Seeing all the sights and sounds of Washington, D.C., can be an incredible adventure, but do not overlook the fun that you can have getting there on a Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. road trip. You can explore an essential part of the country’s history during a stop at Harper’s Ferry. At state parks, like Point, Mont Alto, and Greenbrier, you can go fishing, hiking, and biking. There are fascinating cities and towns to explore, including Cumberland and Frederick, Maryland.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
The country's national parks have been called "America's Best Idea," and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in West Virginia is a great place to learn more about key points in United States history. It was the site of the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War, the site of John Brown’s attack on slavery, the site of one of the earliest integrated schools, and the site of the first successful application of interchangeable machinery. The Harpers Ferry depot was also on the first commercially successful railroad line. Go on a guided tour of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park's Lower Town to learn about these events and more. You can also go rock climbing on the Maryland Heights Cliff or enjoy one of the many fantastic hikes, including options connecting to the Appalachian Trail.
Point State Park
Located where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio River, Point State Park is a terrific place to start a road trip from Pittsburgh to D.C. You will want to visit the museum to learn how this site was important during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The museum also shares the story of Pittsburgh’s founding. After meandering through the museum, enjoy this park’s beautiful river views.
Laurel Hill State Park
You will love exploring the mountainous terrain at Laurel Hill State Park near Somerset, Pennsylvania. While there are some easy, kid-friendly hikes at this park, if you are an experienced hiker, then you may want to walk along the 12-mile Hemlock Trail that runs under some of the oldest hemlock trees at this park or the 1.75-mile Lake Trail running along the eastern side of Laurel Hills Lake. After your hike, take a swim from the 1,200-foot sand beach that is open from late May to mid-September. Jones Mill and Laurel Hill Creeks offer outstanding trout fishing while you can often catch bass and catfish in the lake.
Mont Alto State Park
Mont Alto State Park near Mont Alto, Pennsylvania, is the oldest state park in the state. You can find many places to explore on short hikes at this 24-acre park. Go trout fishing on the West Branch of the Antietam Creek. Because this park shares a border with Michaux State Forest, locals love hunting and snowmobiling here.
Greenbrier State Park
Greenbrier State Park near Boonsboro, Maryland, is the perfect place to visit when exploring the South Mountain Recreation Area. Part of the Appalachian Trail runs through this park’s eastern edge, and you can find many other hiking opportunities. The 42-acre manmade lake is a fantastic place to go boating. Rowboats and canoes are available to rent. Lifeguards are on duty at the swimming beach from Memorial Day until Labor Day. The state regularly stocks this lake with trout, largemouth bass, and bluegill.
Seneca Creek State Park
Seneca Creek State Park is located where the Seneca Creek meets the Potomac River near Gaithersburg, Maryland. This 6,300-acre park runs along the creek for 14 miles, offering plenty of boating opportunities, and you can rent various vessels at the Boat Center. In addition to boating on the creek, you can boat in the 90-acre Clopper Lake. Follow the interpretative trail starting near the park’s office to see where the Clopper family lived for more than four generations before the Civil War. Twenty-seven holes of disc golf spread around three loops make this a fun place to throw a disc. You can go bow and rifle hunting on over 3,300 acres during specific times of the year. If you have young children along, they will love playing on the recycled tire playground.
Fallingwater near Mill Run, Pennsylvania, is arguably Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous masterpiece. This home is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, and sits over a picturesque waterfall, making it a great stop to add to your Pittsburgh to D.C. RV road trip. You can tour the home, get a bite to eat in the upscale restaurant, and see the barn on the property. Staff often plan special activities for kids designed to teach them about the architectural process.
Antietam National Battlefield
September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest day during the American Civil War, and 12 hours of it happened at Antietam National Battlefield. Start your visit at the visitors' center to watch the film showcasing events of that day. Then, head to see the reconstructed Dunker Church and contemplate its simplicity. Next, visit the Antietam National Cemetery, where other soldiers hastily buried the 23,110 men who died in the battle. In the summer, stop at the Pry House Field Hospital to see interpretative signage showing how soldiers were cared for during the Civil War.
Misty Meadows Farm Creamery
Stop at Misty Meadows Farm Creamery to see the sheep, cows, and miniature horses. If it is fall, try to find your way out of the corn maze and take photos in the pumpkin patch. Hayrides, pedal car contests, and other activities are a daily occurrence on this farm. Do not leave without trying their homemade ice cream that is made right on the farm. Often, over 30 different flavors are available.
National Museum of Civil War Medicine
See five immersion exhibits at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Fredrick, Maryland. Each large display focuses on a different aspect of medical advancements made during the Civil War and showcases how those changes may impact the procedures that doctors use to treat you today. Learn how troops evacuated injured soldiers from the battlefield, a field dressing room, a field hospital, and a military hospital ward.
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. is a green oasis surrounded by the hustle of the area. Numerous trails in this park offer perfect places to go hiking, jogging, and inline skating. The Rock Creek Horse Center offers trail rides along with indoor and outdoor riding facilities. Tour the 19th-century grist mill. The nature center is an awesome place to learn about native animals and plants, and they often offer special children’s programming. See a star show in the planetarium. You can also tour Fort Stevens and learn about the time that President Lincoln spent there. Challenge your friends to a round of golf or tennis.
While you will have to get off the interstate for about an hour to explore Cumberland, Maryland, it may be worth the effort as the Travel Channel has named it one of the 50 most charming small towns in America. Consider taking the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s GAP Trail Connection Excursion from Cumberland to Frostburg and biking the route back. Cumberland campground options include Spring Gap Campground and Green Ridge State Forest Campground. Cumberland area RV dump stations are available at Hidden Springs Campground and Rocky Gap State Park.
If you need some retail therapy, check out the Hagerstown Premium Outlets. You will want to visit many sites in and around Hagerstown, including the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historical Park, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, and The Maryland Theater. Hagerstown campground options include Hagerstown/Antietam Battlefield KOA and Fort Frederick. You can find RV dump stations in Hagerstown at Greenbrier State Park and Gambrill State Park.
Frederick, Maryland, is a fascinating city to visit, especially the historic downtown area that boasts more than 20 art galleries. There are plenty of other things to do in Frederick, including visiting the Monocacy National Battlefield. Campground options in Frederick include Brunswick Family Campground and Cunningham Falls State Park. You can find Frederick RV dump stations at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and Little Bennett Regional Campground.
The area around Rockville, Maryland, is gorgeous. There are several outdoor parks and recreational sites that allow you to experience it, including Rock Creek Regional Park, Lake Needwood, and Croydon Creek Nature Center. If you want to learn to climb or improve your skills, then the Earth Trek’s Climbing Center may make the perfect stop to include on your road trip itinerary from Pittsburgh to D.C. Rockville campgrounds include Little Bennett Campground and Robert C McDonell Campground. Consider using Rockville RV dump stations at Cherry Hill Park or Patapsco Valley State Park.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Pittsburgh to D.C., you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Pittsburgh or Washington, D.C.
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