Have you heard of the C&O Canal‘s overnight stay program, Canal Quarters? Historic lockhouses along the canal have been renovated to reflect a specific time period. Having spent plenty of time on and near the canal having various sorts of fun, I was super excited to take my family for a night at Lockhouse 10.
C&O Canal Lockhouse 10
Lockhouse 10 is a lovingly restored stone cottage with capacity for 8 guests. It has a kitchen, 2 bedrooms, a living room, central air and heat, and a full bathroom. It overlooks the canal and Potomac River and has a screened porch, picnic table, and fire pit. Did I mention it’s cute? It’s *so* very cute.
Once we arrived, our daughters immediately explored every bit of the house, excited by the adventure. They settled in at the big table in the living room for a few rounds of board games with my dad while I unpacked and organized our stuff. The lockhouse feels homey and inviting and I imagine staying there at any time of the year is a treat.
The blue sky and warm breezes beckoning, we headed down to the canal and the river for some fishing. Immediately across the canal is access to the riverbank; you can also walk downstream a bit for another access point across from Lockhouse 8.
Though no fish were caught, we did see plenty of lush wildflowers, a snapping turtle, a couple snakes, an enormous frog, and countless cheery birds.
Walking back up the towpath to the lockhouse stoked our appetites for dinner, a comfort food-campfire food combo. The retro black and white kitchen had all the amenities needed to get a meal going. You just need to pack your ingredients and cleaning supplies.
With tater tots in the oven and baked beans on the stove, we headed outside to cook hot dogs over the camp fire. Our youngest assisted by picking handfuls of the buttercups that are everywhere.
With the buttercups in a vase at the retro metal table, we enjoyed our dinner and then headed outside to the fire ring to toast marshmallows for s’mores. While I cleaned up from dinner, the kids enjoyed the cache of old-fashioned games and toys under the living room book shelf. Even though we’re spoiled with iPads, apps, and VR, somehow Lincoln Logs just don’t get old.
Once I learned that there was a clawfoot bathtub on site, I planned a post-dinner spa evening for the girls, including facial masks, bath bombs, and relaxing music. I went last and enjoyed my latest library book by candle in the soft rose-scented steam. The sounds of the raindrops tapping on the roof were the perfect end to a lovely evening.
The 1930’s and the CCC
Lockhouse 10 has been renovated and furnished to reflect the 1930’s era since there were 2 Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the area. Many of the furnishings are authentic or quality reproductions, something I learned when talking with C&O Canal Trust volunteer Robert Mertz.
Beyond the furnishings, there are many items that encourage you to learn more about the Canal, the CCC, and the 1930’s. Numerous framed photos and maps explain the significance of Glen Echo to the time period. The book shelves hold modern books about the C&O as well as 1930’s-era copies of Life and National Geographic. The kitchen has a CCC recipe book and vintage cookbooks as well as old kitchen utensils and a (non-operational) Kelvinator fridge.
Let’s Go Back
Everyone loved our overnight stay in Lockhouse 10 and agreed that we needed to come back another time and stay longer. Perusing the past guest books, you could see that people celebrated all kinds of occasions there: weddings, engagements, Halloween, New Year’s, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. Since my mom was ill and unable to join us, we certainly need to plan a return visit so she can enjoy this special spot.
Planning your Stay
- Check out Heritage Montgomery to help plan your visit–find family activities, farmer’s markets, and more.
- Download the C&O Canal Explorer app to maximize your enjoyment of the canal.
- Here’s the National Park Service’s recommended list of things to do in the area.
What do you enjoy doing along the C&O Canal? Would you like to stay in a lockhouse? Please share in the comments. Thanks!
Looking for some more places to stay that aren’t the same old, same old? Check out Travel: Red Caboose Motel and Travel: The Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground .
DISCLOSURE: I received a complementary overnight stay for blogging about our experience. Thank you to Heritage Montgomery, a non-profit highlighting Montgomery County’s cultural and historical heritage.