We had went online the evening before and printed off the Junior Ranger books so that the kids could be reading over them and working the puzzles and other fun stuff on the car ride. This worked out so well! It gave them something to do while we were riding and it also freed up a LOT of time at the actual site (we normally have to find somewhere to sit and work the puzzles...this takes up time that could be spent experiencing the place), we'll definitely be doing it that way again :)!
This place was super busy! We had called ahead to make sure there would be room to park our rig and the Ranger said yes...well there was, but just barely! Dan had to squeeze it into the only spot big enough, but he managed just fine (he's so good at that...and I'm so thankful that he is, cause I'm NOT).
|can you spot our camper in the background :)?|
We had to stop and admire some pretty, old buildings on the property :)...
There were lots of people out enjoying the beautiful day. Families were fishing in the canal, biking and walking along the old canal towpath, and there was a music festival setting up on a grassy area right there beside the Potomac River.
The C&O Canal was built in the early to mid 1800's and used until 1924 primarily as a means to transport coal from the mountains into D.C. Originally, the canal was intended to run from Georgetown, Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...with the railroad coming through, construction of the canal stopped in Cumberland, Maryland, instead.
What is so interesting about this canal is the towpath that runs alongside it. The boats that traveled upon this canal didn't use motors, they were towed by mules. The mules would walk on this path next to the canal and pull the boat along. How interesting! It is this towpath that is used today as a bike trail for families to enjoy.
The visitor center we stopped at is in the old Cushwa's Coal & Brick shipping building. When we were in doing our books, some people came in to return bicycles that they had rented. That's neat, if you are traveling through and want to get some good exercise and fresh air, it's an option to keep in mind.