Canal history in America began here when George Washington, one of our early commercial developers, contemplated how to move people and their supplies around the Great Falls on the Potomac River. Following a European model, the planned to build canals that would connect to navigable rivers.
There are canals in many places across the nation as there was a brief moment when that form of transportation played an integral part in logistics and getting around. What’s left of them serve as quaint glimpses into our past. In England, canals are more useful than our’s in some communities, for instance. Here, we could make them more functional, but for now enjoy the hiking, biking and paddling.
I prefer to park on the Virginia side of the Potomac and to walk across the Chain Bridge to the canals. You may also drive over and park along Cabin John, but that can be tricky.
Did you know that you can spend the night in the “Canal Quarters” at Lock #6? There are many other canal quarters available too.
See the slideshow from today’s Arlington Outdoors experience.
The vision of the C&O Canal has changed and adapted over the course of its history. The canal’s roots begin with George Washington’s dream of a waterway trade route connecting east and west. After its closure in 1924, a second chance came to the canal in the form of another dream, that of Supreme Court Justice William Douglas. Douglas sought to protect this land as an outdoor sanctuary for public recreation. Set in the 1950s of Justice Douglas’ famous hike to preserve the canal, Lockhouse 6 is furnished with objects reminiscent of the mid-Twentieth Century.
Lockhouse 6, surrounded by mature sycamores, is a fully modern stone house with a covered porch and nearby parking. It provides ready access to Georgetown, the feeder canal, and the Capital Crescent Trail.”