Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway – VA


  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2009)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
  • LocationMD, PA, VA
  • Length109 of 180 total miles
Byway Visitor Information
Journey Through Hallowed Ground
Statewide Byway Partners
Virginia Department of Transportation
Virginia Is For Lovers
Situated at the end of an expansive front lawn and framed by a colorful perennial border
Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects Photo


The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway encompasses 400 years of history in its 180 miles that traverse the JTHG National Heritage Area from Gettysburg, PA to Charlottesville, VA. Renowned for the large number of Civil War sites, JTHG NHA includes historic sites related to Native American, African American, Revolutionary War, and 20th Century history. Visit one or all 13 National Parks and many state parks, 9 Presidential homes, thriving wineries and breweries and other hospitable places, and miles of beautiful scenery that make up the Journey Through Hallowed Ground.

Local Byway Partners

Story of the Byway

Visit "where America happened," by driving the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, 180 miles of scenic, cultural and historic treasures related to Native American, African American, Colonial and Revolutionary War history that stretch through the middle of the JTHG National Heritage Area, from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Charlottesville, Virginia. While learning about America's story, enjoy the host of wineries, breweries, historic villages and beautiful scenery that populate the JTHG National Heritage Area. Sites of particular interest include: Gettysburg, Antietam and Monocacy National Military Parks; historic towns of Frederick, MD, Leesburg, VA, Waterford, VA, Middleburg, VA and Charlottesville, VA; and Presidential homes including those of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The website highlights suggested itineraries, upcoming events and information from the many partner organizations that maintain and promote these sites. Free maps are available through the website.

Driving Directions

The JTHG National Scenic Byway follows Route 15 from Gettysburg, PA, south through Maryland and Virginia, to Routes 20, 231, 22, and 53, ending near Thomas Jefferson's Monticello near Charlottesville, VA. Wayfinding markers direct visitors along the route in Maryland and Virginia.

Points of Interest

  • Gettysburg National Military Park,

    Iconic Civil War Battlefield with trails and musuem.

  • C&O Canal National Historic Park

    Truly one of America’s most interesting national parks, it is rich in history and offers easy, barrier-free hiking and biking. The towpath is just beyond the train station, and the visitor center for the C&O Canal is adjacent to the Brunswick Railroad Museum.

  • Monocacy National Battlefield Park

    Civil War battlefield with hiking trails and visitor center.

  • Oatlands, National Trust for Historic Preservation property

    Preserved 1800s house.

  • Aldie & Mt. Zion Historic Church,

    HIstoric church and cemetery.

  • Brandy Station & Cedar Mountain Battlefields,

    Battlefield retaining much of its wartime character.

  • Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

    Home of Thomas Jefferson, America's third president.

  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

    Hiking trails, museums, and living history presentations.

  • James Madison's Montpelier

    President James Madison;s home.


  • A Trip to Monticello

    Starting in Point of Rocks at the border of Maryland and Virginia, your trip along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway has officially begun. The first portion of your journey is greeted by the beauty of the Potomac River as you head south along the Byway.

    Your first stop can be the Historical Downtown of Leesburg, which has well preserved architecture from over a hundred years ago. After you take your time there and maybe grab a bite to eat, you can continue south along the Byway you will soon pass by Manassas National Battlefield Park. This is the perfect opportunity to take in the significance of this historic battle during the Civil War. You can then continue south from there and stop by even more battlefields, including Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain.

    After taking in the history from the Civil War and continuing on the Byway, you can stop by the town of Orange. Here you can stop and eat, shop, or just walk around this quaint little town along the Byway.

    The next, and final, big stop that you will make along your journey is historic Monticello. Seeing Thomas Jefferson’s former estate can really give you a sense of how he lived his life here in Virginia. The estate is located right outside of Charlottesville, so you have plenty of opportunity to stop by and eat before you book a hotel and spend the night after your long travels along the Journey through Hallowed Ground Byway.

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