The Bloodiest One Day Battle in American History 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia's first invasion into the North and led to Abraham Lincoln's issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Park Grounds are open daylight hours.
As of August 2016, the Burnside Bridge at the southern end of the trail loop is closed for repairs. The closure began in October 2015. Press reports say that the bridge will reopen in the fall of 2016, but check on the status of the bridge at the visitor center before setting out.
There is beautiful, varied terrain. The trails were well kept, with very scenic views. The only drawback was the neccesary checking of the map at every intersection. Some more trail markings would suffice. But overall it was a great run!
My wife and I hiked Antietam under clear beautiful skies. We started at the Visitor's center and, working our way North, circled the cornfield counter-clockwise and headed South past the rebuilt Dunker church. Passing the Visitor's center again, we turned East up Richardson's Ave, which turns into Bloody Lane, to the observation tower. Traversing Bloody Lane and knowing it's history absolutely gave me chills. We turned South again at the tower, crossing Boonsboro Pike (rte 63). Linking the Sherrick Farm and Union Advance trail, we had our lunch overlooking Burnside Bridge. Taking the Snavely Ford trail next, we headed North on Rodman Ave back to Boonsboro Pike and retraced our footsteps to the Visitor's center.
Worth it for the beautiful scenery of the battlefield and surrounding woods, doubly so for any Civil War buff.