Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Description And Comments

One block north of the Washington Harbour on Thomas Jefferson St you will cross a small canal. This simple waterway holds a great deal of history for Georgetown. The Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal was begun in Little Falls, Maryland on July 4, 1828 and upon its completion in 1850 ran 184.5 miles along the Potomac River. Unfortunately for the canal, July 4, 1828 was also the same day that construction began on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, which became the preferred route of shippers. Regardless, the canal managed to gain a foothold transporting coal until the early 20th century.

Today, the C&O Canal is almost completely intact for its entire length and remains an impressive engineering feat. The towpath that runs alongside it is a popular walking and biking path, although it has fallen into disrepair at some points. One of the several National Park Visitors Centers is located at 1057 Thomas Jefferson St, but it is closed during all but the busiest summer months. (Be warned that the canal is not accessible from the street in many places in Georgetown, so if you walk along it be prepared to walk back to your starting point.)


1057 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington, D.C.
Foggy Bottom (0.7 miles)



Attraction Photos