The C&O Canal, built between 1828 and 1850, runs 184.5 miles from Georgetown, DC to Cumberland, MD and operated as a commercial waterway until 1924. Over 1,300 historical structures including lockhouses, stone aqueducts, dams, pumphouses and a 3,118 foot long brick-lined tunnel remain along the canal.
The towpath that flanks the canal is one of the longest biking trails in the U.S. The canal park also offers miles of interpretive hiking trails, especially in the Great Falls area near Potomac, MD.
Replica canal boats pulled by mules with Rangers dressed in historic clothing operate during the spring, summer, and fall from the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center at 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854 (301-767-3714).
The canal is accessible from many points in Frederick and Washington Counties including the Mouth of Monocacy Road near Dickerson, Nolands Ferry, Point of Rocks, Lander and Brunswick.
The Brunswick Canal Visitor Center shares a building with the Brunswick Railroad Museum and has trail maps and information on both the canal and railroad.