Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park – Paw Paw Tunnel

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park - Paw Paw TunnelThe C&O Canal follows the route of the Potomac River for 184.5 miles from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, MD. The canal operated from 1828-1924 as a transportation route, primarily hauling coal from western Maryland to the port of Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of original structures, including locks, lockhouses, and aqueducts, serve as reminders of the canal’s role as a transportation system during the Canal Era.

In addition, the canal’s towpath provides a nearly level, continuous trail through the spectacular scenery of the Potomac River Valley. Every year millions of visitors come to hike or bike the C&O Canal in order to enjoy the natural, cultural, and recreational opportunities available.

Location: The C&O Canal stretches from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland. Paw Paw Tunnel is located in Maryland, off of Rt. 51 just across the Potomac River from Paw Paw, WV.

  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park MapField Studies available: Exotic Invaders
  • Habitat: river/stream bank
  • Terrain: Approximately a 10-15 minute walk from the main parking lot. Flat, even terrain to the tunnel; trail can be quite muddy in places. When in the tunnel, it is very dark and muddy
  • Facilities: Porta-pots located at parking area.
  • Campground and towpath area are suitable for the disabled. Tunnel is not suitable for the disabled.


Geotag Icon Show on map