This is one of my favorites, and I offer it to friends when they ask if I know any good roads for a drive or cruise. The good thing about the route is that it isn’t fixed, it can be lengthened or shortened depending on whatever catches your fancy. Each time I drive the CCCDR I add bits, and see what that yields. It never gets old for me. I’m kind of like a dog in that regard, always ready for a trip in the car! Once I kept modifying the route until I found myself in Lancaster Pennsylvania, the heart of the Dutch Amish region. The point is feel free to experiment!
The route starts in suburbia near the top of the beltway in Baltimore. Take exit 23B heading North on Falls Road. It starts out a little unremarkable, but soon the subdivisions give way to more pastoral settings. I initially found the start of this route searching several motorcycle riding websites to find some twisty roads that were close to me. The basic route on those sites was a good starting point, but I wanted to add to it to make it “beefier” for the four wheeled automotive enthusiast. I started out with their basic route, but about 23 miles into the trip a detour forced me to change plans. Fortunately that detour allowed me to discover more cool roads.
What I like about this route is you get a balance of twisty roads, small towns, and architectural treats in the form of a reservoir dam as well as several historic bridges (Paper Mill – Phoenix Road – Beckleysville – Loch Raven Reservoir Bridge) crossing over various points of Prettyboy and Loch Raven reservoirs (hence the name of the route). Another good thing about the route is near Prettyboy Reservoir there are often no lane markings dividing the road, and when it’s freshly paved you feel as if you’re on your own private lane. The down side is there are also no turn indicators, and the posted speed limit is slower in those areas than you might like, but it’s still worth it!
The entire loop can take hours to complete, and there are refueling and dining options along the way.
Please share your experience with this route. It will be helpful to know what features you’d like as I develop and share more routes. So get out there, have fun, and enjoy the road!
R.A.S Score: 6
Distance: 63-65 miles
Estimated Time: 1.5 hours
Places of Interest:
Seasonal Farm Stand – intersection of Falls Road, Tufton Ave, and Shawan Road
The Peppered Pig in Butler (Small carryout/BBQ joint serving up Maryland Pit Beef. I’ve eaten at the Pig.
Basigani Winery – North of Butler – 15722 Falls Rd, Sparks Glencoe, MD 21152 @ (410) 472-0703). Haven’t stopped here yet.
Prettyboy Reservoir dam – 100 or so steps down to the bottom, and paths you can take all the way to the water’s edge. Good views.
Millstone Cellars (Cidery) – 2029 Monkton Rd, Monkton, MD 21111. Haven’t stopped here yet
NOTE: Loch Raven Drive is closed Saturdays/Sundays from 10am-5pm both days.
Exxon on the right side less than a mile after exit 23B past W. Joppa Road / Falls Road intersection. Additional options available on York Road.
Jon Brown Coffee – intersection of Falls Road, Tufton Ave, and Shawan Road – 13501-13523 Falls Rd, Cockeysville, MD 21030 (6.5 miles from beltway)
The Peppered Pig in Butler
Friendly Farm Restaurant in Upperco (1.8 miles off Falls Road)
More options can be found on York Road.