The C&O Canal NHP runs 184.5 miles alongside the Potomac River. Beginning in Georgetown the canal winds its way North West to Cumberland, Maryland. In 2009, over 3.8 million people accessed the park. That's more visitors than Yellowstone NP!
Alongside the canal runs the towpath that is used by many each day for walking, cycling, and enjoying nature. It is a serene setting with cooling canopies or lush trees, vibrant blooms of flowers, and animals scurrying across the path.
The C&O Canl NHP has a rich history. "In the 19th century the C&O Canal provided jobs and opportunities for people throughout the Potomac River Valley. Today the canal's remains provide a place to recreate and enjoy nature, but most importantly they tell the story of the canal's important role in many aspects of American history.
There are over 1,300 historical structures along the C&O Canal. Lockhouses, aqueducts, dams and pumphouses are just a few of the engineering marvels of the 19th Century found on the canal. Most of the original structures still exist today. They are a silent testimony to those who used to work and live here on the C&O Canal.
The canal was literally a man-made river. To make the canal work a complex system of hydrology was constructed. To supply water for the canal seven feeder dams were built on the Potomac River from Cumberland to Little Falls. To control the water, seventy-four lift locks were placed in the canal.
The C&O Canal National Historical Park is in a constantly shifting, dynamic state. Weather and climate change, geologic processes, flooding and human-caused factors such as air and water pollution are only a few of the agents of change that have helped to carve the Potomac River Valley. The park provides a "living laboratory" that helps us better understand how these environmental factors have shaped park landscapes and ecosystems.
C&O Canal NHP includes nearly 20,000 acres of natural habitats where close to 4 million people each year enjoy hiking, biking, fishing and various other recreational activities. As areas of natural habitat outside the park are altered by modern land use practices, C&O Canal NHP becomes a refuge for the preservation of biodiversity."
All of the above information can be found at www.nps.gov/choh
"Though a short distance from the urban environments of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The winding Cuyahoga—the "crooked river" as named by American Indians—gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. The park is a refuge for flora and fauna and provides recreation and solitude for visitors." CVNP
The SCA Conservation Corps - Native Plant Team is partnering with staff of Cuyahoga Valley National Park to assist in removing exotic, invasive plant infestations across the Park. In addition the SCA Corps members will be working on education and outreach material to be used in community service and volunteer service days.
Some examples of invasive and exotic species are: Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard), Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive), and Phragmites australis (common reed).
A list of invasive/exotic plant species can be found at:
Attached is a copy of how the Park came to be through the actions of dedicated volunteers.
For more information you can visit the park website at:
We will be working in the Superior National Forest this summer in an area known as the Boundary Waters.
Did you know that the Superior National Forest:
•is the eighth most visited Forest in the National Forest System?
•is the fourth largest Forest in the Nation when considering total area within the proclamation boundary and purchase units?
•has the highest and lowest elevation point in the State of Minnesota?
•contains more than 2,000 lakes which total 440,000 lakes acres (46% of R9, 20% of the NFS) and 3400 miles of stream (22% of R9)?
•contains one of the top ten hiking trails in the United States as rated by Backpacker Magazine?
•is named as one of 100 globally important bird areas by the American Bird Conservancy?
•had one of the largest “blow down” events ever recorded in North America?
•was the origination of the Forest Service Passport in Time (PIT) Program and has 3,886 heritage resource sites recorded, representing human occupation of the Forest for over 10,000 years?
•has a federally designated wilderness area (BWCAW) that:
•is the largest and only wilderness of substantial size east of the Rocky Mountains and north of the everglades?
•is the most heavily used wilderness in the US (less than 1% of the acreage of the NWPS, but receives 10% of the use) and ties with the Mall of America as Minnesota's #1 tourist attraction?
•is a Class I Airshed as defined by the Federal Clean Air Act?
•is listed as one of the 50 greatest places to visit in a lifetime (along with places such as Antarctica, Amazon, Grand Canyon, Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal) by the National Geographic Society and is included in “1,000 Places to See Before you Die” – a gift book that provides an around-the-world listing of “must see” places off the beaten track?
Please visit the web site to learn more about Superior National Forest.