High water closes C&O trails, campgrounds
Stay away from Billy Goat Trail, the Olmstead Island bridges at Great Falls and the Spring Gap and Paw Paw campgrounds at the C&O Canal National Historical Park. All have been closed by the National Park Service because of Potomac River floodwaters.
The high water has covered the towpath near Whites Ferry and Edwards Ferry in Montgomery County, Harpers Ferry in Frederick and Washington counties, and in the Dam 4 area in Washington County.
Several park roads are covered with water and are closed. All hiker-biker campsites and boat ramps are in low-lying areas of the C&O Canal park and should not be used. Visitors may encounter rough and muddy towpath conditions and downed branches and trees throughout the park.
The park service says the river will continue to rise Thursday and is predicted to remain high through the weekend. Areas that are not under water now may be soon.
“The Potomac can be a treacherous and unpredictable river, particularly during periods of high water,” said Kevin Brandt, C&O Canal park superintendent said. “Respect the closures the park staff has put in place, they are for your safety."
Brandt urged park users to keep an eye on the river and have an escape plan. For information on river conditions, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration site.