From Catoctin Mountain Park, our route heads south on undivided Hwy-6 and two-lane Hwy-17 along the hikers’ Appalachian Trail, winding up at Washington Monument State Park between the I-70 freeway and the small town of Boonsboro. A 30-foot-tall, bottle-shaped mound dedicated to the memory of George Washington stands at the center of the park; Boonsboro citizens completed the monument in 1827, making it the oldest memorial honoring the first U.S. president.

Atop a hill south of the park, across an old alignment of the National Road (US-40), the Old South Mountain Inn (301/432-6155, Tues.-Sat. dinner, Sun. brunch and dinner) has operated as a tavern and inn since 1732.