Washington, D.C. to Brunswick

Including MD 189, MD 190, MD 117, MD 109, MD 28, US 15, and MD 464

Begin your journey at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park's Georgetown Visitor Center, located at the mouth of Rock Creek on the Potomac River where the canal starts. Just outside D.C., visit Glen Echo Park, site of a turn-of-the-last-century amusement park and the preserved home of Red Cross founder Clara Barton. Glen Echo Park is now an arts and cultural center featuring galleries, classes, concerts, and events. Slightly off the byway, visit the Downtown Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District to enjoy museums, gardens, galleries, performing arts, and upscale shopping. 

Head  to Carderock Recreation Area, where you can engage in amazing outdoor activities including top-notch rock climbing in this 100-acre parkland. At the Potomac-based C&O Canal’s National Historical Park Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, marvel at the stunning Great Falls of the Potomac, a spectacular series of waterfalls and rapids that made the Potomac River unnavigable by ships, prompting the need for a canal. Arrange for an hour-long mule-drawn barge ride through one of the lift locks. For an extreme adventure, join Potomac Paddlesports for a whitewater rafting trip through nearby Mather Gorge!

On your way to Brunswick, stop into the welcoming canal town of Poolesville and even take in 18 holes of championship golf. Then stop to view the historic postcard-perfect Point of Rocks Train Station. The station actively serves MARC and Amtrak trains today. In Brunswick, stop at the Heritage Museum, which displays artifacts and exhibits on railroad history and an amazing model train layout covering the entire third floor. The museum shares space with the C&O Canal’s National Historical Park Brunswick Visitor Center, featuring exhibits that showcase the town’s lively transportation past. Before continuing your drive, take a relaxing break and get out on the water. Paddle or tube the Potomac River with River and Trail Outfitters.