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C&O Canal invites public comment on proposal for Paw Paw Tunnel Hollow

June 25th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

The National Park Service (NPS) invites public comment through July 25 on a proposal to improve visitor safety near the Paw Paw Tunnel Hollow in Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. This section of the park, between mile marker 155 and the downstream portal of the Paw Paw Tunnel, has experienced rockfalls and landslides that present a safety hazard to park visitors.


For this project, the park proposes to: 

·         Remove rocks and debris from a landslide in 2016. 

·         Stabilize the rock faces on both sides of the towpath and boardwalk. 

·         Replace the wooden pedestrian boardwalk.    

The Paw Paw Tunnel is one of the most significant engineering features along the canal. To save building six miles of canal along the river, the C&O Canal Company decided to construct a tunnel through a steep ridge now called Tunnel Hill. The 3,118-foot tunnel took 14 years to complete and first opened in 1850. Today, visitors come to the tunnel to view this engineering feat and hike the Tunnel Hill Trail, a two-mile trail that traverses the top of the mountain where laborers lived during the construction period. 


How to Comment: Public participation is vital to our planning process, which is conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). There are two ways to comment: 

·         Online through the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website (preferred method) at 

·         By mail comments postmarked no later than  July 25 or 30 days after release, 2020 to: 

Tina Cappetta, Superintendent 
C&O Canal National Historical Park 
ATTN: Paw Paw Rockfall Mitigation 
1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100 

Hagerstown, MD 21740 

4 Responses to “C&O Canal invites public comment on proposal for Paw Paw Tunnel Hollow”

  1. June 25, 2020 at 12:36 pm, mac said:

    Why would anyone have objections to improving the safety of the tunnel area?
    Does the Superintendent think people will write in and say, ‘No,no, don’t repair anything. We enjoy hiking along the trail knowing that a rock slide may bury us at any moment’. It’s a great way for us to teach our children about the vagaries of life and death.


    • June 25, 2020 at 5:30 pm, Jay said:

      Yeah, the tunnel was a great idea. Only took 14 years to burrow through the mountain. By the time they got it done the railroad had made the horse drawn canal boats obsolete.


  2. June 25, 2020 at 1:27 pm, jackblack said:

    Are those Confederate,BLM,or Antifa rocks?When its all in the Blue Line will defend the rule of law.


    • June 25, 2020 at 5:28 pm, Jay said:

      Sorry Jack. Incoherent post. Are you hitting the vape?


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