Escape the highway and cruise in on a Scenic Byway - for a delightful road trip to explore charming towns, the splendor of nature and to find hidden gems! Museums, Civil War history, pick-your-own orchards, country cooking and elegant dining, antiques, outlets, a cavern and 5 National Parks comprise just portions of our byways. Motor Cycle friendly!
To see videos about our Scenic Byways, Click Here: Scenic Byways - MD National Road (Produced by the Maryland Office Tourism).
The Antietam Campaign Scenic Byway
The "Bloodiest Single-day of Battle" of the Civil War took place at Antietam, near Sharpsburg. Park living history programs at Antietam National Battlefield provide a glimpse into the lives of Civil War soldiers. Learn about Civil War medicine at the Pry House Museum. Annual events include an Independence Day concert and December's Antietam Memorial Illumination, with 23,110 lights placed along a five-mile driving route.
The C&O Canal Scenic Byway
Originally built to move goods from Washington DC to the west, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is now a hub of recreational activity, with hiking, biking, bird watching, horse-back riding and more. Williamsport, MD is its geographical center, and visitors here can experience the Canal first-hand with ranger-led boat rides and towpath tours. Stay at a Lock House to experience life as it was "back in the day" and scarf up a healthy lunch at Desert Rose Cafe while there. In Hancock, MD, visitors can pick up the Rail Trail, a paved portion that runs alongside the towpath, to Fort Frederick State Park. But first, grab some pie at Weaver's Restaurant or the Blue Goose Fruit Market & Bakery!
The Maryland Historic National Road Scenic Byway
Here, the journey is the destination. Carved through forests, mountains and rivers, it was the marvel of its age. It stoked the dreams of untold thousands who followed this macadam and cobblestone ribbon into the American frontier. Begun in 1811 to carry settlers and trade from the great capital of Baltimore into the then-wilds of Illinois, it took four decades to complete. Through city and town, iconic history and welcoming present, trace a route once run by horse drawn wagons and coaches.