Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stay in a Lockhouse on the C&O Canal

For years, Matt and I have seen certain lockhouses on the C&O Canal and said, "wouldn't it be awesome to live there?". Little did we know, the C&O Canal Trust was working on a program to let you stay in some of them.

Enter Canal Quarters. There are currently three lockhouses open for reservations, with plans to open another near Point of Rocks later this year. We haven't stayed in any of these, we just think it's cool that you can. In fact, we're hoping some of you will stay in them and come back here and tell us all about it!

Lockhouse 6 on the C&O Canal
Photo credit: ctankcycles
Lockhouse 6 (towpath mile 5.4, near Cabin John) is the most modern of the houses, boasting A/C, running water, stove, and refrigerator. It's furnished as a mid-1950's house, to commemorate the time period when Supreme Court Justice O. William Douglas fought to preserve the canal from becoming a highway. It sleeps 8 in single beds and a pullout sofa, and costs $100/night.

Lockhouse 22 on the C&O Canal, at Pennyfield Lock
Photo credit: Daniel Ashton
Lockhouse 22 (towpath mile 19.6, near Potomac) is at a spot known as Pennyfield Lock. A stream known as Muddy Branch runs near the parking lot here before going under the Canal through a viaduct; many people use this as a boat put-in to reach the Potomac. This spot was also favored by President Glover Cleveland for fishing. But the lockhouse is furnished to represent an even earlier period, the 1830s and 1840s, when the canal was being built. As such, it has no heat, electricity, or indoor bathroom (just a portable toilet outside). It sleeps 8 in single beds and trundle beds, and costs $70/night.

Lockhouse 49 at Four Locks on the C&O Canal
Photo credit: jerbec
Lockhouse 49 (towpath mile 108.7, Four Locks) is at a location where the C&O Canal cuts across a bend in the Potomac River, saving three miles in canal construction, but requiring four locks to cover the change in elevation. There was once a thriving little town here, based around the activity at the locks. This section of the canal is dry now, but several old buildings remain. Furnished as a 1920's house, Lockhouse 49 has electricity (including baseboard heat and a hotplate) but no running water. It sleeps 8 in single beds and trundle beds, and costs $85/night.

Have you ever stayed in one of these lockhouses? Have a nomination for the next one the C&O Canal Trust should fix up? We'd love to hear about it!