1. admin

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    Took a day trip here from DC after seeing the movie “Lincoln” and starting on a Civil War kick. There is so much history in the DC area and I hope to see much more. Antietam is a fascinating and very sad place to visit. Hard to imagine that in this now bucolic place such an awful tragedy took place. The movie is very informative at the visitor center and we did the self-guided auto tour through the battlefield which was a great way to see the area. Did not do a ranger tour because of our schedule but I am sure that would be great, as they were very helpful in the visitor center.

  2. admin

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    Very well marked tour through the battlefield. The Visitor Center is near the Dunker Church, and the marked tour takes you chronologically through the battle, from the Cornfield-Dunker Church area, past the Sunken Road, and around to Burnside’s Bridge. Just being there gave me a new appreciation, for instance, of what the men in the Sunken Road must have felt like, looking up that slope, or how Burnside’s men must have felt having to go past the embankment at the end of that bridge.

  3. admin

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    I was here 3 or 4 years ago. It was an excellent trip. While I was familiar with the battle, I hadn’t studied it. Still, I could understand the layout pretty well. Since then I have read more about the day and I’m anxious to return to give it another look. It is a huge area, there were really three separate battles that were fought during the day. The scale makes it all difficult to absorb, but the separateness of the fights, north, south, and central, helps to get your head around it. If you are interested in the Civil War, this is a must see battlefield, in my opinion.

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    The little brother to Gettysburg is often overshadowed and overlooked but is well worth it. The park sits just outside of Sharpsburg, just a bit south of I-70 and a bit east of I-81, signage off of both and on the roads leading clearly marked. So getting to it from either DC or Baltimore isn’t much of a hassle. Parking looks like it could be an issue on days where they could be really busy, but for the sunday afternoon i went, with perfect weather, i didn’t have any issues finding a space. The main parking area sits just outside of the visitors center, which i can’t say much on being i have yet to step a foot in it. Right from the get your within spitting distance of several monuments and battlefield sites. But don’t let this fool you, this park is expansive. I would recommend getting a map from visitor center. The main tour is a self guided auto tour, you’ll see the blue markers around the roadways. Don’t stay in your car the whole time ,get out and explore the sites and monuments. There are also a number of trails that run though the park, many of which are interconnected. Most will run you though parts of the battlefield, while others (like the farm trails) will take you more into the wilderness areas along Antietam Creek. Speaking of the wilderness, don’t think Antietam is all about the battle. This is a great spot for enjoying nature in Western Maryland. The views from many of the high points of the park into the surrounding areas are stunning. On top of it, there is a lot, and i mean a lot of wildlife to observe. A number of species of butterflies pass through or are residents of the parks. Not uncommon to see dear or rabbit as well. Also a number of bird species, all of which the Park Service can help you out in identifying. But the most ubiquitous furry creature is the groundhog, and you will see many of them in the summer. If you see a big hole in the ground somewhere, it’s more than likely a groundhog burrow.One of the big things i like about Antietam as opposed to Gettysburg is that the area surrounding it isn’t significantly developed. Not a number of hotels, resorts, shops, and related things. The area has kept its small town, Western Maryland, rural character. With that, i would also recommend checking out the small (and i do mean small) town of Sharpsburg if you have a chance, it’s right adjacent to the park. The town is quaint and small with a couple of shops and taverns on the main drags. Your also not to far away from Shepherdstown, Boonsboro, Williamsport, and Hagerstown (it being the largest of the communities).

  5. admin

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    Lived here all my life and just don’t get stuck on that tower. We have to call a platform ladder truck from 15 miles away to get you down if it’s bad enough that you can’t go down the steps.if you can’t walk over the edge you go at 110 feet.