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.

Rails and Trails Program

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park began an exciting new program onboard Amtrak’s Capitol Limited between Cumberland, Maryland, and Washington, DC, in May, 2012.  A recent addition to the National Park Service Trails & Rails Program, this route runs through the Potomac River valley parallel to the historic C & O Canal and through the town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Volunteers work in teams of two, boarding the train in Cumberland in the morning around 9 a.m. and returning there about 7:30 p.m. at night. While on the train, volunteers provide narration and information to passengers about the history of the canal, the railroad, the Civil War, nearby towns, and natural features along the route.  Training is provided by the Trails & Rails national program, NPS, and Amtrak staff in early spring.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity or would like to sign up as a volunteer, please contact Park Ranger Rita Knox at the Cumberland Visitor Center by calling 301-722-8226, or via e-mail at rita_knox@nps.gov.