Today was another one of those nothing’s-happening winter Sundays that almost invariably leads to a short hike somewhere in the vicinity of the C&O Canal NHP. While mulling over the possibilities, we came up with a few ideas: find the eastern end of the Kessler Tunnel; get a photo of either the Town Creek or Evitts Creek Aqueducts; or keep it local and check out something that we’ve missed along the way. We’re planning on doing a New Year’s hike in Cumberland in a couple of days, so “keep it local” won out in the end.
Lately, we have gotten a fair amount of snow in the area, and the water in the creek was flowing pretty well. A few years ago, I kayaked the Antietam from Devil’s Backbone to the battlefield, and being a novice, I found the creek to be a good match for my skills–or lack thereof. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful stream, and its banks have witnessed plenty of history–including one of the bloodiest battles in Civil War history.
As we headed upstream, there were plenty of interesting sights to see, including an old barn (or outbuilding) on the opposite bank that looks like it hasn’t been used in many years. Likewise, the sand along the bank was littered with numerous shells, and Candee pointed out a couple of fossils. Unfortunately, we reached a choke-point and had to turn around. The ice-cold water and slippery ground didn’t offer too many choices.
Fortunately, we were able to check out the environs of the Antietam Ironworks Inn. It’s a beautiful building overlooking the creek on Harpers Ferry Road. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was a museum, home, B&B, or store, so I made note of it and ran it through a search engine after I got home.
Okay, on second thought, there were three or four large grills shaped like trains, and I should have guessed that food is an important part of what goes on here. After some research, I found out that Antietam Ironworks Inn has a banquet hall and a catering service. Needless to say, I’m intrigued, and the reviews I saw online are positive. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!