(C) 2002-2014 J. Watson All rights reserved
From Gettysburg, PA, continue south a few miles into
Sharpsburg. It is hard to believe that this tranquil area was the
location of Antietan National Battlefield the bloodiest one day
battle in US history -- 23,000 killed, wounded or missing in just 12
hours! It ended the Confederate thrust to the north. Then a few
miles south just over the border to...
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park is the location of the
famous John Brown takeover of the arsenal that triggered events
leading to the Civil War. (Suggestion: Go to the visitors center
and take the free shuttle to the downtown area to avoid the steep
hills and difficult parking.) Take in Murphy-Chambers Farm and
Bolivar Heights, both are near the visitors center and add to
understanding the battles. Here is the scene of the largest
surrender of US troops prior to WW2.
Front Royal. At this point you can take the Skyline Drive in the
Shenandoah National Park. This is a grand drive that runs
along the crest of the mountains providing unsurpassed views.
Take your time — enjoy.
NOTE FOR RVERS: There are height restrictions on the
drive. 12’8” is the limit for part of the drive. Other parts
may be lower. Check www.nps.gov. The nearby I-81 is
also a scenic road.
Luray. The Luray Caverns are well worth a visit. As this is
privately owned there is effective lighting on the formations that
adds to the beauty, photo. This is in contrast to caverns owned
by the government, which must conform to regulations that do not
permit this amount of lighting.
Waynesboro is the junction with the...
LATERAL TO MONTICELLO, CHARLOTTESVILLE , RICHMOND,
NOTE FOR RVERS. There are tunnels on the Blue Ridge
Parkway and the Skyline Drive. Do a search for “Skyline
Drive tunnels” for details.
Blue Ridge Parkway, connects to Skyline Drive, which is also a
memorable drive. Fall colors attract crowds. This parkway
continues to Great Smoky National Park (see Route H).
Continue south to…
Appomattox. If you have been tracing Civil War battles you can
see where it all came to an end at Appomattox Court House
National Historical Park. Lee and Grant signed the treaty in
Asheville. Connect to Route H to go east to Wilmington, NC or
west to California. See Route H for Asheville points of interest.
From Williamsburg, Virginia, going south ...
SUGGESTION. For a relaxed journey south, off the Interstates,
returning to US-13: Take Colonial Parkway or from exit 234 of
I-64 take the by-pass around Williamsburg to Jamestown.
Take the free ferry over the James River to Scotland and go
south on route 31 (a good two lane road) to US-460 south and
here you have a decision to make – either continue south and
take US-13 south to US-17 (see below), or go north on US-13 to
I-64 east to exit 291B and go south on Route 168 and US-168 to
the Outer Banks (see “side trip to Outer Banks”, below) …
SIDE TRIP TO OUTER BANKS
Take US-264 to the…
Outer Banks. This area is noted for outstanding fishing
and fine beaches. As you go south on US-158 you will first
Wright Brothers National Memorial. Go into the visitors’
center and learn of the flight. There is a replica that flew at
the 100th anniversary of the event. Then go to the location
of the first airplane flight at Kill Devil Hills, photo.
Jockey Ridge. Trudge up the sand dune; maybe take a
lesson on hang gliding. Then continue south to…
Cape Hatteras National Seashore with the famous
Hatteras Light (photo). There is surf fishing along the
beach. Then by taking the free ferry you can reach the
Ocracoke Lighthouse. From here take the ferry
(reservations suggested) to Swanquarter and go west on
US-264. We usually double back to US-64 and continue to
US-264 to Swanquarter, through cotton fields, and then to
Bath. This rural village is the oldest incorporated town in
North Carolina. Several buildings are open for visitors. If
you want to stretch out, go down along the river and take a
walk. Blackbeard, the pirate, had a home here. It’s a bit of
the old south. Then continue west to US-17 and go south