C&O Canal Event Roundup

anniversary, annual, C&O Canal, celebrate, Events -

C&O Canal Event Roundup

The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the C&O Canal National Historical Park joining the National Park Service system. The C&O Canal National Historical Park preserves and interprets the 19th-century transportation canal from Washington, DC, to Cumberland, Maryland, and its associated scenic, natural, and cultural resources. It also provides visitors with a wealth of opportunities for education and outdoor recreation along its 184.5 miles and 20,000 acres. Mark your calendar to attend these popular events scheduled to take place on the C&O Canal and at Canal Towns located near the trail.

The Great Bicycle Tour of the C&O Canal

July 10-13, 2021
In its 34th year, this ride is a fully supported four-day ride on the C&O Canal. It begins in Cumberland, MD and rides to Mile Marker 0 in Washington, DC. 184.5 miles of no hills, no headwinds and no cars. Plenty of food, lots of support, ride at your own pace, well organized. This year there is a one-day option.  This is an annual benefit ride for San Mar Family and Community Services, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that maintains national accreditation and has provided services to children, families, and the community every day since November 8, 1883!

45th Annual C&O Canal Days

August 28 & 29, 2021
This festival is held in Williamsport, MD at Byron Memorial Park. Details to be released at a later date. 

World Canals Conference

August 30-September 2
Every year, the World Canals Conference brings together hundreds of canal and waterway enthusiasts, professionals and academics from around the world.  This year the conference will be held in Hagerstown, MD. During the conference delegates exchange ideas about canal management and development including: the protection of historic features; technical developments; revitalization of canal systems and harbors; recreational opportunities; and the promotion and presentation of canal history.

Heritage Days Festival

September 11 & 12, 2021
The official start of summer for the City of Cumberland and Allegany County. Heritage Days has something for everyone! History, arts and crafts, festival food, music, children’s activities, tours and more!

6th Annual PawPaw Festival! @LongCreek Homestead

September 18, 2021 - 12-5pm
Celebrate the largest native American fruit with tastings, ice cream, jam making, music & fall fun for everyone. All ages welcome. Food forest tours, plant walks, demos and more! The event is all outdoors with plenty of space and flow. The various activities will be spaced out, there will be hand sanitizer stations, and if still required will ask folks to wear masks. Get your tickets early!

Brunswick Railroad Days

October 2 & 3, 2021 - 10am-5pm
In its 38th year, this two-day festival takes place in Brunswick, MD. Enjoy food, drink, live music, games, craft vendors, shopping, and restaurants in this small town rich with railroad history! Rain or Shine.

Freedom's Run

October 16, 2021

Choose from a full marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K or Kids Fun Run. Proceeds from these races will be placed in the Freedom's Run Grant, where worthwhile community projects are funded. The entire marathon course is encased in National Park Land, with some brief detours through the country roads and preserved history towns that connect them.  Participants will run along the C&O Canal, over a country road to Antietam Battlefield, and finish with a downhill into Shepherdstown, WV. 


JFK 50 Mile

November 20, 2021

This race was first held in the Spring of 1963. It was one of numerous 50 mile events held around the country as part of President John F. Kennedy’s push to bring the country back to physical fitness. Register today to be part of this epic race! The course runs along the Appalachian Trail, the C&O Canal, and finishes on rolling paved country roads to Williamsport, MD.



Photo credit Sam Judge