The visitor center at milepost 123 along the towpath shares the rich history of the C&O Canal construction from 1839 to 1975. Get Directions.
Preserving America’s early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. The towpath is the dirt and stone path that runs 184.5 miles along the C&O Canal, where visitors can walk, run, or bike the distance between Georgetown and Cumberland, MD. It was originally built for the canal mules to walk beside the canal as the “towed” the canal boats through the waterway. Now it is a recreational path.