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Civil War Sites

390.7 miles: 7 hours, 36 minutes

While you may have seen Civil War documentaries and read the history books, nothing can quite compare to standing on a grassy battlefield where Union and Confederate soldiers once clashed. Visit the sites of some of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War—including Gettysburg and Antietam—on this loop through the mid-Atlantic states.


Philadelphia, PA to Gettysburg, PA

147.0 miles: 2 hours, 46 minutes

Alex Potemkin/

Leaving Philadelphia, scenery along the I-76 turnpike becomes increasingly rural as you pass Valley Forge and enter Pennsylvania Dutch Country, marked by rolling fields, forests and farm silos in the distance. You’ll drive through the state capital of Harrisburg and across the Susquehanna River before arriving in quaint downtown Gettysburg.


Gettysburg, PA to Harpers Ferry, WV

64.5 miles: 1 hours, 36 minutes

Bob Balestri/

Explore historic Gettysburg where some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War took place. Back on route, you’ll put Pennsylvania in your rearview mirror, cruising over the Mason-Dixon line into Maryland. Take a driving tour of Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, then soak up peaceful scenery as you cross the Potomac River and reach Harpers Ferry, W.Va.


Harpers Ferry, WV to Frederick, MD

22.2 miles: 0 hours, 27 minutes


The federal arsenal and armory in Harpers Ferry produced many of the muskets and rifles used in the Civil War; stop at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to see dozens of restored 19th-century buildings that played a role in the war. A short drive on US 340 takes you through a corner of Virginia and into Maryland, where the terrain flattens out.

Recommended Stops


Frederick, MD to Philadelphia, PA

157.1 miles: 2 hours, 46 minutes

Bob Balestri/

Tens of thousands of Union and Confederate troops passed through Frederick on the way to Antietam in 1862; after the bloody battle, wounded soldiers received treatment in local churches. The history of the 1864 Battle of Monocacy is preserved in nearby Monocacy National Battlefield. Your return journey takes you through Baltimore and back to Philadelphia via I-95.

Recommended Stops


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