George Washington envisioned the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal as a new
commercial shipping lane between the Potomac and Ohio rivers. Although a fiscal failure,
the project created one of Washingtons most scenic parks. April through October,
National Park Rangers man The Georgetown and The Canal Clipper, replicas of
two 19th century barges. The friendly "Boatmen" spin yarns and answer questions
about local history and the mechanics of the canals locks. Rangers also play the
guitar or the concertina and sing Civil War-era songs. Kids enjoy the lively ride and ask
questions about the mules that pull the 15-ton barge.
The one-hour trips are available in two locations. The Georgetown departs from
the Foundry Mall, 1057 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Wednesday through Sunday at 11 AM, 1 PM
and 2:30. A 4 PM tour is also available on weekends. The Canal Clipper, leaves from
the Great Falls Tavern, 11710 Mac Arthur Blvd., and runs on the same schedule.
This is a great event for kids and adults. Children are highly entertained by the ride,
and weary parents get a chance to rest. The fares ($7.50 adults, $4 children, senior
discounts available) are worth it.