Note: Check the Downloads section for more maps, mostly official NPS maps in PDF format
From the NPS Digital Maps website, these are the official park maps in PDF format. You can also download these under the Downloads section.
C & O Canal Map - This map was used for all the section headings on this site.
C & O Canal Map (Start to Great Falls) - A close up of the first 20 locks.
Great Falls Hiking Trails - Close up of the 3 sections of the Billy Goat Trail and other trails around Great Falls Park.
For $100 you can buy Topo USA, computer software for browsing topographical/road maps of the U.S. If you spend a lot of time on MapQuest or Microsoft's TerraServer, you might want to consider it. I've included a collection of maps here to highlight some of the C & O Canal's features.
Some of the places along the canal are difficult to get to, especially the final few miles. I've included some PDF's (you'll need the viewer) with complete driving instructions to some of the more difficult to access spots. If you've never seen a DeLorme trip map before, you'll be real impressed, well worth the big downloads.
Frederick to Shepherdstown via Boonsboro and Sharpsburg (3.8 MB)
Frederick to Antietam Aqueduct via Route 340 and Harpers Ferry (4.2 MB)
Boonsboro to Dam 4 (2.2 MB)
Dam 4 Detour (1.0 MB)
Williamsport to Dam 5 (1.6 MB)
Williamsport to Four Locks (2.1 MB)
Hancock to Dam 6 (2.7 MB)
Once you get to Paw Paw (which is right near the famous Paw Paw Tunnel), you're on Route 51 which follows the canal pretty well. The trick is getting to Paw Paw, there's really no real good route. So I've included 3 maps showing some possibilities. The first is through windy mountain roads. The second is circuitous. The third is mostly unpaved roads. All three are fairly pleasant rides though (depending on your suspension!)
Hancock to Paw Paw Tunnel (4.4 MB)
To Paw Paw Tunnel via Little Orleans (3.4 MB)
To Paw Paw Tunnel via Green Ridge State Forest (3.0 MB)
From Paw Paw to Cumberland, all canal access is from Route 51. This set of driving directions shows you most of the access roads from 51 to the final mile at Cumberland.
Paw Paw to Cumberland (4.8 MB)
These Maps were taken from 184 Miles of Adventure, the Boy Scouts guide to the canal. For $4, you can get a printed copy. They're great maps and you can find your way in to just about anywhere on the canal by using them.
Mile 0 - Georgetown
Great Allegheny Passage - Once you get to Cumberland, you can pick up this trail and make it all the way to the Forks of the Ohio in Pittsburg for an extra 150 miles.
Appalachian Trail - If you want to add another thousand miles, you can pick up this trail in Harpers Ferry and go to either Mount Katahdin in Maine or Springer Mountain in Georgia.
Sugarloaf Mountain (Front and Back) - Not part of the canal but nearby and quarry stones were used to build the Monocacy Aqueduct.
Seneca Greenway - Starting near Riley's Lockhouse (mile 23), this trail follows Seneca Creek all the way to Damascus, Maryland. The lower section is maintained by MD DNR and has very strict rules on usage. The Northern section is maintained by Montgomery County and is much more people friendly.