C & O Canal Scenic Byway
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.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Scenic Byway runs between Cumberland and Washington, D.C., following the towpath of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, a canal that operated along the Potomac River between 1828 and 1924.
The byway begins in Cumberland, a transportation center that is home to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Visitor Center and Canal Place, and follows MD 51 out of the city. The road passes through Spring Gap Recreation Area and Green Ridge State Forest.