Maryland Scenic Byways



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Maryland Scenic Byways
Maryland Scenic Byways

Travel these off-the-highway collections of inviting views, magical main streets, enduring history and engaging places. 

Biking in Cumberland, Western Maryland Image Credit:

1 Mountain Maryland

Stretching 193 miles from the heights of Keyser’s Ridge to historic Cumberland, the Mountain Maryland byway tours the glorious geography of Western Maryland. Skirting the raging Youghiogheny River and plunging into the heart of the Alleghenys, traveling the byway becomes a transcendental experience when the fall colors turn.

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Historic National Road

2 Historic National Road

America’s first federally funded highway once carried Conestoga wagons into the Western frontier. Now the 170 Maryland miles along the National Road are a destination all their own. Leaving burgeoning Baltimore, passing through small towns long abandoned by the interstates, and meandering along mountain passes and winding riverbanks, the National Road is an artery to the heart of America.

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Bike the long stretches of trail along the C&O Towpath Trail, part of the Maryland Scenic Byways.

3 Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

Following the canal 236 miles from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, this byway is a wonderland for outdoors enthusiasts and historians alike. The scenery is stunning, and the canal provides great opportunities for hiking from flat to extreme; scenic and safe bicycling; paddling adventures; and you can even catch a ride on a mule-drawn canal barge.

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Catoctin Mountain Covered Bridge

4 Journey Through Hallowed Ground

Highlighted by a rich collection of historic locations filled with modern-day amenities, the Hallowed Ground byway travels 57 miles from Emmitsburg to Point of Rocks. This journey is a wonderful pilgrimage to sacrosanct Civil War sites, pristine natural sanctuaries and land considered by many to be sacred.

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Civil War Union Soldier at a Reenactment

5 Antietam Campaign

The bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War took place on Maryland soil, as Confederate soldiers crossed the Potomac River and clashed with Union forces in the sleepy town of Sharpsburg. The Antietam Civil War Trail takes travelers 126 miles from White’s Ferry to Sharpsburg.

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Mount Airy Main Street

6 Old Main Streets

Vibrant streets invite visitors to explore history, heritage and architecture while savoring the flavor of local shops, eateries and lodging. The Old Main Streets trail is a 111-mile round trip through Emmitsburg, Mount Airy and Westminster.

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Rocks State Park

7 Mason & Dixon

Travel the 143 miles of this easy going drive from Emmitsburg to Appleton along country vistas just south of Maryland’s border with the North. Prepare yourself for historical encounters, recreational endeavors and life “down on the farm.”

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Pretty Boy Reservoir Falls Road

8 Falls Road

Meandering 39 miles from Pretty Boy Reservoir to Baltimore surrounded by rolling green countryside, this byway provides easy access to historical, cultural and recreational attractions as rural landscapes give way to the glittering Baltimore cityscape.

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Goshen Opening Hunt, Blessing the Hounds Image Credit: Natasha Greenman

9 Horses & Hounds

Since Colonial times, fox hunters have swept across these rolling, grassy fields in a colorful pageant of horses, hounds, and "hill toppers," who prefer to watch and ride at a slower pace. Horses and Hounds takes you 70 miles from Hunt Valley to Towson.

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Havre de Grace

10 Lower Susquehanna

For anyone interested in maritime history, fishing, shopping or sweeping river views, this unhurried drive offers plenty of opportunities to stop and explore. Follow the byway 33 miles from historic, waterfront Havre de Grace to Perryville, home of the Hollywood Casino.

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Washington Monument in Baltimore

11 Baltimore's Historic Charles Street

Though only twelve miles long, Charles Street is packed with world-renowned museums, captivating performing arts, high-intensity professional sports and a variety of fine dining establishments.

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Watch battle reenactments at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

12 Star-Spangled Banner

Follow the trail of British troops as they fought their way up the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. The route runs 106 miles from Solomons to Baltimore where British forces clashed with American defenders in a battle immortalized by the "Star-Spangled Banner."

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Dr. Samuel Mudd House

13 Booth's Escape

Follow the escape route of John Wilkes Booth, one of history's most notorious assassins, as he fled from Washington, D.C. and hid for several days in Southern Maryland before being cornered in Virginia. This byway is 66 miles long, from Washington, D.C. to Pope’s Creek, and travels to houses of conspirators and an alleged conspirator.

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Plan a visit around the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show--you can even take a free sailboat ride! Image Credit: Annapolis Tourism

14 Roots & Tides

Explore the timeless traditions and deep maritime roots of Western Shore towns along the Chesapeake Bay. Go sailing, bird watching, museum hopping or just relax on a sandy beach along its 47 miles from Annapolis to Plum Point.

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Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation Garden House at Historic St. Mary's City Image Credit: St. Mary's City

15 Religious Freedom

America's roots of religious toleration run deep in Southern Maryland, where some of the nation's oldest churches are an indelible part of this peaceful, small-town landscape. The tour runs 189 miles through Southern Maryland, from Port Tobacco to Point Lookout.

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C&D Canal Museum in Chesapeake City

16 Chesapeake Country

It is said that life in "Chesapeake Country" flows gently with the tide of North America's largest estuary and its tributaries. Take your time experiencing the special beauty of this tidewater region with its pristine waterways and vibrant historic waterfront villages. This gorgeous route takes you 419 miles from Chesapeake City to Crisfield.

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Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park

17 Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad

Journey back in time to pre-Civil War America and explore the secret network of trails, waterways and safe houses used by enslaved people fleeing north to escape bondage. Follow this route of an American hero 125 miles from Cambridge to Goldsboro.

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Ocean City Sunset

18 Cape to Cape

Trace the Atlantic coast 79 miles along the bays of Chincoteague, Sinepuxenta and Assawoman. Set your sights on a seaside rendezvous amid some of Maryland's most beautiful and historic beaches and islands.

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Related Articles & Guides


About Byways & Road Trips

Horses & Hounds

Since Colonial times, fox hunters have swept across these rolling, grassy fields in a colorful pageant of horses, hounds and “hill toppers,” who prefer to watch and ride at a slower pace.


Learn about the War of 1812 here where the flag that inspired the National Anthem was sewn.
Travel the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

Explore the places where history was made when you travel this Historic Trail.


Portrait of Harriet Tubman
Travel the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

Explore a secret landscape by traveling the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.  You can bike the byway or take a self-guided driving tour. Don’t miss these points...


Stroll over the bridge in this State Park, then head to the Casselman Inn for lunch. Photo by Kevin Moore
Scenic Drives and Rides: Maryland’s Bridges and Ferries

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and nowhere is that more evident than in the incredibly creative and unique designs that criss-cross Maryland’s watery channels. These crossings have become part of Maryland's scenery and history; instead of being just a way to get to your destination, make them a part of your journey, or even an excursion all their own.


A marker designates Edward Brodess Farm—a property along Greenbrier Road near Blackwater Refuge that is historically recognized as Harriet Tubman's childhood home.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad/African-American Heritage Travel Itinerary

Explore the rich history and contributions of Maryland’s African Americans. 


Red train in Cumberland
Unique Sites Along the National Road

Begun in 1811, the National Road was perhaps the first great endeavor for the young United States. Now a National Scenic Byway, the road was built with a goal both noble and...