Towpath Detour. There is a short towpath detour around the washed out area - follow the signage off the towpath and onto a designated pathway that leads to a temporary low-water* crossing across the creek. Get back onto a designated pathway that leads back up to the towpath. Follow signage and dismount bikes before crossing.*During high water events, the crossing may be under water and unsafe to cross.
When high water occurs, please contact Shepherdstown Pedal and Paddle at 304-876-3000 or River and Trail Outfitters at 301-834-9950 to arrange for a shuttle around the detour. The Canal Towns Partnership, acting through C&O Canal Trust, is no longer offering free shuttle services. The park is working on a long-term solution.
Towpath Below Dargan Bend Boat Ramp (MP 64)
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.
Big Slackwater: Dam #4 - Burnside Farm (Milepost 84.4 - MP 90.0)
Open, be prepared for some rough and slick areas caused by frequent high water and river silt.
Boat Dock Open, As of June 21st, the boat dock at Big Slackwater is installed and open for use.
Williamsport Area (MP 100)
Change in traffic pattern, Towpath access to Williamsport Visitor Center is avalaible at the Railroad Lift Bridge, including a new stairway with a low bike rail. Contact the visitor center for questions. Learn more about the Conococheague Aqueduct project. Also learn about the ribbon-cutting ceremony that occurred on August 8th!
Open, Williamsport Visitor Center. Learn about boat ride operations and operating seasons in Williamsport, Maryland.
Including Big Pool, MD; Hancock, MD; Little Orleans, MD
Little Tonoloway Boat Ramp (MP 124.33)
Including Paw Paw, WV; Oldtown, MD; Cumberland, MD
Paw Paw Tunnel (MP 155.2)
Open. Phase 2 of construction began spring of 2019. During construction, both portals of the tunnel will remain open and flaggers will be stationed to control traffic. Expect some delays.Learn more about the Paw Paw Tunnel construction.
Spring Gap Recreational Area (MP 173.3)
Open, recreation area
Drinking Water Conditions
Remote water faucets ON for the season. Please see below for individual faucet statuses.
Drinking water is available from mid-April to mid-November at Hiker/Biker and Drive-In Campsite locations, approximately every 5 to 7 miles. Water quality tests are performed frequently by park staff to ensure drinkable water. As of 4/15, water is on for the season. Please plan your trip accordingly.
On Lock 5 (MM 5) On Lock 10 (MM 8.8)
Off Carderock Recreation Area (MM 10.5) On Marsden Tract (MM 11.5) On Anglers Access (MM12.2)
Off Swains Lockhouse (MM 16.64) On Swains Campground (MM 16.7) On Seneca Creek/Rileys (MM 22) On Horsepen Branch Campsite (MM 26) On Chisel Branch Campsite (MM 30.5) On Turtle Run Campsite (MM 34.4) On Marble Quarrry Campsite (MM 38.2) On Indian Flats (MM 42.4) On Calico Rocks Campsite (MM 47.7) On Bald Eagle Island Campsite (MM 50.3) On Lock 34 (MM 61.5)
Off Huckleberry Hill Campsite (MM 62.9) On Antietam Creek Campground (MM 69.6) On Killiansburg Cave Campsite (MM 75.4) On Horseshoe Bend Campsite (MM 79.7) On Big Woods Campsite (MM 82.4) On Opequon Junction Campsite (MM 90.8) On Cumberland Valley Campsite (MM 95.2) Off Jordan Junction Campsite (MM 101.2) On Four Locks Picnic Area (MM 108.9) On North Mountain Campsite (MM 109.2) Off McCoys Ferry (MM 110) On Licking Creek Campsite (MM 116)
Off Little Pool Campsite (MM 120.7) On White Rock Campsite (MM 126.5) On Leopards Mill (MM 129.9)
Off Cacapon Junction (MM 133.6) On Indigo Neck (MM 139) On Fifteen Mile Creek Campground (MM 140.9) On Devils Alley (MM 144.5) Off Stickpile Hill Campsite (MM 149.3) On Sorrel Ridge Campsite (MM 154.1) Off Arbaugh (MM 155) On Paw Paw (MM 156) On Purslane Run Campsite (MM 157.4) On Town Creek (MM 162) On Potomac Forks (MM 165) On Pigmans Ferry (MM 169) On Spring Gap (MM 173) On Irons Mountain Campsite (MM 175.4) Off Evitts Creek Campsite (MM 180)
Water Levels in Lower Sections of the Canal
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 20 (MP 14.3) and Lock 23/Inlet Lock 2 (22.12). The water levels are primarily managed through the opening and closing of paddle gates on inlet lock gates, which control water entering the canal from the Potomac River, and waste weirs, which help establish the water level in the canal by draining excess water back into the river.
Open*is when the inlet lock paddle gates are open, allowing water to flow into the canal. When open, it can be assumed the water level can support boating in the canal. Closed*is when the inlet lock paddle gates are closed, blocking off water flow from entering into the canal. When closed, it can be assumed the water level will not support boating in the canal. *Water levels can change unexpectedly.
Current Status Locks 4-5: Open
Current Status Locks 20-23: Locks 22-23 - Open.All others -Closed
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.