Youth Fishing Rodeo and Bike Ride in Williamsport

C&O Canal Hosts Youth Fishing Rodeo and Bike Ride at Williamsport, Maryland

Williamsport, MD — The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park in partnership with the Williamsport Rotary Club will hold the Fifteenth Annual Fishing Rodeo on Saturday, June 4, 2011.  The rodeo is open for children age 15 and under.  Those fishing should be able to hold their own pole.  Registration is from 9:00-10:00.  Fishing is from 10:00-11:30.  Prizes will be awarded beginning at 11:45.  Age groups are 7 and under, 8 to 11, and 12 to 15.  Bait will be provided.  

Following the rodeo, youth and adults are invited to bike along the canal with a Park Ranger from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  This is a great way to get moving outside while enjoying park nature and history.  All youth must wear a bike helmet.  Adults are encouraged to do the same.  

For information about Fishing Rodeo rules and regulations, please contact the C&O Canal NHP Williamsport Visitor Center staff at 301-582-0813.


Celebrate National Trails Day at the River Center at Lock 8

Potomac Conservancy & REI to Host Trail Celebration along C&O Canal
Date: Saturday, June 4, 8:30 am - 2 pm

Location: River Center at Lock 8

A National Trails Day celebration will take place at Potomac Conservancy’s River Center to honor America’s trails and the opportunities for recreation, education, exploration, and inspiration that they provide. Potomac Conservancy and REI invite everyone to celebrate the beauty of local trails by participating in hands-on trail maintenance projects.
National Trails Day volunteers will discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in hands-on trail work projects. The celebration includes picking up trash, pruning vegetation along trails, and repairing the towpath and trails surrounding the River Center at Lock 8 and the C&O Canal towpath.
Participants are encouraged to wear clothes that can get dirty. Potomac Conservancy and REI will provide all the necessary tools and equipment. After the cleanup, there will be live music by local folk group ilyAIMY and an outdoor gear raffle with products provided by REI. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to attend and invited to bring a blanket and picnic lunch to eat while enjoying the musical performance.
Started in 1993, National Trails Day is part of American Hiking Society’s trail awareness program, which promotes conservation activities on America’s 200,000 miles of trails throughout the country on Saturday.
For the most up-to-date information about this event, please visit the Conservancy’s website at, or contact Deanna Tricarico, Director of Community and Corporate Outreach, at or 301.608.1188 x.204.


New Volunteer Opportunity - Bicycle Mechanic

The C&O Canal is looking for a skilled bicycle mechanic to donate time at the Cushwa Basin Visitor Center in Williamsport, MD. The mechanic volunteer will perform maintenance on bikes used by our summer program participants, volunteers, and staff. The bikes currently utilized include K-2, trek, and some have disk brakes. This is an ideal position for a high school student looking to earn community service hours, or a retired person looking to share their skills.

If interested please contact Danny Filer, Volunteer Coordinator at


Spring Palisades Bike Patrol Meeting Re-Cap

On Saturday, April 30, the members of the Palisades Bike Patrol gathered for their annual spring meeting and picnic. This was an extra special occasion as we recognized Norman Liebow, our long time bike patrol leader, who retired from his post earlier this year.

Thanks to all our Bike Patrol Members for all you do to assist visitors and keep the canal safe!


Interested in joining the C&O Canal Bike Patrol? Fill out an application here.

*Photographs courtesy of Bud Cline


The C&O Canal Trust is Hiring

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park’s official non-profit partner, The C&O Canal Trust, is looking to hire a full-time Administrative Assistant.

Administrative Assistant

The administrative assistant will provide administrative and staff support to the general organizational operations. Working under the supervision of the president, this position provides all necessary organizational support and is responsible for a variety of other tasks.

To apply, please submit your resume and references with a cover letter to The C&O Canal Trust.

To learn more about the C&O Canal Trust visit


C&O Canal Bike Patrol Participate in Wounded Warrior Ride

On Friday, April 22, 2011, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis celebrated Earth Day with the Wounded Warriors Project Ride that started at the Jefferson Memorial and continued to National Capital Parks East and on to Hains Point.

Also in attendence were C&O Canal Bike Patrol members! Check out photos from the event here:


Flood Season Information for Volunteers in the Palisades Area

A quick reminder for our volunteers, especially the Bike Patrollers, Trail Stewards and Rovers regarding patrols in the Great Falls area.  With all the April showers we have been having, trail closures due to high water have been a regular event this spring. 

If you are volunteering in the Great Falls area between 9:00am and 4:30pm it is a great habit to stop in at the Visitor Center before and/or after your shift to get the latest river level updates, trail closure status and any other important info for the day.  The Visitor Center staff appreciate being able to hear about what is going on outside the Tavern and will know who is out in the field.

Thank you to everyone who already stops in to say hi at the Tavern before your volunteer patrol.  I hope we get to see more of you as the year goes on.

Please let me know if you have questions or suggestions.
Ranger Rebecca Jameson,

Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center: 301-767-3714


Photos from Canal Pride Days 2011


April Palisades VIP Seminar

Join us this Saturday, April 23 from 8:30a to 10:30a for:

Common Birds of the Canal
Hosted by the Audubon Naturalists Society
Presenter: Cathy Stragar

Classroom followed by field session to teach beginning
birding techniques and identification of common birds
in the Palisades area of the C&O Canal. Bring a pair of
binoculars and a field guide you are comfortable using.
Class size is limited to 10 participants.

Please RSVP to this seminar by emailing Becca
Jameson at


Canal Pride Days 2011 - McCoy's Ferry Campground

Wow! What a great Canal Pride Day, National Volunteer Day, and start to National Parks Week!

THANK YOU to all of our volunteers who braved the rain to join us Saturday in revitalizing McCoy’s Ferry Campground! As one of our most used drive-in campgrounds, all the work done on Saturday not only helps to improve the overall visual quality, but enhances the visitor experience as well.

We spread stone dust around picnic tables and grills, pulled out concrete parking bars, used the chipper to clear fallen/trimmed branches, and had a trash clean-up.

Look for photos of the event soon on the Canal Trust site. If you have photos from this, or any other Canal Pride Day event, please submit them to

Thanks for supporting your C&O Canal National Historical Park!


Canal Pride Days 2011

The Canal Pride Days 2011 kickoff weekend was a blast! Thanks to all of our volunteers who came out to support the C&O Canal at Fletcher’s and Lock 10 this past weekend. Be sure to check out photos from the events at our Flickr site.

At Fletcher’s we cleaned up the day-use area: installed new grills, and spread stonedust beneath picnic tables. We also uncovered the previously unseen Mill Ruins! To find out more about the historical background of the ruins contact Michelle Carter (

At Lock 10 we prepared for the opening of Lockhouse 10 with the Canal Quarters program, by building a new walkway, spreading material out for the driveway, clearing vegetation along the canal bank, and painting rails and tables.

These projects completed are of great signifcance to the park- not only for the beautifcation and care of the canal, but for improved visitor quality and even the historical significance!

On behalf of the C&O Canal, THANK YOU to all of our volunteers, staff, and supporters. If you’d like to be a part of the Canal Pride Days experience, sign up today for our McCoy’s Ferry Campground event!


Canal Discoveries Kickoff

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Join the C&O Canal Trust, the Park’s official non-profit partner, as they begin unlocking the hidden gems of the C&O Canal through the organization’s newest offering, Canal Discoveries.  The adventure begins at 10:00 AM on Saturday, April 2, with a festival along the canal by the Georgetown Visitor Center complete with music, door prizes, lock demonstrations, raffles, boat rides and more.  

In 2011, the 40th anniversary of the C&O as a national park, the Trust will unveil 40 “hidden gems” over 40 weeks.  Each of these “discoveries” will include descriptions, maps, itineraries, and other points of interest.  And the best part is you’ll be able to access all of this new content from your computer or your mobile device!  Come and learn more about how you can make your own fascinating discoveries in the park. For more information, visit    


Family and Youth Casting Call

The Family and Youth Casting Call will be held on Saturday, April 16th from 11:00AM to 4:00PM at Fletcher’s Cove. Volunteers who would be willing to help with traffic control and Junior Ranger activities during this event are needed.

Full or half day shifts are available and any time you can give would be greatly appreciated. Volunteer help can be used starting at 9:00AM throughout the day.  Volunteers will get a continental breakfast and a hotdog lunch.  The event will also provide snacks (fruit and granola bars) and beverages (water, juice, soda) all day.  In addition, everybody that helps out will get a sun shirt embroidered with the event logo from Reddington, LL Bean or Patagonia. 

To register as a volunteer, please contact me at and sign up at

Spend a day fishing in the C&O Canal - we provide the instructors and all the gear you will need to catch fish! When not fishing, children will Explore, Learn and Protect to get their NPS Junior Ranger Badge through activities like water quality testing, fly casting or fly tying, fish art, scavenger hunts, touch tanks and so much more! Partner agencies and organizations will have displays set up to learn about how they are helping fish and fishing across the country. We always have a great time at this event!  Don’t miss this fantastic day of family fun!

Hosted by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association and the National Park Service



Volunteer Flaggers Needed for Towpath Desilting Project

Volunteers are needed to serve as Flaggers for the desilting project!

We are still seeking volunteers to serve as flaggers for the upcoming desilting project that will begin on Monday, March 28th and continue until the work is done. The work is necessary to run the Mercer from Great Falls upstream and for the possible use of smaller, electric-powered excursion boats further upstream from the Tavern. One such boat will be delivered to the Canal on March 28th for trial runs.

The desilting will begin just upstream of the Great Falls Tavern and proceed up to Violette’s Lock. Both downed trees and silt deposits will be removed from the Canal bed in this stretch of the Canal.

The work will proceed seven day a week and three flaggers are needed each day. The primary responsibility of the flaggers will be to assure visitor safety. This will necessitate stopping visitors headed in either direction periodically while the hoe is filling a dump truck and while the dump truck in leaving the towpath and another empty one is moving to the work site.

Training will be provided by Bud Cline who is serving as the volunteer coordinator of the VIP Flagger Corps. Safety equipment including hard hats, safety vests, radios, and whistles will be provided.

If you are willing to serve the Park by helping with this important project, please contact Bud Cline via e-mail at: He will arrange for training and work out with you the times when you can serve in this important role as a volunteer.


C&O Canal Volunteers in the News!

Check out this story about our fantastic volunteers who helped spruce up the Georgetown Boat this past weekend!

The Georgetown Patch

If you missed out on this spring cleaning at the Canal, be sure join the C&O Canal Trust and sign up for Canal Pride Days 2011!


Palisades VIP Seminar - March 26

Saturday, March 26 - 10a-12:30p

Bike Maintenance

Learn bike maintenance skills that will come in handy
when on the towpath. Especially useful for our Bike
Patrol volunteers! No need to bring your own bike.
Bike parts will be provided to practice on.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to
Rebecca Jameson at: or 301-767-3709


New Volunteer Opportunities!

Assist the C&O Canal with preparations for Canal Discoveries and our 40th Anniversary by volunteering for one of these new positions!

Site Condition Assessment Photographer Volunteer

The C&O Canal is in need of volunteers to visit sites throughout the park, correlating with the upcoming Canal Discoveries program, and conduct Site Condition Assessments.

A Site Condition Assessment entails the following:

  • Photograph the entire site
  • Note site features such as: lock, lockhouse, camping area, picnic/day use area, park signage, etc.
  • Thoroughly assess the condition of site, and specific tasks that need to be addressed for clean-up or repair to make the site in top shape for our 40th Anniversary, such as: excessive trash, graffiti, sign repair, clean waysides, vegetation removal, parking lot repair, etc.
  • Include site photographs that positively represent the site (to be used in brochures, website, etc.)
  • Once the Site Condition Assessment is complete, turn report and photographs in to the Division of Interpretation.

Contact Bill Justice, Chief of Interpretation, for more information on this project., or 301-714-2214.


Photo Copy Editor Volunteer

The C&O Canal is looking for volunteers with a keen eye for photographs, and a love for reading! In preparation for the upcoming Canal Discoveries program, the Division of Interpretation is working to place interpretive text about key sites along the canal in context with historical and modern photographs. This position will include reading the interpretive text, selecting photographs from our collection that not only relate to the information, but also help bring the text alive, and writing captions for the selected images. This position can be done from home, and we are asking for a minimum time commitment of one day per week.

Contact Bill Justice, Chief of Interpretation, for more information on this opportunity., or 301-714-2214.


Volunteer Work Project - Sunday 3/13

Sunday, March 13 - 9a-12p

Volunteer Work Project

With volunteer help we can make improvements and
repairs to the hayloft at the mule barn. This will
ensure we have plenty of dry, safe hay to feed the
mule team throughout the boat season.

If you would like to volunteer, please RSVP to
Rebecca Jameson at: or 301-767-3709


March VIP Seminar - Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles & Amphibians

Discover new facts about reptiles and amphibians
that call the C&O Canal National Historical Park

Presenter: Ranger Kelly Fox

When: Saturday, March 12 - 10a-12p

Where: Great Falls Tavern 2nd Floor Meeting Room

If you would like to attend this seminar please RSVP to
Rebecca Jameson at: or 301-767-3709


Geology Hike on Billy Goat A!

March 5th (Saturday)
10:00am – 1:00pm

Meet at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center - first floor by the information desk.  Lisa will not be doing any classroom presentation, so meeting upstairs in the conference room is not necessary.
Topic: Geology of Mather Gorge
Learn about the unique geology of the Mather Gorge during an interpretive hike of Billy Goat Trail Section A.  Please bring plenty of water and snacks to sustain you on the hike.
Presenter: Lisa Schleicher Walsh

See you there!

If you would like to attend please RSVP to:
Rebecca Jameson at or 301-767-3709