NPS - National Park Service

07/18/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/18/2019 10:20

C&O Canal continues planning to improve visitor experience at Williamsport

July 18, 2019
Contact:Hollie Lynch, 301-491-0149
Contact:Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, 202-619-7177

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Help the National Park Service (NPS) transform the Williamsport area of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) into a welcoming visitor destination with improved visitor services featuring a new visitor center and park headquarters, while honoring Williamsport's historic legacy. The public is invited to comment on the park's updated proposed plans through September 9.

Through this project, park visitors, community neighbors and regional tourists will have increased opportunity to explore and connect with the historic canal waterway. A new, fully accessible park visitor center will showcase exhibits and resources for visitors to learn about the park's historical, natural and recreational opportunities.

NPS is working with local communities to facilitate the relocation of C&O Canal headquarters from Hagerstown to Williamsport, Md. Currently, park headquarters is located approximately 10 miles from the park, and park staff are located in numerous duty stations across the park. Relocating NPS headquarters adjacent to the park will consolidate staff resources and build support for enhancing the visitor experience.

The NPS invites the public to review an Environmental Assessment describing the project to develop a new headquarters and visitor center in Williamsport.

Join us for a public meeting and share your ideas about the project!

Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Place: Williamsport Community Building located just off E Potomac Street in Byron Memorial Park.

How to Comment:

The NPS will accept public comments on the proposed plans from Tuesday, July 22 until Tuesday, September 9. There are three ways to comment during this period:

  • In person at the public meeting (details above)

  • Online through the Park Planning, Environment & Public Comment (PEPC) website at

  • By mail for letters postmarked by September 9 2019:

    • Attn: HQ Relocation Project/Superintendent
      Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
      1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
      Hagerstown, Md 21740

Public participation is vital to our planning process, which is conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

Please Note: Before including an address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment-including your personal identifying information-may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.