See Historic American Sites on a Journey Through Hallowed Ground

Drive along this scenic byway through a national heritage area to trace the path where America began.

Maryland covered bridge
The Journey Through Hallowed Ground passes covered bridges and other historic spots.
Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia
Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, is a World Heritage Site along the byway.
Barboursville Vineyards, Virginia, winery, vineyard, wine, fall, scenic, USA
Explore vineyards and wineries throughout Virginia and Maryland on your drive.
Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland
Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland is set on the byway, along with numerous other historic sites.
Cornwall Street in Leesburg, Virginia
Discover historic and charming Leesburg, the gateway to Virginia's wine country.
Maryland covered bridge
Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia
Barboursville Vineyards, Virginia, winery, vineyard, wine, fall, scenic, USA
Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland
Cornwall Street in Leesburg, Virginia

Thirty miles (48 km) west of Washington, DC and 20 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport is the remarkable historical and cultural landscape known as the Journey Through Hallowed Ground.

A national heritage area and scenic byway stretching 180 miles (290 km)  from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Monticello, Virginia, this route — dotted with historic villages, battlefields, plantation mansions and national parks — is more than a road. This stretch takes you through a passage of early American history, in the most eventful corner of the United States, right where this country was born.

Home of Iconic Leaders, Events & Ideas

Nine presidents have lived along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground byway, including John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Thomas Jefferson, whose home, Monticello, is the only private residence declared a World Heritage Site.

The greatest battles of the American Civil War — Manassas, Gettysburg, Antietam, Appomattox and dozens of others — took place in this national heritage area, and transformational documents like the Declaration of Independence, Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address and the Marshall Plan were all crafted or inspired by events that occurred in this storied region.

Vibrant Towns & Idyllic Countryside

Today, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground byway is alive with vibrant historic town centres, including Frederick, Hagerstown, Westminster and others in Maryland; and Leesburg, Middleburg, Warrenton, Washington, Culpeper, Orange, Madison and Charlottesville in Virginia. Each has its own unique charm and culture where restaurants, cafés, museums, galleries, shops, inns and festivals abound.

Meanwhile, the lush countryside surrounding the byway is a tapestry of orchards, farms, vineyards and wineries crossed by pristine rivers and sparkling streams. Some 13 national parks — ideal for hiking, horseback riding, canoeing and other recreational adventures — are found within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.

Take the journey to Where America Happened®. Check out this 10-day itinerary to preview the sites and plan your trip!

Looking for other historic trails? Tour the George Washington Memorial Parkway or take any of several Washington, DC road trips.

Explore more recreation and beauty at the Capital Region's U. National Parks and National Scenic Trails.

 

Related: 
Scenic Drives
Tours & Trails
History & Culture

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