Admittedly the word “obsession” in the title of this post may be an exaggeration, but I’ve been on a kick lately (4 weeks and counting) to find some great driver’s roads in and around Maryland. After my Driver’s Holiday project, and subsequent video in October, I thought to myself, surely there just have to be roads near me that provide some of the same elements I absolutely love about the roads I found in Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, and Southwest Virginia.
I think to do that you need to answer the following question, what makes a driver’s road? Never mind finding “great” at this point, let’s just cover what it takes to make the list as a Driver’s Road. The basic recipe is simple, take one part geography, and combine it with one part scenery. Finish off with a dash of low use (read no stop-and-go traffic or some other form of congestion – cyclists (pedal variety) and animals, quality of the road surface (I mean if you have to avoid pot holes the entire time what’s the point?), and a pinch of accessibility (you shouldn’t necessarily need a passport or need burn through your entire vacation just to reach). Follow that recipe, and you’re guaranteed to be back for seconds. Geography plays a big part in the potential of a great driver’s road, and without it there’s no need for switchbacks, elevation changes, quick drops or sudden climbs, fast corners, sweeping turns or other elements we crave! Having great geography is spoiled without great scenery, manmade or natural (bridges-vistas-quaint towns-Americana or Carcana sites).
I started exploring the area around Frederick, the following weekend began exploring the area north of Baltimore. Eventually, I ventured farther north into Pennsylvania. After the driving experiences I went back to the atlas, and poured over the roads I’d traveled already. I was able to combine several of those legs, piecing together a nice loop of 40-60 miles. My goal is to create or discover the roads enthusiasts may already know creating 3-4 loops around Maryland that are accessible as day-trips for good driving with good sights.
Check back as I will update this post with those roads and driving loops!