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C&O Canal offers boat rides at Williamsport, Md.

Saturday - 5/26/2012, 3:28pm  ET

WILLIAMSPORT, Md. - The National Park Service is offering boat rides on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Williamsport.

Starting Saturday, and continuing every weekend through the summer, the agency will provide launch boat tours along a re-watered section of the old shipping canal.

The rides are offered four times daily for up to 12 passengers on a first-come, first-served basis.

The boat rides are free in this introductory year.

The park service says it will add a second launch boat program in mid-June in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood.

The canal runs for nearly 185 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland along the Potomac River. The adjacent towpath is a popular hiking-and-biking trail.

The park service said last year that it aims to make Williamsport a star attraction of the park.

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