C&O Canal Readies for Water, Boat, Eventually Canoes, Mules


Georgetown’s crown jewel, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, is ready for its 2021 debut. With repairs to Locks 3 and 4 completed in 2019 and the canal wall near Grace Street and Wisconsin Avenue stabilized, it’s almost time for the water to flow and the new canal boat to arrive.

“The boat is begin built at the Roudebush Yacht & Engine Works shipyard outside of Baltimore. It will be over 80 feet long and is being built in two halves that will eventually be put together after delivery to Georgetown,” according to Georgetown Heritage, the nonprofit that works with the National Park Service to improve and promote Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

“Water will return to the canal during the months of May and June,” Georgetown Heritage Executive Director Jeffrey Nichols told The Georgetowner last week. “The National Park Service and Georgetown Heritage will be working together to re-water the canal, conduct canal clean-ups, remove the vegetative growth within the canal prism [the prism-shaped bed of the canal] and repair the dry dock near 31st Street. Also, we just completed the installation of utilities for our new boat in preparation for its return later this year.”

Among the other projects, such as towpath upgrades and expanded lighting, expect to see a floating dock near 34th Street for launching kayaks and canoes and the return of the mules in 2022.

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