Here’s a quick heads up for trail users and outdoor enthusiasts active in the Washington, D.C.-Maryland area.
In early January 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) announced that it is proposing user fees on the entire length of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park (a.k.a. C&O Canal Towpath), which runs 184.5 miles from Georgetown in Washington, D.C., to Cumberland, Md. This includes both entrance fees and overnight campsite fees.
According to a Jan. 12 article by Biking Bis blogger Gene Bisbee:
"Right now, the only location on the 186-mile linear park where a fee is charged is the Great Falls Tavern area in Potomac. The park proposes adding entrance fee collection to all areas outside the District of Columbia."
Bisbee writes that C&O park leadership is asking for the public’s feedback and support, maintaining that fee revenue is critical to park operations; however, the news has not been well received by many individuals.
NPS is inviting public feedback on the proposal, with all comments due by Feb. 22, 2015. A number of public hearings have also been scheduled between Jan. 21 and Feb. 5 at various locations in Maryland.
If you’d like to weigh in—now’s your chance.
For detailed information on the proposed user fees and the public hearings, and to access a link to the NPS feedback page, check out Bisbee’s blog below.