The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. Based on guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, access to the park is as follows:
Face Masks - In areas CDC identifies as high COVID-19 community level, masks are required for everyone in all NPS buildings, regardless of vaccination status. In most low and medium COVID-19 community level areas, masks are optional, but visitors should follow signs and instructions from park staff and volunteers. U.S. COVID-19 Community Levels by County.
Washington, DC - Optional. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
Montgomery County, MD - Optional. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
Frederick County, MD - Optional. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
Washington County, MD - Optional. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
Allegany County, MD - Optional. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
Fee Collection at Great Falls - Credit, debit, or contactless payment (such as Apple Pay or Google Pay) ONLY. No cash or checks accepted. Digital passes are available via www.recreation.gov.
While the listed areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased, and services may be limited. When recreating, please follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, and avoid crowding and high-risk outdoor activities.
We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
Towpath Detour. Due to a washout half a mile below the boat ramp, the pedestrian footbridge has been relocated 100 feet upstream from its original location along the towpath. Follow a designated pathway from the towpath, across the footbridge and stream, and back onto the towpath.
Dargan Bend (MP 64.9)
Open, Boat ramp
Antietam Creek Area (MP 69.6)
Open,Campground, be cautious of rising water levels
Including Downsville, MD; Williamsport, MD
Snyders Landing (MP 76.6)
Open, Boat ramp
Taylors Landing (MP 80.9)
Open, Boat ramp
Dam #4/Big Slackwater Area (MP 84.4)
Open. Pedestrian bridge at Dam 4 Winch House (mile marker 84.6)
Changed, towpath access. Access the towpath from Cushwa Basin requires navigating a steep set of stairs or taking gravel rail-trail to crossing. Learn more about Alternate Parking and Towpath Access Points.
Starting in spring 2023, the well water in hiker-biker campsites will be signed non-potable. Water from wells at paid campgrounds will remain potable and safe for drinking, cooking, or washing.
The park works to ensure that there is a more reliable water source year-round for visitors in the park and that the drinking water that is provided is as safe as it can possibly be, especially considering that our wells are in a flood zone. The park will maintain potable water in a targeted number of wells in fee campgrounds. However, as a general precaution for wells located in a flood zone, you are advised to boil or treat the water before use for your own protection. Well handles will be removed from fee campgrounds in mid-November to protect against freeze as per normal operating procedures.
For hiker-biker campgrounds, the wells will be signed as non-potable and we ask that visitors bring their own water supply or water sanitizing equipment to treat well water before use. The wells will remain in operation in hiker-biker campgrounds year-round. As long as visitors bring their own sanitization equipment, there will be a more reliable water source as handles will not be removed from these wells.
Drive-In Campgrounds: Well water within the drive-in campgrounds is potable and treated with iodine - do NOT drink if you have any iodine allergies or if you are on medication for an overactive thyroid. In general, well water is clean and able to be used without additional treatment. However, as a general precaution for wells located in a flood zone, you are advised to boil or treat the water before use for your own protection.
Hiker-Biker Campsites: Non-potable water is available in hiker-biker campsites. Please plan to filter, chemically treat, or boil the water before use for your own protection. The wells will remain in the hiker-biker campsites and, as long as visitors bring their own sanitization equipment, there will be a more reliable water source as handles will not be removed from these wells.
Visitor Centers, park buildings, and comfort stations are provided water by the nearby municipality and do not require drinking water sampling by the park. Please note that the Swains Lock campsite draws on the same municipal water as the Swains Lockhouse and will remain potable.
Water availability is subject to change. Always bring plenty of water with you as a backup option. Please plan your trip accordingly.
Off ►Lock 3 (MM 0.5) - Potable On ►Fletchers Cove - Lower Parking (MM 3.2) - Potable
Off ►Fletchers Cove - Upper Parking (MM 3.2) - Potable On ►Lock 5 (MM 5) - Potable
Off ►Lock 10 (MM 8.8) - Potable On ►Carderock Recreation Area (MM 10.5) - Potable
On ►Marsden Tract Campground (MM 11.5) - Potable
Off ►Anglers Access (MM 12.2) - Potable On ►Great Falls Tavern Restrooms (MM 14.3) - Potable On ►Swains Lockhouse (MM 16.6) - Potable
On ►Swains Hiker-Biker (MM 16.7) - Potable
On ►Seneca Creek/Rileys (MM 22.8) - Potable On Horsepen Branch Hiker-Biker (MM 26.1)
On Chisel Branch Hiker-Biker (MM 30.5)
On Turtle Run Hiker-Biker (MM 34.4)
On Marble Quarrry Hiker-Biker (MM 38.2)
On Indian Flats Hiker-Biker (MM 42.4)
On Calico Rocks Hiker-Biker (MM 47.7)
On Bald Eagle Island Hiker-Biker (MM 50.3)
On Lock 34 (MM 61.5)
On Huckleberry Hill Hiker-Biker (MM 62.9)
On ►Antietam Creek Campground (MM 69.6) - Potable
On Killiansburg Cave Hiker-Biker (MM 75.4)
On Horseshoe Bend Hiker-Biker (MM 79.7)
On Big Woods Hiker-Biker (MM 82.4)
On Opequon Junction Hiker-Biker (MM 90.8)
On Cumberland Valley Hiker-Biker (MM 95.2)
On ►Cushwa Basin Restrooms (MM 99.7) - Potable
On Jordan Junction Hiker-Biker (MM 101.2)
On Four Locks Picnic Area (MM 108.9)
On North Mountain Hiker-Biker (MM 109.2)
On ►McCoys Ferry Campground (MM 110) - Potable
On Licking Creek Hiker-Biker (MM 116)
On Little Pool Hiker-Biker (MM 120.7)
On White Rock Hiker-Biker (MM 126.5)
On Leopards Mill Hiker-Biker (MM 129.9)
On Cacapon Junction Hiker-Biker (MM 133.6)
On Indigo Neck Hiker-Biker (MM 139.2)
On ►Fifteen Mile Creek Campground (MM 140.9) - Potable
On Devils Alley Hiker-Biker (MM 144.5)
On Stickpile Hill Hiker-Biker (MM 149.3)
On Sorrel Ridge Hiker-Biker (MM 154.1)
On Paw Paw Tunnel (MM 155.2)
On ►Paw Paw Campground (MM 156.1) - Potable
On Purslane Run Hiker-Biker (MM 156.9)
On Town Creek Hiker-Biker (MM 162.1)
On Potomac Forks Hiker-Biker (MM 164.8)
On Pigmans Ferry Hiker-Biker (MM 169.1)
On ►Spring Gap Campground (MM 173.3) - Potable
On Irons Mountain Hiker-Biker (MM 175.3)
On Evitts Creek Hiker-Biker (MM 180.1)
On ►Cumberland Visitor Center (MM 184.5) - Potable
Due to construction projects, maintenance activities, and weather, water levels in the lower portions of the canal are likely to vary throughout the year.
This can affect a variety of activities throughout these areas.The park currently actively manages water levels within two main sections of the lower portions of the canal: between Lock 4 (MP 0.54) and Lock 5/Inlet Lock 1 (MP 5.02) and between Lock 17 (MP 13.99) and Lock 23/Inlet Lock 2 (22.12).
Below, the term “watered”* refers to the canal when it is holding water. The term, “de-watered”* refers to the canal when it is not holding water. When de-watered, it can be assumed the water level will not support boating in the canal. *Water levels can change unexpectedly.
Last Update: 6/1/2023
Current Status Between Locks 3-4: Watered
Current Status Between Locks 4-5: Watered
Current Status Between Locks 5-6: De-watered
Current Status at Widewater: De-watered
Current Status Between Locks 17-19: De-watered
Current Status Between Locks 19-20:De-watered
Current Status Between Locks 20-21: De-watered
Current Status Between Locks 21-22: De-watered
Current Status Between Locks 22-23: De-watered
Current Status Between Lock 44 - Conococheague Aqueduct: Watered
Section A of the Billy Goat Trail often closes due to flooding. Under normal conditions, the trail is closed when the gauge at Little Falls reaches 5 feet and reopens when the gauge falls to 4.8 feet. However, under certain circumstances, the trail may be closed at lower levels. Please call the Great Falls Tavern Visitors Center at 301-767-3714 during regular business hours for the latest information on trail closures.