Dismal Swamp Visitors Center


Many years ago, President George Washington and Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia envisioned that canals would be one of the best ways to transport from the Carolina Coast into Virginia. In 1784 The Dismal Swamp Canal Company was created to do just that; to build a Canal for transportation. The company hired slaves, and landowners of the area to dig a man-made canal. The 22 mile waterway took 12 years in unfavorable conditions to complete. Over the years the canal has been used for internal transportation, commercial traffic, war time usage, as well as leisure travel. Now owned and maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Canal continues to be a vital part of the Camden County History. In 2008 Camden County North Carolina welcomed a new natural and cultural resource educational facility to the area. Previously located on an adjacent site was a smaller version of the welcome center. It had little room to celebrate this wonderful historic landmark. The New Dismal Swamp Canal welcome center is the only welcome center in the continental United States greeting visitors by both major highway and an historic waterway. The center sits on the banks of the Historic Dismal Swamp Canal, which has been designated a National Civil Engineering Landmark.