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Historic Trails





Mason-Dixon Council Historic Trails Program

The Mason-Dixon Trails program was organized by the Mason-Dixon Council, Boy Scouts of America, to provide additional outdoor program opportunities for its many members and friends.  It consists of an awards program that provides recognition for participants, after they have hiked each of the four trails described.  A medal of achievement is available after all four of the individual trail emblems have been earned.

Guide books, emblems, and medals are available by calling 301-739-1211, emailing shar.riess@scouting.org, or visiting the Mason-Dixon Council Scout Shop.

Mason-Dixon Council
18600 Crestwood Drive
Hagerstown, MD  21742

The guide books provide complete details concerning trail access, maps, camping, facilities and other pertinent information. 

C & O Canal Historic Trail

The entire Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historic Trail is 184.5 miles in length, but only the "crossed flags" segment representing 64.5 miles, must be traveled to qualify for the Mason-Dixon Trails Award.  The trek along the C&O Canal will familiarize the walker with a method of transportation that played a major role in the development of the Northeastern United States.  The distance between Hancock, MD (mile 124.5) and Sandy Rock, MD (mile 60), may be covered by hiking or biking the Canal towpath, or by canoeing the Potomac River adjacent to the Canal.  The total distance may be hiked on more than one outing, if desired.  The C&O Canal guidebook, "184 Miles of Adventure" provides complete details and is available at the Mason-Dixon Council Scout Shop.  A tour permit is required and notification should be sent to the Superintendent, C&O Canal National Historical Park, Sharpsburg, MD  21782.

The Mason-Dixon Council Scout Shop sells, "184 Miles of Adventure", all 5 segments for the C & O Canal, C & O Canal emblem, and the C & O Canal medal. 

Forbes Road Historic Trail

This trail, 28 miles in length, traces a portion of the route of the historic "Forbes Road" and overland trail first cleared by the British General, John Forbes, during the French and Indian War.  The original Forbes Road was cut through the virgin wilderness to enable a military expedition to move West and drive the French and their Indian allies from the forks of the Ohio.  The hiker must walk the distance between Cowan's Gap State Park and Sideling Hill Mountain, near the Bedford County line.  This distance may be covered at the hiker's convenience and need not be completed on a single hike.  The Mason-Dixon Council's Camp Sinoquipe is located near the trail's "half-way point" at Fort Littleton, PA.  Groups planning to stay at Camp Sinoquipe should make arrangements through the Mason-Dixon Council Service Center.

Antietam Battlefield Historic Trail

The 10.5 mile hike across the historic Antietam Battlefield is designed to help participants become familiar with the locations and descriptions of the fateful events which occurred on the battlefield in 1862.  It stands yet, as the bloodiest single day's action in American Military History.  Hiking this trail affords the hiker the unusual privilege of retracing the path of history over terrain that appears much like it did one hundred years ago.  All hikers must start the tail walk by reporting to the Battlefield Visitor Center, located one mile north of Sharpsburg, MD on Maryland Route 65.  

The Appalachian Trail

This designated section of the famed Appalachian Trail is 44 miles in length, and presents the hiker with the challenge of hiking a portion of this 2,167 mile overland trail.  The trail follows the Appalachian ridges, generally running parallel to the East Coast of the United States, from Maine to Georgia.  The "Mason-Dixon" section runs along the eastern edges of Franklin County, PA and Washington County, MD.  (Potomac River, Maryland to Camp Penn, just northeast of Waynesboro, PA) 

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