Imagine taking a scenic road trip through history that features a marriage of stunning natural scenery and phenomenal manmade architecture as your backdrop. The rest stops involve sites of both historical and cultural importance. Throw in some fine wineries, authentic cuisine and diverse attractions, and you have the historic and scenic route called Journey Through Hallowed Ground.
Make no mistake: the Journey Through Hallowed Ground is more than just a picturesque landscape. The route, tucked in perhaps the most momentous corner of the country, is a passage into American history. It courses through three eastern states namely Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The region is flourishing with vibrant towns and villages, thriving agriculture, various cultural events, and an abundance of accommodation selections.
Not long ago, the route was designated as a National Heritage Area with a Scenic Byway running through it. The efforts of conservationists to preserve this superior stretch of American geography paved way to a memorable drive that is rich in culture, history, and adventure. The designation elevates the historic, cultural and natural resources of the region to national prominence. It also puts a specific weight on its role in preserving the natural and built environment around the area.
The 180-mile long, 75-mile wide area spans from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Charlottesville, Virginia. Along the way, one can get a fascinating glimpse of American history. Among significant events that took place in the area are the greatest battles of Civil War including Gettysburg, Antietam, Manassas and a dozen others. Additionally, the Declaration of Independence, Marshall Plan, and Emancipation Proclamation, which are important documents that shaped and transformed the country, were either inspired or crafted by the vital events that transpired in this momentous trail.
Furthermore, no less than nine US presidents have lived along the byway. You will encounter presidential estates including Thomas Jefferson’s stately Monticello, James Monroe’s modest Ash Lawn-Highland, and James Madison’s Montpelier.
The lush countryside surrounding the route is a tapestry of orchards, vineyards, wineries, unspoilt rivers, and sparkling streams. Driving through such scenery is relaxing, invigorating and also eye opening. Within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area are 13 national parks that are perfect for recreational adventures.
Plan to take the drive through the historic route during the late spring from April to May and early fall in between September to October. Travelling in the summer can be quite humid and hot. Meanwhile, the winter can be too cold for comfort.
Charles is a world traveler having lived in 44 states and 11 countries and traveled to dozens more. He and his wife spend time between London, Ireland, Canada, and the Philippines.