Paw Paw Tunnel Eastern Portal

Access to C&O Canal Towpath’s Paw Paw Tunnel Restricted; Detour Available

By Bryan Perry |

The C&O Canal National Historical Park announced that it resumed work on August 9, 2021 to stabilize rocky slopes along an approximately 1,000-foot length of the C&O Canal Towapath just downstream from the eastern portal of the Paw Paw Tunnel. During this stabilization project, the National Park Service anticipates that the Paw Paw Tunnel will remain open to visitors from the western portal, but that through-access onto the towpath downstream of the tunnel will be closed until the rock fall hazards are ameliorated and the boardwalk repaired. This work is likely to extend into the summer of 2022. Put another way, during the stabilization project, the Paw Paw Tunnel will remain open for visitors to explore from the western end (adjacent to the campground and parking lot), but thru-travelers and those approaching from the east must use the Tunnel Hill Trail, a 1.5 mile marked footpath that is routed up and over the top of the Paw Paw Tunnel with an elevation change of 375 feet. Bicyclists must dismount and walk their bikes, and trailers are not recommended. For more information, visit the website for the C&O Canal National Historical Park.