Once a landing spot for German immigrants, Brunswick’s growth came from its position as a key connecting point for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, which constructed an extensive six-mile classification yard along the C&O Canal Towpath to transfer goods between eastern and western markets. Today, you can watch Amtrak’s Capitol Limited and CSX freight trains rumble past, as well as Maryland Area Regional Commuter trains which carry commuters into Washington, D.C. The original 1891 Queen Anne-style train station still serves rail passengers each weekday.
The Brunswick Historic District is centered around the commercial core of town, and is home to the Brunswick Heritage Museum and C&O Canal National Historical Park’s Brunswick Visitor Center. Nearby, an outfitter, a bike shop, a craft brewery, a cafe, an ice creamery, and many other retail options serve towpath travelers. A nearby campground is a great option for lodging, and for those who can’t get enough biking or hiking, River’s Edge Trail offers four miles of a winding, multi-use paths located within the Brunswick Sportsplex. About four miles east of town, the triple-arched Catoctin Aqueduct carries towpath travelers over Catoctin Creek.
Local Events and Activities
Brunswick is a playground! Each October, crowds gather for Railroad Days which features music, festivities and train rides, and celebrates the town’s key heritage. For a challenge, coincide your visit with the Great Deadman’s Hill Mile Run, a footrace which includes a hayride up to the high point in town and then a full-on sprint back down with prizes for the winners. Join Scottish First Footing to ring in New Year’s Day with bagpipes and drums at Square Corner Park under the gazebo at the stroke of midnight. A vibrant Farmer’s Market occurs on the second and last Fridays of the month, May through September, with free concerts in Square Corner Park on Fridays after the market closes.
Parking and Trail Access
Parking for the C&O Canal Towpath is available in the large lot operated by the Maryland Area Regional Commuter train. In the middle of town is the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s Brunswick Visitor Center.