Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park | LOCK 58

Lock 58 (photo by Jerry Edmundson)

Lock 58 (photo by Jerry Edmundson)


Lock 58 is located at Mile 144 on the C&O Canal towpath. It cannot be accessed by vehicle, so reaching it requires hiking or biking 3.1 miles (one way) upstream from the parking area at the Fifteenmile Creek Campground. See the Locks and Lockhouses web page for an interactive location map.


By the time construction reached the western end of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, it was obvious that the railroad would replace it in the near future. The C&O Canal Company was in financial trouble, plus it was difficult to get stone to the upper reaches of the canal. As a result, contractors were allowed to use whatever type of stone they could find, plus augment construction with wood. This combination of stone and wood is known as a composite lock, and Lock 58 marked the start of this type of construction. Composite locks continued through Lock 71.

The wood used on the retaining walls has long since rotted away, and much of the poor quality stone has been replace by concrete (see the smooth slab of the retaining wall in the above photo). The only wooden remains are that of the upstream lock gate. All lock gates on the canal were made of wood, so this is nothing unique.

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Last updated on April 23, 2020
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