I know. It looks like a quaint waterfall in an abandoned area.
But it’s not.
And — due to the severe and ever ongoing budget cuts — this is the sad state of maintenance and repairs that this park (just one of the 408 that the National Park Service is responsible for) is now enduring:
- Water is leaking around many of the locks (this undermines the lock foundation and will eventually cause it to fail and collapse).
- The lock structures are slowly rotting and falling apart.
- The greens around the locks are no longer being mowed and the weeds (and small trees for that matter) are not being removed.
- Trash service was abandoned years ago, but visitors still jam stuff into places where they don’t think it will be seen (that’s the bit of bright blue in the lower edge of the above photo).
- And for this visit, there were no staff at the main gate to collect entrance fees, nor did we see a National Park Service employee at any time during the afternoon we spent here.
Here are a few facts for those unfamiliar with the C&O Canal: Continue Reading →
This section of the Potomac River is always alluring to summer visitors, but it results with several people being drown every year and many rescues. During our recent hike on the Billy Goat Trail, we observed three separate rescue operations during the two hours we were hiking there — two separate one-boat rescues and a third that required three boats. Sometimes helicopters are brought in, but it’s tricky due to the close confines of the cliffs and the wind currents.