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Destination Travel Guide
DESTINATION MARYLAND The Official Guide To Maryland State Travel
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Maryland Byways  

Photo of Maryland Byways brochure 


View Maryland Scenic Byways Digital Guide

National Road cover photo 

1. Historic National Road
Two centuries ago, the easiest way for thousands of settlers to cross the Appalachian Mountains and go west was on the dirt, macadam and cobblestone- covered National Road, America’s first federally funded highway. Horse-drawn Conestoga wagons lugged building materials and supplies, while families rode stagecoaches and carriages, stopping frequently along the way to take advantage of friendly towns that quickly sprouted inns, taverns, blacksmith shops and wagon yards.

Historic National Road PDF.
 High Res  (23 MB)  

Mountain Md Cover Photo

2. Mountain Maryland
Throughout much of this mountainous, Western Maryland byway, the sweetest sound you’ll hear just might be the silence. It’s a stillness that allows you to listen more closely for light breezes tickling autumn leaves, birdsongs echoing along forest trails, and ripples of lake water lapping against gently rocking rowboats.

   Mountain Maryland PDF.  High Res  (8 MB)

Chesapeake Ohio Cover Photo 3. Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

Workers who toiled on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal between 1828 and 1850 could not have imagined that their engineering feat – designed for the sole purpose of speeding up commercial trade – would one day become a hub of outdoor recreational activity. Hiking, biking, bird watching and mule-drawn barge rides are among the many popular pursuits now enjoyed beside this peaceful passage.

 Chesapeake and Ohio Canal PDF.  High Res  (18 MB)

 Antietam Cover photo

4. Antietam Campaign
As the autumn of 1862 approached, President Abraham Lincoln felt he needed a decisive Union victory to ensure that there would be support for a yet-to-be-announced proclamation freeing the slaves. It’s still debatable just how decisive the slaughter at Antietam – remembered as “The Bloodiest Single Day of the Civil War” – truly was. By sheer numbers, the Sept. 17 battle ended in a draw, with 10,700 Confederates and 12,400 Union soldiers killed, wounded or missing in action. However, General George McClellan’s Union army thwarted the Rebel advance north, and a few days after the cannons fell silent, Lincoln visited the battlefield.

 Antietam Campaign PDF.  High Res (9 MB)

Catoctin Mountain Cover Photo 5. Catoctin Mountain
While the hardwood forests encircling Catoctin Mountain are a natural wonder, serving as a sanctuary for wildlife and plants, surrounding towns offer a deep exploration of the area’s rich industrial heritage. The mountain’s old paths and roads trace a variety of traditional Appalachian entrepreneurial endeavors, including farms, sawmills and the making of moonshine.
 

Catoctin Mountain PDF. High Res (9 MB)

 Old Main Streets Cover Photo 6. Old Main Streets
White picket fences. Quiet, tree-lined streets. Rocking chairs on the front porch. These are the sights associated with small-town U.S.A., and they’re still available for you to see as you step back into a bygone era along this charming byway. Your tour, separated into an Upper and Lower loop, can include leisurely drives past wide-open fields, window-shopping for antiques, dining with “locals” at the eatery on the corner, and then drifting off to sleep on a four-post bed inside a quaint country inn.
 

 Old Main Streets PDF.  High Res (11 MB)

 Mason Dixon Cover Photo 7. Mason and Dixon
Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon spent nearly four years in the 1760s helping to settle a land dispute by surveying newly established boundaries between Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Delaware. In decades to come, the line they defined would become a symbol throughout the United States for the cultural divide between North and South.
 Fall Road Cover Photo 8. Falls Road
For much of its length, Falls Road, or MD 25, follows the Jones Falls Valley from the rolling countryside of Baltimore County to bustling Baltimore City. The Jones Falls was an important source of power for grist and cotton mills in Baltimore’s early days. A string of mills along the valley produced goods that were taken into town via the Falls Road Turnpike, and later the North Central Railroad. Today, Falls Road remains mostly rural, providing easy access to historical and cultural attractions as country landscapes give way to a glittering cityscape.

 
  Falls Road PDF.  High Res  (10MB)
 Horses and Hounds Cover Photo 9. Horses and Hounds
The sounds of hunting horns and baying hounds seem to echo among the valleys and vistas of this route, as if you’ve driven into the wide-open English countryside. Though located in an area traditionally known as hunt country – fox hunting and steeplechase races are still popular here – the farms you see along the way are also famous for producing Thoroughbreds that have raced on major tracks across America.

 Horses and Hounds PDF.  High Res (6 MB)
 Lower Susquehanna Cover Photo 10. Lower Susquehanna
One mile wide in some points, the Susquehanna River is the largest, non-navigable river in the United States, every minute pouring 19 million gallons of fresh water into the Chesapeake Bay. It’s a river with history, too, as European settlers established a prosperous fur trade here with the Susquehannock Indians, which was the most powerful tribe of the upper Chesapeake Bay at the time.

 
 Lower Susquehanna PDF.  High Res (5 MB)
 Charles Street Cover Photo 11. Charles Street
Baltimore entertains millions of leisure and business travelers each year. Many of them come for the steamed crabs and sailing, but more have discovered the world-renowned museums, captivating performing arts, high-intensity professional sports, and fine ethnic dining. Charles Street, Baltimore’s grandest and best-known artery, takes you on a 10-mile journey through some of the city’s most fashionable cultural, residential and commercial areas. Come experience authentic Baltimore and stop to shop, dine, sightsee, and seek out world-class entertainment. At the same time, take note of several institutions whose influence extends beyond Baltimore’s borders to the nation and the globe.

 Charles Street PDF.  High Res (15 MB)
 National Historic Seaport Cover Photo 12. National Historic Seaport
Baltimore is a beacon to the world. As one of America’s oldest seaports, it has witnessed four centuries’ worth of historical highlights and cultural transformations. Everywhere you look, you see evidence of the city’s maritime roots and ethnic diversity mingled with a wide variety of shops, restaurants, attractions and entertainment venues. Waterfront communities connected by this byway share rich traditions that only enhance their continued vitality.

 National Historic Seaport PDF.  High Res (9 MB)
 Star Spangled Banner Cover Photo

13. Star-Spangled Banner
Follow a scenic, 100-mile trail that returns you to the waning days of the War of 1812, also known as “America’s Second War of Independence.” As fighting continued throughout the summer of 1814 (just a few months prior to the war’s conclusion), Maryland’s brave defenders not only stood strong against British invaders up and down the Chesapeake Bay, but also inspired the poem that would become our National Anthem.

 

 Star Spangled Banner PDF.  High Res (17 MB)

 Booths Cover Photo 14. Booth's Escape
Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had recently surrendered to Union forces, and the mending of America was just getting under way. But, shortly after 10 p.m. on the night of April 14, 1865, thoughts of reconciliation suffered a serious setback. John Wilkes Booth, a 26-year old actor and staunch Confederate sympathizer, entered Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., and shot President Abraham Lincoln in the back of the head. As the president lay dying, Booth fled into Southern Maryland and eluded Federal troops for nearly two weeks before being cornered in a Virginia barn.

 High Res (7 MB)
 Root Tides Cover Photo 15. Roots and Tides
When you feel a gentle bay breeze brush your cheek, when you hear water pushing softly against a wooden pier, when you taste the unmistakable flavor of Maryland seafood, you know you’ve arrived in waterman’s country. This Western Shore byway, which begins in our state capital of Annapolis and incorporates the Four Rivers Heritage Area, is a feast for the senses as you visit friendly Chesapeake Bay communities, and share in their warmth, absorb their culture and explore their deep maritime roots.

 Roots and Tides PDF.  High Res  (8 MB)
Religious Freedom Cover Photo  16. Religious Freedom Tour
America’s roots of “toleration” run throughout Southern Maryland, where the original English settlers – Protestant and Catholic alike – recognized the rights of individuals to hold dissenting religious opinions. Now, such freedoms are celebrated at long established places of worship all over the region.

 Religious Freedom Tour PDF.  High Res (15 MB)
 Chesapeake Country Cover Photo 17. Chesapeake Country
It is said that in “Chesapeake Country,” life moves gently with the ebb and flow of the tides. Your journey takes you past fertile farmland graced by handsome – often historic – manor houses. You enter small towns rich with art, culture and pure country charm, and then slip through secluded spots surrounded by unspoiled nature. And never are you far from water – either the Chesapeake Bay or one of its tidewater tributaries.

 Chesapeake County PDF.  High Res (28 MB)
 Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Cover Photo 18. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad
Along a secret network of trails, waterways and sanctuaries known as the Underground Railroad, enslaved people fled north out of Southern states to escape bondage. For them, the Civil War couldn’t end quickly enough, and the thirst for freedom far outweighed the dangers involved with trudging across strange lands, trusting no one and yet often counting on the selfless kindness of strangers. Maryland is a state rich with African- American heritage but was often torn during the 19th century by divided opinions concerning the institution of slavery. Here you can learn more about these freedom seekers.

 Harriette Tubman Underground Railroad PDF.  High Res (14 MB)
Brochure image Finding a Way to Freedom
Harriet Tubman underground Railroad Byway
This driving tour will guide you along a path back in time to the places, sites and scenes of Harriet Tubman's life. Map Sites
 Blue Crab Cover Photo

19. Blue Crab
Some routes described in this guide not only follow a particular theme, but closely trace a specific natural or manmade feature, such as the Historic National Road, Baltimore’s National Historic Seaport or the C&O Canal. However, no other byway besides this one, when viewed on a map, can dare to claim an actual physical resemblance to its name!

Blue Crab PDF.   High Res (17 MB)

 
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