Currently viewing the tag: "Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park"

James Rada, Jr.

Three years ago in Ireland, Hagerstown found out it would be hosting the 2021 World Canals Conference (WCC).

However, the world has changed since then.

“Last year’s onset of the pandemic suddenly converted the preparations into a series of Zoom calls,” said Bill Holdsworth, president of the C&O Canal Association. “Leipzig was scheduled to host 2020 WCC in Germany. They had to reschedule to 2022. We hoped that time was on our side for 2021. The COVID surge in December/January created doubts.”

The distribution of the COVID vaccines and the large space in the Maryland Theater in Hagerstown helped things move forward with an in-person conference.

“Unfortunately, travel regulations forced our registrants from Europe to cancel. So, our conference will have an American focus,” Holdsworth said.

The conference will run August 30 to September 2 in Hagerstown and sites on the C&O Canal.

“The event will commemorate the 50th anniversary of creation of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Substantial restoration works have been completed on significant sections of the canal, particularly in Georgetown, Washington, and in Williamsport, Maryland, close to Hagerstown,” said Dan Spedden, president of Visit Hagerstown & Washington County, MD.

The conference features talks in the Maryland Theater in the morning and tours of various canal sites in the afternoon. Although COVID has restricted some international travel, more than 100 international canal enthusiasts are expected at the conference. The goal of the conference is to bring together canal enthusiasts, professionals, and scholars “to exchange good practices on canals,” according to Holdsworth.

“The World Canals Conference provides Visit Hagerstown with the opportunity to present these improvements to an international audience,” Spedden said. “The profile of our destination is greatly elevated by the WCC; we expect to see a rise in visitation for years to come.”

The World Canals Conference is held at a different location with a connection to canals each year. The 2022 conference will be in Leipzig, Germany. 

                                                                 An Overview of the NPS sites in Frederick County, Maryland
Appalachian National Scenic Trail (
This 2,180-mile-long trail traverses all types of terrains along the Appalachian Mountains. It runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. It passes through our area from Harpers Ferry National Historic Park to Caledonia State Park, east of Gettysburg, PA.

Catoctin Mountain Park
Home to Camp David, this park’s land has served multiple uses over the years: Native Americans quarried rhyolite there; its trees were used to fire the charcoal and iron industry; moonshiners hid their stills there; the Works Progress Administration and the Civil Conservation Corps created the nation’s first Job Corps Center.

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (
This 184.5-mile-long canal runs from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, along the Maryland side of the Potomac River. The canal is no longer used, but there are still stretches that are flooded and where you can ride a canal boat through a lock.

Monocacy National Battlefield (
In 1864, General Jubal Early and Confederate forces were approaching Washington, D.C., with the intent of capturing it. General Lew Wallace and his outnumbered Union troops met the Confederate troops at Monocacy Junction. Their battle delayed the Confederates long enough for Washington to reinforce its defenses.

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (
This is a series of trails that connect the Potomac and Upper Ohio river basins. You can explore routes traveled by George Washington on foot, bicycle, horse, and by boat, contrasting landscapes between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Highlands.