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Canal towns initiative launches Friday

By Staff | Sep 22, 2011

Eight communities boarding the C&O Canal National Historical Park will announce a new collaborative visitor attraction initiative today, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m. at Ferry Hill Place, 16500 Shepherdstown Pike, Sharpsburg, Md.

The new initiative, known as the Canal Towns Partnership, is a regional cooperative effort among towns in Maryland and West Virginia boarding the C&O Canal National Historical Park to ensure that visitors to the region and cyclists and hikers on the canals towpath find welcoming communities and a wide variety of services and amenities.

Patterned after the Trail Town initiative along the Great Allegheny Passage long distance bike trail in Pennsylvania, the partnership was given early support by the National Park Service through the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program and the C&O National Historical Park and the C&O Canal Trust.

The partnership, governed by a board of two representatives from each of the towns, has developed interpretive kiosks along the towpath directing visitors into their communities. It has also created informational brochures for each town and worked closely with NPS to improve signage on the towpath to better inform visitors of nearby services and amenities.

To learn more about the partnership, visit www.canaltowns.org.