Emmitsburg to Thurmont

Including US 15, MD 77, MD 806 & US 340

Just south of the Pennsylvania border is the antebellum neighborhood of Emmitsburg. During the Civil War, troops passed through this area before and after the Battle of Gettysburg. Union troops camped on the grounds of the former St. Joseph’s College, and officers planned battle strategies in the home of the school’s founder, Elizabeth Ann Seton. A national shrine to Mother Seton, the first American-born saint, includes a visitor center and basilica. Nearby is the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes, a “holy mountain sanctuary” visited by thousands of modern-day pilgrims each year.

Southward into Thurmont, the circa-1856 Roddy Road Covered Bridge reaches across one of the area’s finest trout streams. Also here is Catoctin Mountain Park, home of Camp David. This presidential retreat is closed to the public, but several nearby paths trace the history of the industrial use of the mountain, from wood cutting to charcoal making. Sample apples, peaches and other fruits from local orchards, and stop by the 30-acre Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo, where you can visit with lemurs, monkeys, panthers and more than 400 other animals nine months out of the year.

Another great place to visit is Cunningham Falls State Park, featuring a 78-foot waterfall that beautifully cascades into a rocky gorge.

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