C&O Canal

Travel the C&O Canal

The C&O Canal packs endless adventure and unlimited fun into every mile.

C&O Canal

Stretching 184.5 miles along the mighty Potomac River, the C&O Canal has cut a swath through American history. Conceived as a technological marvel connecting the country and carrying it into the future, the canal today has become an unparalleled path to fun and adventure.

Love to bike, hike, and boat? The C&O Canal is ready for your outdoor adventure. Love to learn and have a head for history? There’s a story waiting to be discovered at every bend. Whether you're 8 or 80, artsy or a foodie, have just a day or looking for a long adventure, the C&O Canal and the people and places along its unforgettable route are open and ready to propel you on the vacation of a lifetime. Get to know this American treasure and inspire your C&O vacation.

The C&O Canal Experience
Boat at Cushwa Basin on the C&O Canal
Visit Hagerstown

Discover the places and uncover the history that make the C&O Canal an American icon and the home of the perfect getaway. The C&O Canal Experience is different for every traveler, and perfect for each. Great attractions, amazing people, and startling beauty await you on your C&O Canal Experience.

Travel the C&O Canal Scenic Byway
Friends enjoying the scenic beauty of the Western Mountains along the C&O Canal

Pack up the car and hit the road on this unforgettable road trip. Delivering 236 miles of smiles from Cumberland to Washington D.C., the C&O Canal Scenic Byway is just one of 18 remarkable Maryland Scenic Byways.

A Dozen C&O Canal Must-See Sights
Enjoy the waterfalls at the Great Falls Park

Primeval forests, geologic marvels, gripping Civil War sites, amazing museums, and so much more. These spots along the length of the C&O are absolute must-sees.

Bicycle the C&O Canal
C&O Canal Bike Trail

Biking and the C&O Canal make for a perfect pairing. The 184.5 mile towpath is great for devouring miles and dotted with opportunities for adventure along the way. Whether you plan to chunk it up for day trips, or do the whole stretch staying at B&Bs and bike camping along the way, get your vacation rolling with our C&O Bicycle guide.

Get on the Water
Kayak or fish the Monocacy River near Monocacy Aqueduct, Dickerson
Tourism Council of Frederick County

Climb aboard a historic canal boat, paddle the serene waterways, go for a whitewater adventure, or drop a line in a nearby trout stream. The C&O Canal is a legendary waterway with countless ways to get out on the water! Find out more with these amazing C&O Water Experiences.

Explore the Canal Towns
The Cumberland Arts & Entertainment District is home to the annual Mountain Maryland Plein Air Event.

Welcoming, walkable, and just plain fun, exploring the C&O Canal Towns is a must for any C&O vacation. Featuring fantastic food, great accommodations, and welcoming people, the towns and cities of the canal are home to your next great vacation memories just waiting to be discovered.

Ride the Rails
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

The C&O Canal’s story is forever intertwined with the story of the American railroad. Grab a window seat aboard the Western Maryland Historic Railroad for stunning vistas, explore historic train stations, and pedal the old lines now turned into easy rail trails. With these great railroad attractions, you’ll be on track for a perfect vacation!