April 8, 2021

Message from the County Executive Marc Elrich

Dear Friends,

It is a race: the variants against the vaccines, and the opening this week of the mass vaccination site at Montgomery College’s Germantown campus is an important step in our effort to get as many people vaccinated for COVID-19 as possible. We were happy to welcome Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to tour the site on Wednesday, the day before the official opening. You can get a glimpse of the site in my weekly video.

We are excited about having a mass vaccination site because so many Montgomery County residents were having to travel out of the County to get vaccinated. This site also will be accessible for public transit users who will have a shuttle available from the Shady Grove Metro station. The State also opened a mass vax site by the Greenbelt Metro station in Prince George’s County, which will be convenient for our residents in the eastern part of the County.

Approximately 400,000 of our residents have been vaccinated, which is great news. However, even as supply of vaccines increases, we still do not have enough for everyone who is eligible. Beginning April 12, everyone 16 and older will become eligible throughout the State. In Montgomery County, about 400,000 people will be eligible, it will take time to get everyone vaccinated. But we will. As part of that effort, please preregister on our website if you have not already done so.

You may also want to watch a press briefing from earlier today where I talk more about these issues. You can view it here.

Many of our students have returned to their classrooms or will soon be returning to some in-person learning, and many are also engaging in sports. Through this, we need to do everything we can to reduce community transmission of COVID-19. The variants, which are more contagious, are here in the County. So we have to continue to be vigilant. Please maintain safe physical distance and keep wearing your masks. Also, if you think you may have been exposed—through travel, sports or otherwise—please get tested. It helps us track community transmission and reduce the spread as much as possible.

This week was Yom HaShoah--the Holocaust Memorial Day. As we fight hatred, racism and discrimination, it is essential to remember the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. It is a time to recommit ourselves to justice for all.

On a bright note, this week the Maryland General Assembly passed important legislation to help our work to address climate change. The legislation would allow Montgomery County to implement Community Choice Energy (CCE), which gives us a chance to better control our fuel sources. This legislation authorizing implementation of CCE will still require substantial input from the State’s Public Service Commission, as well as authorization by the County Council. But it is important to begin that effort. As we all know, we are in a climate emergency. While I appreciate the work of the entire Montgomery County Delegation to the General Assembly, I especially want to thank Delegate Lorig Charkoudian and Senator Brian Feldman for their work and leadership on this legislation.

A Vision for the Future?

The Montgomery County Planning Board’s proposed revision of the General Plan that guides land use in Montgomery County is being sent to the County Council this week. Dubbed “Thrive Montgomery 2050,” the plan has been developed over the past two years and is expected to begin going through the County Council’s review process in late spring/early summer.

I have raised several concerns about the draft plan, not only about some of the proposed recommendations, but also about the Planning Board’s confusing, disjointed review process. Previously, I had asked that they slow down this process given that we are in the midst of a pandemic and there was no urgency to produce the plan.  Doing this in the midst of a pandemic has made it very difficult for the public to be engaged in these issues, which involve some major proposed changes.  However, they moved forward anyway.  Now that we have a final version from the Planning Board, the Executive Branch will begin an in-depth review and provide detailed comments prior to the Council’s review. This update to the General Plan is fundamental to the future of the County. We will do our part to work toward a common goal of preserving what is great about the County while adapting to changing priorities and needs. To read more, see my letter to the Planning Board.

As always – my appreciation to all of you for your support and your work to help our County.

Marc Elrich
County Executive

April 7, 2021

Maryland Residents 16-and Over Eligible to Receive COVID-19 Vaccinations Starting Monday, April 12; 38 Percent of County Residents Have Received At Least One Dose

All Maryland residents 16-and-over will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination at all State-operated, County-operated and privately operated vaccine clinics in the State starting Monday, April 12, by order of Governor Larry Hogan. Covered by the order is the new State-supported mass vaccination center at the Germantown campus of Montgomery County, which officially opened today, Thursday, April 8. Eligibility does not equal an immediate appointment. 

According to State statistics updated this morning, 38 percent of County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine and 21.5 percent are fully vaccinated.

Preregistration and appointments are required for all vaccination centers in the County. Preregistration for a County-operated center at https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/#preregister. Preregister for a State vaccination center at https://onestop.md.gov/preregistration or by calling 1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829). 

Residents are encouraged to preregister with the State and with the County—and advised to take the first vaccination appointment they are offered at any clinic. 

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich joined Governor Hogan and members of the County Council for a tour of the new Germantown site on Wednesday, April 7. As a State-supported site, the Germantown center will be available to all Marylanders. 

Free Ride-On bus shuttle service is operating from the Shady Grove Metro station to the vaccination site at Montgomery College in Germantown. The service was established by the direction of County Executive Elrich. Buses will run every 15 minutes from 8:30 a.m. until 30 minutes after the last vaccination (approximately 5 p.m.).  Pick up the shuttle on the east side of the Shady Grove Metro.  Buses will be marked “Vaccination Shuttle.” 

The Germantown site replaces the County-operated site that had been at Quince Orchard High School, which was closed as students returned to classrooms around the County. Residents who received a first dose of a vaccine at Quince Orchard, but did not yet receive a second vaccine, will get that second dose at Montgomery College. 

The County-operated vaccination site at Richard Montgomery High School also has closed. That clinic has moved to the Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center. 

As of Thursday morning, April 8, more than 398,600 Montgomery County residents (38 percent) have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. There are more than 226,100 fully vaccinated County residents (21.5 percent). 

While the number of people being vaccinated is increasing daily, the average number of County residents with confirmed positive COVID-19 cases has also increased since 2021 low points in mid-March. COVID hospital bed-use rates are beginning to rise as well. See details on the County COVID-19 Data Dashboard. 

Residents who have received at least their first vaccination can help others by canceling their preregistration for a County-run clinic. Completing the form will remove a person from the preregistration list. 

As more residents are vaccinated, others have become more lenient about getting tested for the virus. However, it is still important to get tested because that helps health officials track the spread of COVID-19 in the community.  There are free testing clinics every week throughout the County.  Find a complete schedule of upcoming clinics at www.MoCOCOVIDTesting.org. 

Volunteers Sought to Help Support County COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

Montgomery County is seeking volunteers to support the COVID-19 vaccination sites it is operating. Qualified volunteers who are interested in helping can contact the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps. Key roles at the sites will be vaccine administration, client registration, logistics support and data entry. 

Volunteer vaccinators can be anyone with a current license as a physician, nurse (RN, NP, APRN), physician assistant, pharmacist, podiatrist, EMT, paramedic, veterinarian, dentists and dental hygienist (licensed for anesthesia).  

Non-medical volunteers are needed to assist with logistics support, data entry and client registration. No previous experience is required for these roles. 

Volunteers will receive training specific to their role at the vaccination site. 

Appropriate PPE is provided for all roles at vaccination sites.

Interested volunteers can register with the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps at https://mdresponds.health.maryland.gov/.

Questions about volunteering can be sent to Jessica Pryor at jessica.pryor@montgomerycountymd.gov.

COVID-19 Information Portal Has Statistics on the Virus Including Infections and Vaccinations Given by Zip Codes

Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Information Portal provides a variety of breakdowns on how the virus has impacted the County. The statistics are updated to reflect the most recent reports during the health crisis.     
Among the information available is how many positive cases have been reported in each zip code in the County. New to the dashboard is how many vaccinations have been given by zip code.

To find the recent trend in vaccinations by zip code, go to https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/data/case-counts.html#cases-zip.     

To find the trend on where vaccinations are being given by zip code, go to https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/data/case-counts.html#vaccine-zip.

Other breakdowns on the COVID-19 Information Portal include:     

Montgomery County Thanks Public Health Workers During National Public Health Week

Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, the public health efforts in Montgomery County and communities across the United States have been in the spotlight. This week, the County joined in the celebration of National Public Health Week, which runs through Sunday.

Public health services’ programs, which are part of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), monitor health status and implement intervention strategies to contain or prevent disease. These intervention strategies include fighting bioterrorism and emerging diseases.

“For the last year, I have witnessed the incredible work and dedication of our public health staff and the much-needed assistance they have provided to our residents during these very difficult times,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I think that we all have learned how vital the health department is to our community, and National Public Health Week is our time to recognize and thank the people who have worked tirelessly to protect our quality of life and make Montgomery County a healthier place for all.”

In the past year, the County’s public health services:
  • Provided more than 500,000 COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Created and shared a detailed “10-year Plan to End HIV in Montgomery County.” The plan, with a goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030, addresses the expansion of four key HIV response service areas: diagnosis, treatment, prevention and response to outbreaks. The plan came out of the County’s designation as a priority jurisdiction for the Federal “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiative.
  • Received national accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The PHAB accreditation program is jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It sets standards against which the nation’s nearly 3,000 public health departments can continuously improve the quality of services and performance.
“Unlike any time in recent history, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the work of public health professionals here and across the world,” said Travis Gayles, the County health officer and chief of public health services. “It has also shed light on the ongoing issues of health equity, which is a fundamental right, not a privilege. The most effective way to prevent the spread of disease is through public health measures. The greatest wealth one can attain is their health and well-being. The biggest threat to public health is indifference and the greatest medicine is comprised of compassion.”

The annual week of recognition is sponsored by the American Public Health Association. More information about the special week and its themes can be viewed here.

County’s 2021 Energy Summit Announces Schedule of Education Sessions; Early Bird Registration Ends Friday, April 9

Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the US Green Building Council National Capital Region have announced the preliminary schedule of the 2021 Montgomery County Energy Summit. This year’s Summit will take place virtually, due to the COVID-19 health crisis, from Tuesday, May 4, through Thursday, May 6.

Education sessions will center around the eighth annual Summit’s theme of “Resiliency, from Building to Community,” which supports the County’s ambitious goal of zero carbon emissions by 2035.

Early Bird registration for the Summit is $70 and is available through Friday, April 9. That provides access to the full Summit pass, which includes the slate of education sessions and virtual networking events. After April 9, regular registration is $85, and single-day tickets also are available.

The Summit will explore strategies, technologies and case studies focused on enhancing the resiliency of the commercial, multifamily and residential built environment. This year's Summit is a forum for the community to discuss ways to adapt and become more resilient against changes to the regional and global climate.

The 2021 Energy Summit education sessions schedule includes the following:

Tuesday, May 4:
  • Building Resilience in Montgomery County
  • Providing Hybrid Power Benefits to Commercial Buildings and Multi-family Affordable Housing
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and Community Transportation Resiliency
  • Hillandale Gateway Case Study: Large Scale Mixed Use—Multi-family Passive House
  • We Have Complied with the County’s Benchmarking Law—Now What?
  • Setting the Table: Build Resilience into Integrative Process
Wednesday, May 5:
  • Upscaling Resiliency: From Buildings to the Revisioned Community
  • Moving Metro Toward Efficiency and Resiliency
  • Commissioning—It Does Not Build Your Building, But It Makes It Better!
  • Resilient Retail Shopping Center: A Near Net Zero Experience
  • Post Occupancy Verification at Unisphere—How Did We Do?
  • Passive House Pitfalls: Case Study in Multi-family Affordable Housing in West Philadelphia
Thursday, May 6:
  • Health in Resilient Housing
  • Charging Toward Battery Adoption—Knowledge is Power
  • Cultivating Resilience in Montgomery County Faith Communities
  • Natural Gas Solutions for an Energy Efficient and Resilient Montgomery County
  • Preparing for Building Energy Performance Standards in Montgomery County
In addition to the breakout education sessions, the Summit will include a keynote panel, morning plenary remarks, topical networking salons and interactive brown bag lunches. All education sessions will be submitted for continuing education credits for Green Business Certification, Inc., and the American Institute of Architects.

The event organizers are grateful for the support of our 2021 event promotional partners, which include: AIA Baltimore, AIA Potomac Valley, AIA|DC, Bethesda Green, the Capital Chapter of the International Facility Management Association, the Maryland Clean Energy Center, the Montgomery County Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, NAIOP DC|MD, Olney Chamber of Commerce, Poolesville Green, the Rockville Chamber of Commerce and the UMD Environmental Finance Center.

The Summit will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Scholarships are available for students and government professionals. To apply for a scholarship, go to https://usgbc.wufoo.com/forms/qvgu6qc0cptzev/.

To register and view the full schedule, visit the event’s website at www.MCEnergySummit.org.

Questions about the Summit can be emailed to energy@montgomerycountymd.gov. 

County’s GreenFest 2021: A Month-Long Virtual Celebration of Earth Month

Montgomery County’s annual GreenFest—a celebration of the environment—will be a month of free online and in-person events throughout April. The series of activities will include educational workshops, an environmental film festival and family friendly games and scavenger hunts.   

GreenFest is a chance for residents, businesses, nonprofits and neighbors to come together, share ideas and get involved in finding ways to make the County a cleaner, greener place. 

GreenFest partners include the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Montgomery Parks, Brookside Gardens, the County Department of Transportation, Poolesville Green, Bethesda Green, One Montgomery Green and University of Maryland’s Sea Grant Extension.  

“Greenfest epitomizes our community’s commitment to sustainable practices and eco-friendly culture,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “I encourage all residents to participate in Greenfest activities and enjoy these free, family-friendly ways to educate and empower us to do better in order to protect our planet for future generations.” 

Greenfest offers a series of educational workshops by industry experts on a variety of topics that will help resident to “green” the Earth and their home environments. GreenFest partners also will join the DC Environmental Film Festival to offer free online documentary screenings in April.  

All lectures and screenings will be held online using Zoom. After registering, a link will be emailed to 24 hours prior to the live webinar.  

The schedule of free GreenFest educational workshops will include:  
  • Aiming for Zero Waste: Compost Food Scraps in Your Backyard. Thursday, April 15. 7-8 p.m. Join the County Department of Environmental Protection for a virtual workshop on how to compost various types of food scraps in the backyard using rodent-proof compost bins. Discussion will address acceptable types of materials that can be composted, best practices to manage the composting process to prevent critters and odor and what to do with the amazing “black gold” after the materials are composted.  Register  at https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115144 .  
  • Become a Community Scientist in Your Own Backyard—Join the City Nature Challenge. Thursday, April 22. 7-8 p.m. The “City Nature Challenge” from April 30 to May 3 features cities around the world competing to make the most observations of nature, find the most species and engage the most people. Residents can submit photos of wildlife through the iNaturalist app and contribute to ecological studies that help scientists better understand the plants and animals of the local landscape. Lecture will detail how easy it is to participate, including how to use the iNaturalist app to submit observations. Have a smart phone with the free iNaturalist app pre-downloaded.  Registration required at .https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115146   
  • Creating a Planter with Native Plants. Thursday, April 29. 7-8 p.m. Lecture will highlight the benefits of using native plants to beautify gardens while helping to support local wildlife and pollinators. Participants will learn steps to create a beautiful planter using plants native to this region. One participant will win a native plant container. Register at https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115148   
The DC Environmental Film Festival at GreenFest will feature environmentally themed films available free to the public as part of Earth Month activities. The presentations will have virtual panel discussions with experts.  

The festival schedule includes: 

Environmental Justice and Communities of Color. Tuesday, April 20. 7-8 p.m. Series of short films will showcase the initiatives underway in minority communities to address a variety of environmental issues. The panel discussion will bring together activists and environmental experts to discuss environmental justice as it relates to communities of color. Discussion will address how climate change will impact the health and quality of life for Black and brown communities. Other issues will include the work being done in Montgomery County and beyond to engage minority communities in protecting their environments.    

The film lineup includes:  
Scheduled to be on the panel: 
  • Moderator: Tiffany Ward, chief equity officer, Montgomery County
  • Tim Paule and Nicole Lindsey, Detroit Hives  
  • Rozina Kanchwala, EcoLogic  
  • Pablo Blank, CASA of Maryland  
  • Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance   
Register at  https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115149. Links to watch the films online will be emailed to participants after they register.  

The Story of Plastic. Tuesday, April 27. 7-8 p.m. Plastic pollution is everywhere, smothering watersheds, bays and oceans and poisoning communities around the world. The session will address what is being done to increase recycling and eliminate plastic waste. Join environmental leaders to discuss the efforts underway in Montgomery County and Maryland to reduce waste stream and improve the environment.   

Registration required at https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115153. A link to watch the film online will be emailed to participants after they register.   

Scheduled to be on the panel: 
  • Moderator: Adam Ortiz, director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection  
  • Shane Robinson, executive director of Trash Free Maryland  
  • Lori Nicholson, community activist in Montgomery County  
  • Lorig Charkoudian, Maryland State Delegate 
Community cleanups will be held throughout April. Learn more at #MontgomeryPlogs Challenge at Greenfest. Sign up for the #MontgomeryPlogs #Challenge at  https://mcgmd.wufoo.com/forms/greenfest-plogging-challenge/  

Children’s games and activities will be scheduled throughout the Greenfest celebration.  Greenfest scavenger hunts are family friendly nature exploration events for all ages and abilities. These outdoor adventures will offer lessons about eco-friendly features in the community and at local parks.

Public Libraries Offers Free Online Workshops for Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs in April

Montgomery County Public Libraries is offering free online workshops and one-on-one sessions to assist job seekers and entrepreneurs throughout April. All workshops are free and offered virtually.

An internet connection and a device (such as a smartphone, tablet or computer) are required for participation.

The schedule of opportunities will include:
  • Throughout April: Every Monday 9:30-11:30 a.m. H.I.R.E. (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) Sessions. Sign up to meet virtually/confidentially one-on-one with a career counselor for advice and assistance with job searching.
  • Tuesday, April 13, and Thursday, April 15. 5:45-7:45 p.m. LinkedIn Boot Camp (Part I / Part II). Two-session/two-day workshop focuses on both the mechanics and strategy of using LinkedIn as a tool to conduct a successful job search. Register for Part 1 and 2:
  • Tuesday, April 13. 10-11:30 a.m. Introduction to Entrepreneurship. Workshop, in partnership with the Maryland Women’s Business Center. Covers the fundamentals of building a business and helps determine if an individual is ready to become a small business owner. Register:  https://mcpl.libnet.info/event/4778130.
  • Thursday, April 15; 1-3 p.m. How to Prepare for your Virtual Job Interview. Learn how to differentiate yourself from other candidates, be Zoom ready, package your experience, tell your story, be ready for challenging questions and feel more confident in your next interview. Register: https://mcpl.libnet.info/event/4896045.
  • Wednesday, April 21. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. How to Apply for Jobs with Montgomery County Government. Register: https://mcpl.libnet.info/event/4841626.
  • Tuesday, April 27. Noon-1:30 p.m. Career Resources for Skilled Immigrants. Representatives from Upwardly Global (UpGlo), an organization focused on helping work-authorized immigrant and refugee professionals re-enter their professional fields in the U.S., will share information on the organization, career resources for immigrant and refugee professionals and answer questions on how eligible applicants can apply for UpGlo’s free customized U.S. job search training programs. Register: https://mcpl.libnet.info/event/4983701.

County Agencies Join to Celebrate April as Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month

Montgomery County departments and cooperating agencies are joining together to celebrate April as  Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. Throughout the month, there will be engaging programs, activities and mini-events as part of the “Shining Brighter Together” celebration.

Agencies participating in the celebration include Montgomery Parks, the Montgomery County Department of Recreation, City of Takoma Park Recreation, City of Rockville Recreation and Parks, City of Gaithersburg Parks, Recreation and Culture, ArtStream and the Montgomery County Public Library system.

Creative programs will focus on sharing positive, respectful and accurate information about autism while informing the community about the variety of resources available in the County. Montgomery Parks is offering a “Creative by Nature” program at Black Hill Nature Center and a “Sensory Sundays” program at the Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood.

“Sensory Sundays is a fun event for youth and their families to experience hands-on learning, meet the animals at the farm, experience outdoor exhibits and explore tactile activities and crafts,” said Lisa Berray, manager of Interpretation and Visitor Services for Montgomery Parks.

The full list of activities offered are available on the Shine Brighter Together event page. Families can choose to participate in more than 20 events throughout the month. Many of the family friendly programs are virtual. However, there are several opportunities for in-person engagement and learning.

Montgomery Parks welcomes individuals with all abilities to participate in programs and activities of their choice. The department’s Program Access, also referred to as “Inclusion Services,” provides modifications, accommodations, support staff, sign language interpreters, auxiliary aids and trainings to promote awareness and sensitivity to enable and ensure an individual’s successful participation and accessibility of programs and services throughout the County.

C&O Canal National Historic Park Was Eighth Most-Visited National Park in 2020

Photos by Emily DeTitta

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, which this year is celebrating its 50th year as a national park, was the eighth most-visited park in 2020 among the more than 400 national parks administered by the National Park Service. Montgomery County, which is one of four Maryland counties through which the C&O Canal Park passes, derives considerable economic impact for being a host of one of the nation’s great natural resources.

For more than 100 years, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River. Today, it endures as a pathway for discovering historical and recreational treasures. The 184.5-mile-long recreational, educational and historic attraction welcomes more than five million visitors most years. Even in 2020—a year dominated by the COVID-19 health crisis—the C&O Canal Park had 4.9 visitors.

It is estimated that the four Maryland counties and 10 canal towns that host the park attracted approximately $98.4 million in visitor spending in 2019, according to figures supplied by the National Park Service.

The early favorable weather of 2021 makes it likely the C&O Canal Park will again have an overwhelming number of visitors.

According to National Park Service’s Social Science Program, which coordinates the collection of recreational visitation statistics for the park service, the 10 most-visited park areas it administers in 2020 were Blue Ridge Parkway (14.1 million visitors), Golden Gate Recreation Area (12.4 million), Great Smokey Mountains National Park (12.1 million), Gateway National Recreation Area (8.4 million), Lake Mead National Recreation Area (8 million), George Washington Memorial Parkway (6.2 million), Natchez Trace Parkway (6.1 million), C&O Canal National Historic Park (4.9 million), Cape Cod National Seashore (4.1 million) and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (4.1 million). In comparison, Yellowstone National Park had 3.8 million visitors in 2020.

Among the C&O Canal Park highlights in Montgomery County are:
  • The Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center. The heart of the C&O Canal National Historical Park is the anchor that can arrange a walking tour with a park ranger, a solo phone tour or guided tours of Riley’s lockhouse tours.
  • The Great Falls. There are three overlooks available to view the waterfalls and the Potomac River. Each are about a five- to 10-minute walk from the visitor center and two of them are handicap- and stroller-accessible. Expect to see a variety of wildlife like deer, beavers, red foxes and many different species of birds.
  • The Billy Goat Trail. Offers scenic views of the Potomac River and has three hiking sections that are set for different skill levels. Section A, which is 1.75 miles long, is the most technical and strenuous hike in the trail and does not allow dogs. Section B is 1.4 miles long, is a moderately challenging hike and allows dogs. Section C is 1.6 miles long, is perfect for beginners and less-experienced hikers. Also allows dogs.
  • Canal Quarters Lockhouse Program. Managed by the C&O Canal Trust, the lockhouse program gives guests the opportunity to step back in time and live like a lockkeeper for the night. Each of the seven historic lockhouses – with five in Montgomery County, Maryland – are restored and furnished to reflect the time period in which they are built, and each location tells a different story about the development of the C&O Canal. Three lockhouses are considered “full-amenity” structures that include running water, electric, air conditioning, full bathroom and more. Full-amenity lockhouses are available to rent for $160 per night.
The C&O Canal Park is open all year during daylight hours and closes at dark. For those driving to the canal and looking to park on-site, the entrance fee is $20 per vehicle and $15.00 per motorcycle. For those biking or parking off-site and then walking to the park, the entrance fee is $10. An annual pass if also available for $35.00. All money goes to park-related projects and conserving the C&O Canal Park. Dogs are allowed at the park.

For more information on exploring all 184.5 miles of the park, download the explorer mobile app for more than 600 points of interest mapped in a searchable format. It allows users to find nearby hiking trails, campgrounds, historical sites, trailheads and parking.