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Baltimore-Washington Parkway

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Quick Facts
Designation: Maryland State Scenic Byway
Fees: No fees to drive the byway.
Length, One-Way: 30 Miles (50.0 Kilometers)
Time: 30 Minutes

General Information

Description - The Baltimore-Washington Parkway is the ceremonial entrance route into the nation's capital from the north. In the 1920's the federal government's parkway system for Washington, D.C., based on Pierre Charles L'Enfant's layout of the Capital, included plans for this byway. Although the construction did not begin until 1942, at the end of the American parkway movement, this byway exemplifies one of the last such roads constructed and the only fully developed parkway of its kind in Maryland. Its character continues today. This byway was recently dedicated to the late Senator Gladys Noon Spellman.

The BW Parkway was opened on October 1954. An average of 21,000 vehicles traveled it the first week, 6,000 more than expected. This ribbon of road maintains the integrity of the area and preserves the natural topography by following the landscape architecture. There is limited access, gentle curves, and a park-like setting inviting delightsome driving. The byway is thickly wooded with a variety of trees, including, oak, tulip, ash, maple, sweet gum, sycamore, and pine.

This byway links two metropolitan areas along the "fall line" where the Atlantic coastal plain meets the Piedmont region. As a formal, but scenic, entryway into Washington, D.C., this byway has been a catalyst for the Capital's development as the federal center. In addition, it has connected several suburban-based federal facilities in the Washington area; therefore, cutting down the cost of obtaining right-of-way privileges. This byway is managed by the State of Maryland north of MD 175 and the National Park Service to the south.

Attractions - The Baltimore-Washington Parkway is known for it's Historical, Natural and Recreational Attractions.

Directions from : Start at Baltimore's Inner Harbor and drive west on Lombard Street. Turn left on Green Street and follow it to Russell Street. Continue south on Russell Street. This street becomes the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD 295) when it leaves the city. Continue southwest on MD 295 through a small portion of Baltimore County, into the northeastern edge of Anne Arundel County, and finally, through Prince George's County. Exit the BW Parkway at US 50 west. Once across the Anacostia River, you are in the District of Columbia. Continue heading west. The byway ends when the road becomes New York Avenue.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Baltimore-Washington Parkway
ICON Viewing Scenery Baltimore-Washington Parkway

More Information

Additional Information:
Maryland Scenic Byways - Described here are a number of Marylands State Scenic Byways. These byways travel through historic and scenic areas throughout the state.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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