Thursday, November 4, 2010

National Parks Magazine Article About C & O Canal Trail Lockhouses

I recently rode on a time machine known as the C & O Canal Towpath trail.

Located mostly in Maryland, the trail is indeed like a jaunt through another time. It includes tunnels and bridges and aqueducts and... lockhouses.

Trailside lodging is available at
lockhouses located along the C and O
Canal Towpath trail in Maryland.
Lockhouses are where the lock keepers, and their families, stayed. It was an early version of a work-from-home job. The residents of the lockhouses were charged with administering and maintaining the water locks that were critical to the operation of the C & O Canal. Of course the locks were what allowed barges to travel from sea level at Georgetown to 160 feet at Cumberland.

In the course of the 184.5 mile canal, there were 57 lockhouses. Of those 57 structures, 26 are still standing. Not only are they still standing, but some of them are being put to use as overnight lodging for weary canal hikers and towpath bikers.

To learn more about these incredibly functional museums/dorms/hotels, you can read the excellent article in National Parks magazine or visit the Canal Quarters website. You can also visit the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal website put together by the National Park Service.


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