Highlights: A scenic drive in Loudoun, Va., Frederick and Washington, Md., with a stop in Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Cross the Potomac River at the site of a Civil War skirmish, then take a scenic drive upriver to Brunswick, Md., and on to Harpers Ferry, W.Va. The return passes through the historic Loudoun villages of Hillsboro and Waterford, with stops at three vineyards.
Distance: 50 miles
Travel north on Route 15 out of Leesburg, taking a moment to investigate the Civil War Trails marker on Tutt Lane, north of the bypass junction—turn left and drive a quarter mile to the marker. Back on Route 15 North, you will pass through the crossroads village of Lucketts, where antiques and collectable shops draw you to stop a while. Four miles further, cross the bridge into Point of Rocks, Maryland, named for the striking outcrop that captures your view as you cross the river. Point of Rocks Railroad Station. Built in 1875, the station demonstrates the primacy of railroads in the decades following the Civil War. It ranks among the best examples of Victorian Gothic Revival public architecture. The station is a commuter stop on the MARC line to Washington, D.C. Although the interior of the building is not open to the public, the exterior calls out for a photograph.
Continue on Route 15 one mile, and turn left onto Route 464, Point of Rocks Road, en route to Brunswick. Halfway there, if you turn left onto Lander Road, you can visit a bit of history along the C&O Canal. Lander Lock House, Lander, Md. During the canal era, from 1828 to 1924, lockkeepers were on duty twenty-four hours each day, seven days a week. They received a small salary and small house. This house was restored through the efforts of volunteers, who also have raised money to maintain the structure. Take a walk or a ride along the C&O Canal towpath while you’re there. The lock house is open and staffed by volunteers on weekends in summer only. You can see it from the outside daily. 2800 Lander Road on the C&O Canal.
Continue on Route 464 to the outskirts of Brunswick. Turn right at the traffic light by the high school, then left at the next light onto Route 17, Petersville Road, which leads to downtown. Brunswick Brunswick is an old railroad town that doesn’t make its way into many travel guides. Too bad. In addition to having the C&O Canal and a lovely train station (now serving MARC passengers), Brunswick has a walkable Main Street and an increasing number of stops to please travelers—including a café in a former church building. The Brunswick Railroad Museum alone demands a detour into town. There are a handful of antique and second-hand shops that are, like the rest of the town, unpretentious and priced just right.