On September 17, 1862, at what is now the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg MD, Union and Confederate armies fought each other resulting in over 23,000 casualties. There were three primary engagements that day that would become know as The Cornfield, Bloody Lane, and The Burnside or Lower Bridge.
This hike is a figure 8 loop that crosses the Burnside Bridge and follows the hauntingly beautiful Antietam Creek where so many soldiers lost their lives or were injured during one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
Mile 0.0 – Park at the small pullout on Rodman Ave and intersection of US34/Boonsboro Pike. The first mile of the circuit follows paved roads in the park, however traffic is generally light and is required to maintain low speeds. Start south along Rodman Ave, which during 1862 was know as Sherrick's Lane. Cross over the high point of the road, then descend past the Sherrick Farm on the left before Rodman Ave ends at the intersection of Branch Ave.
Mile 1.3 - Continue following the Sanely Ford Trail downstream for 0.6 miles where the trail turns sharply right uphill at the junction of a small side trail on the left. Stay on the wider Snavely Ford Trail uphill to the right, soon pass the Final Attack Trail on the left, and reach the high point where the trail leaves the forest. Descend the remaining 0.2 miles back to the Burnside Bridge parking area and head down to the bridge.
Mile 3.9 - Turn left uphill on the Sherrick Farm trail passing two fields for the remaining 0.5 miles
Mile 4.4 - Arrive back at the parking area at the corner of Rodman Ave and US34.
Antietam Burnside Bridge Hike Comments
Date of Hike: Friday, October 14, 2016
Note that as of this writing Burnside Bridge is closed for extensive restoration. So, you can't cross as specified in the last part of this hike. I just doubled back on the first part -- almost the same distance. Also, because of fencing, you can't access the path at mile 1.1 leading up from the bridge, but you can detour up the road through the parking lot and connect with the Snavely Ford trail on the other side (follow the "overlook" sign). A nice hike, the walk along Antietam Creek is very pleasant. Parking is very limited at the described parking spot and was almost full on a weekday. If it's full, just drive in, park in one of the larger lots, and do the hike from there.
Date of Hike: Friday, June 8, 2012
Overall it was a good hike. Relatively easy hike so it's a good hike for the whole family. Trail is relatively well maintained and the park has a lot of history. If you are looking for more of a mountain and nature type of hike, this is not one of them.