Scenic USA - Maryland
Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Scenic Byway
||Photos by Ben Prepelka
Great Falls photo by Brad Troy
Nicknamed The Grand Old Ditch, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal utilized 74 locks, eleven aqueducts, an intricate towpath and a lengthy 185 mile canal. Before America's network of railroads took over the task of moving goods and passengers throughout the country, the C&O Canal was the main transportation link between Cumberland and Washington DC.
Today the canal and towpath includes a network of national park visitor centers, campsites, recreation sites and a string of historic landmarks. Following nine Maryland routes, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Scenic Byway follows along this historic canal system. Some of the byways highlights include four restored lock keeper's homes (inset - providing lodging for up to eight people), 30 towpath campsites and eleven canal aqueducts. The Catocin Aqueduct, located in Lander, is often called the most beautiful aqueduct on the line. Completed in 1834, the aqueduct (mile 51.5) opened a critical link in the canal corridor. In 2005, local and federal organizations joined forces to restore this historic landmark. Completed in 2011, the outstanding example of American engineering is one of the scenic stops on the byway.
The 236 mile byway mirrors the border of West Virginia and guides visitors to dozens of byway features. Beginning in Cumberland, the byway passes the C&O Canal tunnel near Paw Paw, Fort Frederick State Park, Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Harpers Ferry NHP, Seneca Creek State Park and the Great Falls of the Potomac. It's easy to see this byway is loaded with historic parks and landmarks, providing Maryland visitors days of wonderful experiences and unique memories.
Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Prepelka
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