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Dec 14, 2012 - Canal cruising on the C&O

If you’re in Maryland, give Baltimore Bus Charters a call and rent a charter bus, coach bus, party bus, mini bus, passenger coach or school bus from us, and take your group down to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

The C&O Canal was built in response to a need to move goods down the Potomac River. During the 19th and 19th centuries, the towns of Georgetown and Alexandria were major trading ports for the shipment of tobacco, grains, whiskey, furs, timber and other items. The problem was that most of these goods originated in Cumberland, and had to travel down a 184 mile stretch of the Potomac River to Chesapeake Bay. Two waterfalls, the Great Falls and the Little Falls, made boat transportation impossible.

During this charter bus trip, find out how engineers designed a system of locks and canals that ran parallel to the river. This allowed boats to be raised or lowered to match the level of the river. Construction of the C&O Canal began in 1824, and by 1850, 74 locks were completed. The original construction plan called for the canal system to reach all the way to the Ohio river. This plan was canceled when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was constructed, providing a faster and cheaper method for shipping goods. The C&O Canal operated till 1924, before being finally shut down.

Today, many original structures and buildings are still standing along the C&O, including the original locks and lock houses. In 1971 the C&O was designated a national park, providing charter bus tour visitors a place to enjoy the outdoors and learn about the region’s history.

Taking a charter bus from Baltimore Bus Charters, you can stop at one of several visitor centers along the length of the canal, depending on which activities your bus charters group intends to take. There are several activities available, ranging from the leisurely to the active.

Boat rides are available at Great Falls and Williamsport. Great Falls offers mule drawn boat rides, just as they did back in the 1800s when the C&O Canal was used as a transport system. Launch rides are available at Williamsport. Both both rides are extremely popular, and reservations are recommended.

Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities on the canal for enthusiastic and sporting charter bus visitors, with several launch ramps provided along its length. Please check with a C&O Canal visitor center for ramp locations. Do note that gasoline and propane powered boats are forbidden on the canal. However, electric powered outboards are allowed at select stretches.

Hiking and cycling are great ways to see the C&O Canal. Trails are well marked, and there are several campsites available. Note that hikers and cyclists must yield right of way to horses.

If you would like to bring your group on a visit to the C&O Canal, whether it be a day excursion or overnight camping trip which requires a drop-of and pick up at separate locations, give Baltimore Bus Charters a call to arrange your ground transportation needs.

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