Warrior and Trading Paths

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Migration & Immigration Ways of Living

U.S. Route 11 runs across a bridge over the Potomac River.

As you pass through Williamsport Park along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, you’ll travel under U.S. Route 11, a federal highway that zips through a sliver of Maryland as it crosses between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The highway roughly parallels a section of a trading and war path stretching from upstate New York down to Georgia and Alabama. Actually a network of trails, they likely began as seasonal migratory routes that animals carved through the Appalachian woods. People later realized they were also optimal routes for hunting, trading and waging war. For centuries the paths connected the northeastern Iroquois Confederacy and Algonquian-speaking peoples like the Shawnee and Delaware to the southeastern Cherokee, Catawba and Creek. [1] With the arrival of European colonizers, this section of the path became part of the Great Wagon Road. Running from Philadelphia to the Carolinas, the road was traveled by German and Scotch-Irish migrants in search of land unclaimed by other Europeans. [2]



Discover History on the Trail

J.M. Tolliver Hotel and Restaurant

On May 30, 1901, the Shepherdstown Register ran a short paragraph in its “Little Locals” column—where they featured “The Things of Interest that are...

Trail: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
State: WV
Black History Commerce, Economy & Work Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine Ways of Living
Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum

Located next to CSX Railroad, the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum is devoted to educating the public about the city’s railroad history. Although the...

Trail: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
State: MD
Hager House Museum

On the edge of Hagerstown City Park, the former residence of town founder Jonathan Hager is now a museum that pays tribute to Hagerstown’s early days....

Trail: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
State: MD
Architecture Military & War Ways of Living
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