This route is amazing during the fall, and just a good all-around trip any other time of the year. It will be good for those looking to explore, and for those looking for technical aspects. This route is best approached as a full day trip or better yet a 2-3 day weekend of exploration.
What I like about this route is that it’s like a sampler pack, it gives you farmland, wooded stretches, bridges, rolling foothills, water views, mountain views, elevation changes, twisties, fast sweepers, off camber turns, hairpins, straightaways, and fun towns along the way to explore. There are places that you feel totally by yourself where the scenery is the focus, and other places that will tempt you to stop and explore or take photos. Whether you go by yourself or with a crew it’ll be enjoyable.
I have all the juicy details of this route saved as a project in Google Earth, but I’ve included the basic route below. If you want all the best bits, you’ll have to explore it yourself or road trip with me.
POI (Points of Interest)
Almost every town (Brunswick, Sharpsburg, Shepherdstown, Berkeley Springs, Cumberland) on this route has something worth checking out from country/general stores, diners, landmarks, railroad museums, farm orchards, ice cream stands, national parks, and several have overnight options. Cumberland is the largest city/town on the route, while Berkeley Springs, Shepherdstown, and Sharpsburg all have lodging/dining options. Along the way there are a few locations with wonderful vistas, and pieces of history. The route’s end point, the 1812 Brewery, is worth devoting 2-3 hours to sample the great beverage selections, and awesome food trucks serving on the patio. Alternate destinations close to the brewery could be Cumberland or Rocky Gap State Park which has its own resort.
A word of caution for those with severely modified suspension geometries. If your ride is moderately lowered no worries, but anything more than an inch may make you search alternate routes along the way. All roads are paved, but some of my side trips off this route found secondary roads that could turn your traction control indicators into a moving light show (Little Orleans – worth it for the views along the river). My R is lowered, equipped with firmer spring rates, and wasn’t an issue for me.
I’ve verified that there are several good fueling options, either Exxon, Love’s, Shell or Sunoco along the way. I have not checked for stations that provide E85.
In a 2-3 locations there are chain parts suppliers such as Advance Auto or Napa Auto Parts (Brunswick-Berkeley Springs-Cumberland-Hancock) should you find yourself in need of something specific.
- Route – Start: Gaithersburg, MD / Finish: Cumberland, MD
- Distance: 150 miles each way
- Estimated Time: 3 1/2-4 hours
Twisty Roads: ♦♦♦♦
Elevation Changes: ♦♦♦
Places of Interest:
Falling Waters waterfalls
Berkeley Springs, WV
Prospect Peak – WV
Town Creek Aqueduct – MD
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad – Cumberland, MD
Rocky Gap Casino Resort – Flintstone, MD
At the start there are Shell and Sunoco stations, and along the way Exxon, Liberty, Sheetz, Shell, and Love Travel Plaza stations are available in Point of Rocks, Brunswick, Hedgesville, Paw Paw, and Cumberland.
Pizza & Grill on the Rocks – Point of Rocks, MD
Penny’s Diner – Brunswick, MD
Captain Bender’s Tavern – Sharpsburg, MD
Bavarian Inn Resort & Brewing Company – Shepherdstown, WV
Shepherdstown, WV – numerous options
Martinsburg, WV – numerous options
The Smoking Toad – Falling Waters, WV
Berkeley Springs, WV – numerous options
Cumberland, MD – numerous options
1812 Brewery – Cumberland, MD