C & O Canal National Historic Park


All campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis and no fees are charged. One family or one camping unit is allowed for each site. The park defines a "family" as one head of household and immediate family. A "camping unit" consists of a non-family group of up to eight persons.

Campsites (except the Marsden tract) may not be reserved in any manner. Abandoned or unattended personal property may be impounded. Campsites and/or camping facilities may not be transferred to another person or group. When a camper or group leaves the camping area, all equipment must be removed.

Parking trailers and pitching tents or other equipment are permitted only at designated sites. Trailer length in drive-in camps may not exceed 20 feet.

At the drive-in campgrounds at McCoy's Ferry, Fifteen Mile Creek, and Spring Gap, stay is limited to 30 days per calendar year (whether cumulative or consecutive). Remember, first-come, first-served. Visitors to campgrounds at McCoy's Ferry, Fifteen Mile Creek, and Spring Gap must park in boat parking areas.

Water is available at all hiker-biker campsites and at Antietam Creek and Fifteen Mile Creek Campground mid-April through mid-November. There is no water at Spring Gap or McCoy's Ferry campgrounds for visitor use. McCoy's Ferry and Spring Gap picnic areas close at dark.

Antietam Creek Campground is a hike-in campground with adjacent parking. Stay is limited to 30 days per calendar year (whether cumulative or consecutive). Again, first-come, first-served.

At hiker-biker campsites and Paw Paw campground, stay is limited to one night per site, per trip.

Two youth hostels near the C & O Canal provide outdoor travelers with dormitory accommodations and cooking facilities for inexpensive overnight lodging:

Harpers Ferry Youth Hostel (Route 2, Box 248E, Knoxville, MD 21758, 301-834-7652) across the Potomac River from Harpers Ferry, WV, near Mile 59 and close to the Appalachian Trail, 40 beds, open year-round.

Washington International Youth Hostel (1009 11th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20001, 202-737-2333) located at the comer of 11th and K streets three blocks north of Metro Center, 250 beds, open year-round.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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