A towpath in use on the Finow Canal in Germany.
Map of planned route.
People towing a vessel in the Netherlands in 1931
A boat on the canal, circa 1900-1924
Mules pulling boat on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
Canal boats waiting to be unloaded in Georgetown.
A roving bridge on the English Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. The towpath changes to the other side of the canal but the horse does not have to be unhitched
Low-angle bird's-eye view of central Washington toward the west and northwest with The Capitol in foreground. The Canal is visible running along the mall.
A towpath cut into the rock beside the Lot river in south-west France
C&O Canal in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
"Towboats Along the Yotsugi-dōri Canal" from Hiroshige's "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo" series; a depiction of a towpath in rural Tokyo, mid 19c.
Boat construction yard in Cumberland, MD
Example of Rope abrasion, on a bridge (which also functions as a stop gate) on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
Map of Terminus in Cumberland in the mid 1890s. Yellow dots indicate modern highways as well as current (2013) location of Canal basin.
Register of waybills in the Cumberland Office, in 1858. Each canal boat had to have a waybill, even if empty, for passage through the canal. Fines were levied for lack of a waybill.
5 and 10 dollar notes, from C&O Canal company
Floodwaters around Lock 6 in 1936
Great Falls feeder culvert (no longer used) indicated by yellow arrow(14.08 mi), and Lock 18 (R).
Boat at Big Slackwater
An informal overflow. The towpath dips, allowing water to flow over it. Note the boards in the background for people to walk on.
Paw Paw Tunnel
Remains of the inclined plane
Culvert #30 lets Muddy Branch under the canal
Repairs at Big Pool
Mules being fed.
A steamboat on the C&O Canal. Note the steering wheel and the smokestack on this boat
Children tethered to canal boat. This photo was probably taken in one of the Cumberland basins.
Model interior of a C&O Canal freight boat
Recent view of the 9 mile level (between 33 and 34 miles) where the ghosts were reported to haunt.
Monocacy aqueduct in 2011, where the ghost of a robber could allegedly be seen on moonless nights

The canalway is now maintained as the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, with a trail that follows the old towpath.

- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail

- Towpath

2 related topics with Alpha


The Alter Strom, in the sea resort of Warnemünde, Germany.


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Canals or artificial waterways are waterways or engineered channels built for drainage management (e.g. flood control and irrigation) or for conveyancing water transport vehicles (e.g. water taxi).

Canals or artificial waterways are waterways or engineered channels built for drainage management (e.g. flood control and irrigation) or for conveyancing water transport vehicles (e.g. water taxi).

The Alter Strom, in the sea resort of Warnemünde, Germany.
The Royal Canal in Ireland.
Small boat canals such as the Basingstoke Canal fuelled the industrial revolution in much of Europe and the United States.
Bridge on the Naviglio Grande, in the town of Cassinetta di Lugagnano, in Italy
Canal in Broek in Waterland, Netherlands.
Canal in Venice.
Saimaa Canal, a transportation canal between Finland and Russia, in Lappeenranta
Westbury Court Garden: the garden "Canal".
Loading Anthracite on the Lehigh Canal to feed the early United States industries in the pioneer-era.
1. Design High Water Level (HWL)
  2. Low water channel
    3. Flood channel
    4. Riverside slope
    5. Riverside banquette
    6. Levee crown
    7. Landside slope
    8. Landside banquette
    9. Berm
   10. Low water revetment
   11. Riverside land
   12. Levee
   13. Protected lowland
   14. River zone
The Danube-Black Sea Canal in Romania
The Amsterdam-Rhine Canal near Rijswijk, Netherlands
Canal de Castilla in Castile and León, Spain, is 207 km long, crossing 38 municipalities. Initially built to transport wheat, it is now used for irrigation.
Canal in Sète, France.
The Grand Canal of China at Suzhou.
Thal Canal, Punjab, Pakistan.
Dutch canal in Negombo, Sri Lanka.
Lowell's power canal system.
Bridgewater Canal in England
Erie Canal, Lockport, New York, c. 1855
Aqueduct over the Mohawk River at Rexford, New York, one of 32 navigable aqueducts on the Erie Canal.
Sluice in the canal of Gabčíkovo Dam (Slovakia) – the canal is conveying water to a hydroelectric power station.
American canals circa 1825.
A family rides a boat in one of the canals of Amsterdam.
A proposal for the Nicaragua Canal, from around 1870.
Abandoned DeLessups equipment, Panama jungle
Canals can disrupt water circulation in marsh systems.
A canal (Gracht) in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Aerial view of the man-made canals of the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Wharfs along the Oudegracht in Utrecht, Netherlands.
Canal of La Peyrade in Sète, France.
Two Panamax ships in the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal, Panama.
alt=A series of approximately 20 black lock gates with white ends to the paddle arms and wooden railings, each slightly higher than the one below. On the right is a path and on both side's grass and vegetation.|The flight of 16 consecutive locks at Caen Hill on the Kennet and Avon Canal, Wiltshire.
A canal boat traverses the longest and highest aqueduct in the UK, at Pontcysyllte in Denbighshire, Wales.
The Corinth Canal seen from the air.
Miami and Erie Canal Lock in Ohio, United States

When a stream is too difficult to modify with canalization, a second stream can be created next to or at least near the existing stream. This is called a lateral canal, and may meander in a large horseshoe bend or series of curves some distance from the source waters stream bed lengthening the effective length in order to lower the ratio of rise over run (slope or pitch). The existing stream usually acts as the water source and the landscape around its banks provide a path for the new body. Examples include the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Canal latéral à la Loire, Garonne Lateral Canal, Welland Canal and Juliana Canal.

The boats on the canal were horse-drawn with a towpath alongside the canal for the horse to walk along.

Erie Canal

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Historic canal in upstate New York that runs east-west between the Hudson River and Lake Erie.

Historic canal in upstate New York that runs east-west between the Hudson River and Lake Erie.

Erie Canal map c. 1840
Aqueduct over the Mohawk River at Rexford, one of 32 navigable aqueducts on the Erie Canal
The Mohawk Valley, running east and west, cuts a natural pathway (water gap) between the Catskill Mountains to the south and the Adirondack Mountains to the north.
Profile of the original canal
Operations at Lockport, New York, in 1839
Stonework of lock abandoned because of route change, at Durhamville, New York
An original five-step lock structure crossing the Niagara Escarpment at Lockport, now without gates and used as a cascade for excess water
Erie Canal lock in Lockport, New York
1853 map of New York canals emboldened, center: the Erie Canal; other lines: railroads, rivers and county borders
Lithograph of the Erie Canal at Lockport, New York c. 1855. Published for Herrman J. Meyer, 164 William Street, New York City.
Aqueduct over Nine Mile Creek north of Camillus, New York, built in 1841 and abandoned c. 1918; one of 32 navigable aqueducts on the Erie Canal, it has since been restored.
Upstream view of the downstream lock at Lock 32, Pittsford, New York
Map of the "Water Level Routes" of the New York Central Railroad (purple), West Shore Railroad (red) and Erie Canal (blue)
Rochester, New York, aqueduct c. 1890
Two "low" lift bridges in Lockport, New York, July 2010
The modern Erie Canal has 34 locks, which are painted with the blue and gold colors of the New York State Canal System.
Gateway Harbor in North Tonawanda, about 1000 ft from the present-day western terminus of the Erie Canal where it connects to the Niagara River
The Old Erie Canal and its towpath at Kirkville, New York, within Old Erie Canal State Historic Park
Buffalo's Erie Canal Commercial Slip in Spring 2008
Erie Canal Lock 18, Cohoes, New York
Old Erie Canal State Historic Park, DeWitt, New York
The modern single lock at the Niagara Escarpment

A mule can only carry about 250 lb, but can draw a barge weighing as much as 60000 lb along a towpath.

In time, projects were devised in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and relatively deep into the coastal states.