The Civil War battle of Antietam (known as Sharpsburg in the South) witnessed the bloodiest day in American history - 23,000 Union and Confederate casualties after just 12 hours of fighting (see http://www.nps.gov/anti/index.htm). The Union's turning back the Confederates here emboldened Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation four months later. We'll make a loop along the Union Advance, Snavely Ford, and Final Attack trails. The park entrance fee is $4/person, or free if you have someone (like me!) in your car with a pass. A half-hour presentation on the battle begins at the Visitor's Center at 10 AM. We'll meet before (i.e., at 9:45) and after (i.e., at 10:30) the presentation in front of the visitor's center. Lunch at the Blue Moon Cafe in nearby Shepherdstown, WV after the hike is optional (but highly recommended).
Dogs: Allowed, leashed
Distance: 5 miles
Guest Expert: Park Ranger
Leader: Ken Meyercord, (571)[masked]
Directions: From the beltway, in Maryland take I-270 north towards Frederick, MD; in Virginia take Rt. 267 (Dulles Toll Road) west to Leesburg, then Rt. 15 north to Frederick. At Frederick, take I-70 west toward Hagerstown and exit onto Alternate Rt. 40 West (Exit 49) toward Middletown. Continue through Middletown, over South Mountain to Boonsboro. Turn left onto Rt. 34 to Sharpsburg, then right onto Rt. 65 in Sharpsburg and the park will be on your right a mile on (Alternatively, but less interestingly, you can stay on I-70 from Frederick to Hagerstown, then take Rt. 65 south (Exit 29) which will take you to the park.). For a scenic loop, return to the DC area via the Virginia side of the Potomac. (As the drive is a long one, I encourage you to arrange to carpool through the comments.)