Suggested Itineraries - Summer 2010
Two Rivers Region
Shepherdstown and Sharpsburg - A Tale of Two Towns
Discover two historic small towns in one weekend
Lock 38 of the C&O Canal was the trading hub of both
Shepherdstown and Sharpsburg. If
you are biking up the trail you can see the stone pillars in the Potomac of
both rail and carriage bridges that connected these two cities in the 19th
century. The Civil War and floods
carried both these bridges down into the Potomac. Henry Kyd Douglas, aide-de-camp for Stonewall Jackson, lived
at Ferry Hill Plantation above the new James Rumsey bridge. The home is open for interpretation
during the summer weekends -http://www.nps.gov/choh/historyculture/ferryhillplantation.htm
Shepherdstown, founded in 1762 has laid claim to being the
oldest incorporated town in West Virginia. Approach from the C&O Canal ramp to the James Rumsey
bridge and as you bike across the bridge note the monument to James Rumsey on
your left. James Rumsey was a
colleague of George Washington and the inventor of the first steam powered boat.
Outdoor recreational enthusiasts will find Shepherdstown
welcoming. German Street has shops
to entice you from cycling and running supplies, to kayak rentals, fishing
supplies plus delicious eats for hungry travelers.
From bagels to tacos, Shepherdstown eateries have culinary
treats for all visitors.
Sharpsburg is approached from the C&O Canal towpath at
Snyders Landing, milepost 76.65.
Take the Snyders Landing road the 1.5 miles to Sharpsburg and you will
quickly discover that not much has changed since the town was
incorporated. It remains a rural
village with residents taking pride in their history. No fast food restaurants on the Main street but four
B&B’s are available for the overnight traveler. Don’t miss Nutter’s Ice Cream Shoppe and the nearby Pry House
Field Hospital and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Visitors Center on MD 34
just east of town.
September 17, 1862 marks the single bloodiest day of the
American Civil War which is commemorated at the Antietam Battlefield Visitors
Center – www.antietamnationalbattlefield.nps.gov
. Veterans from that battle came to Sharpsburg to remember their fallen
comrades and marched from the train station through the town to the National
Cemetery. Sharpsburg’s Memorial
Day Parade, the fist held in the late 1860’s is one on the oldest Memorial Day
Both towns are rich in history. The Battle of Antietam, the Potomac River, the old Canal,
the ferries and bridges all combine to make a journey to the Two Rivers region