Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was intended to facilitate traffic from - now let's not always see the same hands - Chesapeake Bay to the Ohio River. The Potomac penetrates far inland, but is often shallow and rocky, with rapids and waterfalls. So the canal paralleled the Potomac and offered a smoother trip. However, the technology of the time didn't offer a way to cross the crest of the Appalachians, so portages were necessary.

This stretch is in Hancock, Maryland.
The canal operated from 1831 to 1924. It ended at Cumberland, Maryland. A proposed extension to the Alleghany River was never built.

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Created 22 June 2007, Last Update 03 June 2020