On the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, a group of intrepid paddlers explored the meandering Antietam Creek on a Preservation Maryland-led tour.

The tour began at the location of the historic Middle Bridge, on the recently rehabilitated Newcomer Farm on the northern edge of the Antietam Battlefield. Tour participants were fed a hearty brunch and provided with a brief introduction to the Battle of Antietam and the lasting, powerful impacts the day’s battle had during the Civil War and beyond. After a safety briefing, the paddlers were off to put in on the Antietam Creek below the Newcomer farm barn.

The Antietam Creek is a tributary of the Potomac that begins north of the battlefield in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. The creek’s confluence with the Potomac is roughly six miles from the Newcomer Farm and the day’s journey would traverse all six, gently flowing miles.

Participants were guided along the creek and its many rocks, ripples and eddies by master guide Mike Dudash of River and Trail Outfitters. While a few participants did end up going for an unplanned dip in the Antietam’s cool spring-fed waters, all made it the entire six mile journey — going under both the iconic Burnside Bridge as well as the Antietam Aqueduct which once carried C&O Canal barge traffic in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The journey was made even more special as it occurred on the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. The water was imbued with an even more meaningful splendor and tour guide Mike Dudash encouraged the participants to stop, listen and think back to 1862.

Preservation Maryland thanks all who attended and the organization is already planning a return to Antietam in 2018. Want to be the first to know about Preservation Maryland tours and get the best pricing? Become a member today!

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