“Drive the 10,000 miles across America and you will know more about the country than all the institutes of society and political science put together.” – Jean Baudrillard

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King

Historic Sites & Museums

Learn more about how the road influenced the history and culture of early America by visiting historic sites and museums located on or near the Historic National Road. Mile Markers, monuments, and engineering marvels remind of us our bygone days when the road was in its heyday.

From roads, rails, and canals, Maryland is undeniable the birthplace of American transportation. Today, we can still experience methods of travel by taking a ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad or visiting the B&O Museum. Take a boat ride or cycle on the C&O Canal. Of course, the ultimate experience is driving the Maryland portion of the Historic National Road Scenic Byway.

During the Civil War, the Historic National Road was an integral part of the Antietam and Gettysburg Campaigns. Visit South Mountain State Battlefield, Antietam National Battlefield, and towns whose residents cared for the wounded Confederate and Union soldiers. Learn more about the significance of Civil War Medicine at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine located in the heart of Frederick’s Historic District.

Stories of life in towns and communities along the road come to life at local county historical societies including Howard, Frederick, and Washington Counties. Middletown, Cumberland, and Grantsville also share their connection to the road through programs, photographs and artifacts on display at their community museum.