The Georgetown canal now has water flowing through it, and soon you will be able to ride in a brand new boat on it.

“We hope to get as many visitors to travel the roughly one-mile trip up on the canal in Georgetown, beginning hopefully later this year,” said Jeffrey Nichols, executive director of the non-profit Georgetown Heritage.

There is water in the C&O Canal right now, but that will soon change. A giant harvester is moving into the area in a few weeks and will be clearing vegetation for the boat. After that’s finished, the water will be drained so that the $1.5 million boat can be brought in. The boat is currently in two pieces in Dundalk, Maryland, being completed.

“It’s gonna be a great investment and a great activity for residents and visitors coming to Georgetown to be able to travel on that boat,” Nichols said.

The locks and canal were built between 1829 and 1831. Mules traditionally were used to pull the boat. Nichols said that the new boat will also be able to be pulled by the animals.

“What’s great about this boat, it can be pulled by mules, which is the traditional method along the C&O Canal — not the only method, but the traditional one,” Nichols said. In addition, there are two electric motors, so the mules aren’t always needed to pull it.

“We will be putting in a kayak dock east of the 34th Street pedestrian bridge so the public can anticipate using that this summer, which is very exciting,” said Millie Jimenez, the partnership coordinator for the C&O canal National Historical Park.

The kayak dock will be open to the public and the National Park Service will be working with Georgetown Heritage to work on setting up rentals as well.

Nichols said the boat will hopefully be up and running by the fall and can hold 60 adults and 75 children at one time. He said while exact fees are still being figured out — a ride will cost around $10 to $15.


(WTOP, photo courtesy of Liz Albro Photography through shutterstock)