The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park encourages visitors to help preserve, protect, and enjoy the resources of the park. Various volunteer programs are available for the public to be very involved in park living history, maintenance, or ranger programs.
Many outside organizations throughout the area work to support the park.
C&O Canal Trust
The C&O Canal Trust is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to work in partnership with the National Park Service to protect, restore, and promote the C&O Canal National Historical Park. It seeks to ensure that the park’s natural, historical, and recreational potential is fully realized. The Trust actively works with park visitors, schools, local organizations, gateway communities, and other to build an active and informed constituency for the C&O Canal.
The C&O Canal Trust is working with the park to sponsor Canal Pride Days.
Catoctin Aqueduct Restoration Fund, Inc.
The Catoctin Aqueduct Restoration Fund is a grassroots partnership to fund the restoration of a magnificent historic icon in the C&O Canal National Historical Park. The Catoctin Aqueduct is a historic canal structure of great importance to the transportation, structural, cultural and social fabric of Frederick County, the Village of Lander, the C&O Canal, the State of Maryland and our nation. The goal of the Catoctin Aqueduct Restoration Fund is to reconstruct this historic structure (built in 1832-34 at the 51.5 mile mark of the C&O Canal) as it appeared in the 19th Century, with cut stones, wrought iron rails and three beautiful stone arches.
Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern
The Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide financial and volunteer support to the National Park Service in the preservation and maintenance of the Great Falls Tavern in the C & O Canal National Historical Park. In 2005 and 2006 the Friends raised $550,000 through public and private donations to have built a replica packet boat to replace the old Canal Clipper.
The Charles F. Mercer was donated to the National Park Service at a dedication ceremony at the Great Falls Tavern in September 2006. In April 2007, the Friends donated a new mule, Dolly, to the NPS for service in pulling the Mercer on the canal at Great Falls.
Canal Place Preservation and Development
In 1993 the State of Maryland created the Canal Place Preservation & Development Authority to oversee the preservation, development, and management of the Canal Place Preservation District, a designated area in Cumberland around the western end of the C&O Canal. Our ongoing mission is to honor and preserve local heritage and the C&O Canal and bring history to life for visitors and residents alike. With the adoption of a strategic management plan in 1996, the Authority laid the groundwork for development of a significant heritage tourism destination.
Today, Cumberland’s transportation heritage is alive at Canal Place. Visitors can ride a steam train, hike or bike the towpath, tour a full scale Canal Boat Replica, learn about canal history at the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s Cumberland Visitor Center, enjoy unique festivals like our annual CanalFest/RailFest and, in the near future, take a ride on a canal boat on the rewatered terminus!
Join us as we celebrate our canal heritage at Maryland’s first Certified Heritage Area, Canal Place!