The December brevet will start in Woodbine, MD and travel through the piedmont of central Maryland and Pennsylvania, including sections rich in Civil War history. Leaving the Park-and-Ride in Woodbine, the route heads north through scenic farmland to Taneytown, MD, which was ALMOST the site of a civil war battle. General George Meade was in the process of deploying his Union troops along a line through Taneytown when he received word that a major battle was instead forming 12 miles further north in Gettysburg. Following the same path to Gettysburg taken by Meade’s army on July 1, 1863, the route enters the battlefield near Little Round Top and proceeds north on Cemetery Ridge, passing the so-called High Water Mark of the Confederacy where Pickett’s Charge briefly penetrated the Union line. The route then follows mostly flat roads to Dillsburg, where riders can eat sandwiches and homemade cake or pie at the Coffee Express. The return follows almost the same route, but includes some steeper hills on a very scenic section of Buffalo Road, before ending at the Pizza Hut next to the start. This route has rolling hills and a few steep hills toward the end, but no major climbs with a total elevation gain of around 7,200 ft.
Registration opens at 6:00 a.m at the park-and-ride . The pre-registration fee is $5 or $10 at the start. The start is 17 minutes before sunrise, so bring lights and reflective gear.