The C&O National Historical Park is working on a project to stabilize the Highwalls section of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, which stretches 1,015 feet and carries the Canal along a cliff face near the third parking lot at Carderock and Milepost 11.
This section of the Canal has become filled with silt from three streamlets that emerge from under MacArthur Blvd, causing the wall to deteriorate.
The wall reconstruction will not impede cyclists from using the canal, as a temporary detour will be available. This is good news for cyclists, as the C&O Canal is a popular destination for recreational e-biking. The canal is a scenic route that runs along the Potomac River, stretching for 184.5 miles from Washington, D.C., to Cumberland, Maryland.
The canal's "Logwall" Level 14 will be filled down approximately two miles from Widewater past Anglers footbridge and across the Highwall. The project will stabilize the 35-foot-high wall, remove the silt from the canal prism behind it, and build a series of rock pools and cascades in the three streamlets 150 feet from MacArthur to the canal.
The Park will then place an HDPE plastic liner at the bottom of the canal and refill it with water coming down from Widewater.
In addition to e-biking, the canal is also popular among kayakers and paddlers. At the end of the project, the canal will be fully restored, and there may even be plans to refill the canal down to Lock 14, about two miles downstream from the Highwalls project.
If this comes to fruition, the four-mile restored waterway will become a popular destination for paddling families and beginners. It will also be easily accessible from Anglers and the Carderock parking lots.
The project is expected to be completed in 2024.