The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Association is an all-volunteer, independent organization of citizens dedicated to preserving and protecting the historical and natural resources of the 184-mile long C&O Canal National Historical Park and the Potomac River Basin.
Our Association was founded in 1954 by participants of the historic hike led by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas to bring public attention to preserving the canal right-of-way. Later, we took the lead in the campaign that created the Park in 1971. Today, we work with, and serve as an unofficial partner of, the Park. We also work closely with many community and regional organizations concerned with the canal.
Our Association hosted the 1992 International Conference on Historic Canals at Harpers Ferry, WV. A few years later that annual gathering changed its name to the World Canals Conference.