike through the tunnel, a flashlight and comfortable shoes are recommended. The tunnel entrance is one-half mile from the visitor parking area. For more information call 301-722-8226.

 

Lockhouse 70

Saturdays and Sundays, May - August 14

1p-4p

Visit Lockhouse 70 in Oldtown, where a portion of the C&O Canal is re-watered and learn more about the rich history of the small community that was home to four lockhouses and a store that catered to the canal boatmen.

 

Lockhouse 75

Saturdays and Sundays, May - September 25

10a-4p

Tour the westernmost lockhouse on the C&O Canal to learn more about the life of a locktender. Lockhouse 75 is staffed by members of the C&O Canal Association.

 

For more information on visiting the C&O Canal, visit: www.nps.gov/choh

 

Wednesday
Jun292011

C & O Canal Ranger Programs Saturday, July 2nd in Hancock, Maryland

C&O Canal National Historical Park News Release
Release Date: June 29, 2011
For Immediate Release

       Hancock, MD. – The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park will feature ranger led programs for youth and adults on Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 at the park’s historic Bowles House Visitor Center located at 439 E. Main Street, Hancock, Maryland.

     Starting at 10:00 a.m. youth and families can join a park ranger to ‘Bike through History’, a 2 hour ride along the C & O Canal towpath. Visitors will learn about canal operations near Hancock and see historic structures along the old canal, including Lock 52 remains, Tonoloway Aqueduct, Round Top Cement Mill ruins and the unique geological feature known as Devil’s Eyebrow. The program will begin at the Bowles House visitor center and will include a 9 mile loop ride. Children 15 years of age and under are required to wear helmets by Maryland State Law. Please bring plenty of water to keep hydrated.

     In the afternoon, a Junior Ranger Explorers program will be offered to youth from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the visitor center. A variety of activities will encourage youth to explore the park through discovering nature, history and recreation. Youth participating in activities will receive a National Park Service Junior Ranger badge or patch and a certificate.

     In addition to programs, the C & O Canal’s Bowles House visitor center is free and open to the public Friday to Tuesday, Memorial Day weekend through October, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The historic home is free to tour and features a variety of videos, photographs and exhibits that interpret the stories of families who occupied the home and canal operations in Hancock, Maryland.

For more information on events and programs or to schedule a group tour please contact the Hancock Visitor Center at (301) 745 – 5877 or visit the website at www.nps.gov/choh

Tuesday
Jun282011

2012 Calendar Call for Photographs

Have a great modern photograph of the Canal that you would like to be considered for use in our 2012 Calendar? Email the photo choh_vippics@nps.gov and include your name, location photograph was taken, and date (if known).

We are looking for photographs of all parts of the park, through all four seasons; Lockhouses, locks, trails, aqueducts, nature throughout the park, etc.

Submissions will be accepted until COB Friday, July 8, 2011.

Friday
Jun102011

C & O Canal National Historical Park Announces 2011 Summer Programs for Allegany, Frederick and Washington Counties

C&O Canal National Historical Park News Release

June 9, 2011
For Immediate Release
Curt Gaul, West District Ranger, (301) 582-0813

The C & O Canal National Historical Park announces the 2011 summer program schedule for the area between Cumberland, Maryland and Point of Rocks, Maryland.

The Cumberland Visitor Center and museum is open 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily.  The Hancock Visitor Center will be open Friday through Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. into the fall. The Williamsport Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Labor Day. The Brunswick Visitor Center, located at the Brunswick Railroad Museum, will be open Friday – Sunday.

The replica canal boat “The Cumberland” at Cumberland is open by appointment. Lockhouse 75, at North Branch near Cumberland, is open Saturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. through September 25, staffed by members of the C & O Canal Association. Lockhouse 70, Oldtown, is open Saturday and Sundays from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. through August 14. A park ranger will be stationed at the Paw Paw Tunnel entrance on weekends from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 through August 14.

Ferry Hill will be open for tours exploring plantation life and Civil War history.  Located across the Potomac River from Shepherdstown, Ferry Hill will be open weekends through September 1 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

          The Lander Lockhouse will be open every Saturday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. through Labor Day.  Lander Lockhouse is located off Lander Road just west of Point of Rocks.  Park volunteers will offer visitors a tour of the historically furnished lockhouse.  

In addition to visitor center operations and programs, C&O Canal staff will participate in a variety of community-based festivals and events throughout the summer. For more information or a schedule of events, please call the C & O Canal NHP Headquarters Office at 301-739-4200 or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/choh

Friday
Jun102011

Temporary Closure of C&O Canal boat ramp and Brunswick campground June 13-15, 2011

Temporary Closure of C&O Canal boat ramp and Brunswick campground June 13-15, 2011


     Brunswick, MD. – The National Park Service announces temporary closure of the C&O Canal National Historical Park boat ramp facility located near Brunswick, Maryland from June 13 – 15, 2011. The temporary closure is a result of CSX closing the South Maple Crossing closest to the C&O Canal National Historic Park to replace rails and ties, and install a geometry change to improve train safety.

     Due to the temporary closure of Maple Avenue, the C&O Canal boat ramp facility and parking area near Brunswick will be inaccessible by motor vehicle traffic. In addition, the Town of Brunswick campground facility will be inaccessible and temporarily closed. Visitors hiking and biking on the C&O Canal towpath will not be impacted by the temporary closure or nearby construction. Visitors seeking a boat ramp facility should access nearby boat ramp locations south at Lander or Nolands Ferry, or north at Dargan Bend. Visitor parking facilities are nearby at the Weaverton and Lander park access points.

For more park information please contact the C&O Canal National Historical Park Headquarters at 301-739-4200 or visit the website at www.nps.gov/choh.

Thursday
Jun092011

Become a Quartermaster at the C&O Canal!

Volunteer at Lockhouses 10 and 25!

The next Canal Quarters lockhouses to open for overnight stays are Lockhouse 10 near Cabin John, and Lockhouse 25 near Edwards Ferry - and we need your help! All basic maintenance of the Canal Quarters lockhouses is handled by a dedicated group of volunteer Quartermasters. Help preserve a piece of history for future generations! To become involved with this unique volunteer opportunity contact Jeff Hutman at 301-745-8889.

For more information on the Canal Quarters program, visit www.canalquarters.org