Welcome to the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club

Come to the Volunteer Party on January 20th!

Thank you to our Annual Meeting sponsors!

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Shepherdstown Pedal and Paddle
Pedal & Paddle

Shepherdstown Grapes and Grain
Grapes & Grains

Shepherdstown Little House
Shepherdstown's Little House

Shepherdstown Pottery Studio
Pottery Studio Tour


BRC - Saturday Rides & Events

Back Roads Century Page Navigation

Make it a Weekend with Saturday Rides & Fun!

Saturday Rides

Informal Antietam Rides - Back Roads Century Warmup
Plan to arrive in Shepherdstown on Saturday and explore Antietam National Park and a nearby winery! On Sunday you'll ride in West Virginia and Virginia, but on Saturday, come and ride in Maryland! If you are in Shepherdstown on Saturday, there will be two FREE informal rides through the greater Antietam area including the Antietam National Battlefield and Antietam Creek Vineyards. Come and explore the roads and some of the Civil War heritage of Southern Washington County.

On September 17, 155 years ago, Confederate and Union troops in the Civil War clashed near Maryland’s Antietam Creek in the bloodiest one-day battle in American history - 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on this day in 1862. The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia's first invasion into the North and led to Abraham Lincoln's issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

Antietam National Park will be commemorating the battle and we have designed touring rides, giving you an opportunity to explore the park and the surrounding area. We will have active bike marshals and other support in enjoying the breathtaking scenery and historic landscapes. All riders who have not paid an annual NPS pass must pay the one-day admission fee to Antietam National Park. 

  • The short route is 13 miles and starts at 1:30. It will begin and end at the Antietam Creek Vineyards (4835 Branch Ave, Sharpsburg, MD 21782, Sharpsburg, MD 21782).
  • The long route is 31 miles and starts at noon. It will begin and end at 16609 Shepherdstown Pike, Sharpsburg, MD 21782 (last year's ride start for those familiar). 
  • Both routes will feature Nutter’s Ice Cream as a rest stop. 
  • The long route will also have the Winery as a stop.
  • We will have live entertainment at the Antietam Creek Vineyards featuring David Whitaker, long-time PPTC member and a bluegrass and swing musician for over four decades specializing in six & eight string dobro.
  • The Bentwood Smokers BBQ truck will also be at the Vineyard.
  • For those who can not join the ride, please feel free to  join the celebration at the Vineyards!
  • No worries about carrying any purchased bottles back with you - the Vineyard will deliver any purchases into Shepherdstown Saturday evening.
  • These rides are open to all club members, whether you are participating in the BRC or not, and are part of the Club’s regular and ongoing ride schedule.


Saturday Night Party & Buffet

Our friends at the Town Run Tap House and Community Pub are hosting us from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 16. We will have live music to keep things going! The Town Run also sports an arcade room with pinball machines and video games, as well as a full bar with local beers and ciders. Registration for the buffet dinner is closed, but please join us for the music and camraderie after you enjoy a dinner at one of Shepherdstown's great restaurants.

Other Saturday & Sunday Events

Shepherdstown is a lively place throughout the year! There are some special things going on this September, howver, so if you come up early there is plenty to do for you and your family.

Things to do in Shepherdstown

The Cut to the Chase Film Festival - Running through the weekend, this festival features short films from across the world, all loosely based on the theme of kiss. They are presented in blocks of several films. Animation, suspense, comedy, drama and documentaries shorts from local, regional and international filmmakers. Ticket information and schedules are at www.c2cfilmfestival.org.

Pedal & Paddle - Shepherdstown’s renowned bike and boat shop offers a great package throughout the weekend. With a rented trail bike, you’ll ride about five miles on the lovely C&O Canal Towpath then they will swap out the bike for a kayak. You’ll enjoy a trip back downstream at your own pace. Reservations are required, and double kayaks are available; the cost is $80. Call 304 876-3000 to reserve.

Shepherdstown Mystery Walks - Dana Mitchell, of Ghosts of Shepherdstown TV fame, leads a 90-minute walk through this historic town, highlighting some of the many sites of both natural and supernatural mysteries. Reservations are required for this extremely popular Shepherdstown staple, which is also offered on Friday evening. Tickets are $12; reservations are by phone at 240 593-2317.

Wine Tasting – FREE - On Saturday from 1–7, Grapes & Grains Gourmet in the heart of town offers a free tasting of fine wines. Check out the prices; you’ll never see them in D.C. Bonus: case discounts.

Oktoberfest - On Sunday, non-riders can enjoy an event that has been cheering Shepherdstown for over thirty years. From noon to 6 PM, there will be German food, beer, sausages, music and dance, and more. Kids activities and arts and crafts will keep the whole family busy and happy while riders enjoy their own party. Price is TBA. No bicycles are permitted on grounds during Oktoberfest.

Little House - Shepherdstown’s leading attraction for children, the Little House is a fully furnished two-story stone house that’s just ten feet tall. Although used as a playhouse now, it was built almost 90 years ago as a learning laboratory for teaching students about childhood development. Together with the Little Barn, which is no longer open to the public, the Little House was a part of a tiny farming homestead.

Shepherdstown Visitor Center - Rated by Trip Advisor as the #1 must see in Shepherdstown (WOW!), this lively and informative place is open every day from 10-4, and should be your first stop. Grab a map and orient yourself to the town, its history, its live music venues, and its many attractions.

Historic Walking Tours of Shepherdstown – Saturday – 10am, 1pm, 4pm - Enjoy a stroll through 300 years. First settled by Europeans around 1720 this oldest town in West Virginia has seen it all. Learn about life in a frontier town, on the front lines of the Civil War, and so much more from local historian Jim Surkamp (civilwarscholar.org). Reservations required through jsurkamp@gmail.com, tickets are $10 for adults, free for children 12 and under.

Commemoration of the Battles of Antietam and Shepherdstown – TBA – Recreate the retreat and pursuit by walking across the Potomac at Packhorse Ford from Sharpsburg, Maryland to Shepherdstown, West Virginia just as soldiers did on Sept. 17, 1862. Weather and river level permitting, swimmers only. Details pending from the National Park Service at Antietam National Battlefield

Pedal & Paddle Package – 10 am - Pedal & Paddle will provide you with a trail bike for a 5-mile ride up the C&O Canal, then swap the bike for a kayak or canoe. Take a leisurely 3-5 hours to move down the Potomac, during which you may see young black bears, bobcats, foxes, mink, bald eagles, hawks of all descriptions and other native animals. Reservations must be made at (304) 876-3000.

Story Time at Shepherdstown Public Library – TBA – The Library organizes a variety of activities for children of all ages. All programs are free. The final schedule will be found at Shepherdstown.info.

Shopping – No chain stores here, so enjoy the eclectic and original mix of shops in town. Check Shepherdstown.info for details.

More events are added daily to the busy Shepherdstown calendar which can be found at www.shepherdstown.info. With apologies to Samuel Johnson, if you are tired of Shepherdstown, you are tired of life. The Back Roads Century Ride has always been special. Now, it is simply irresistible!

Things to do in the Region

Jefferson County WV

Bloomery Plantation Distillery - Inspired by the art of crafting home-grown, natural fruit cordials, you’ll feel right at home on this farm. Savor a great spirit in the casual and relaxed tasting room and a historic 1840s log cabin distillery. First come first serve, no reservations necessary. Your sampling experience lasts about an hour, but plan to linger.

Harpers Ferry National Historic Park - Harpers Ferry National Historical Park offers a variety of experiences for visitors. Whether you enjoy recreation or historical inquiry, a quiet stroll by the river or a guided program with a ranger, there are opportunities for everyone to find their place here.

Hollywood Casino at the Charles Town Races – Exactly what you’d think a casino might be. Horseracing year- round; Post time on Sept. 16 is 5 p.m.

Washington County MD

Pry House Field Hospital Museum — This birthplace of military and emergency medicine served both as Union Commander McClellan’s and as Medical Director Dr. Jonathan Letterman’s HQs. Exhibits include an operating theater, medical equipment,19th century-style medicinal and kitchen garden. $5 – Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Guided tours available for groups of 10 or more.

Crystal Grottoes Caverns —This natural phenomenon has more formations per square foot than any other cave. Tour guides answer technical, historical, and geological questions. And don't forget - its 54 degrees in the caves all year! 10:00 - 5:00 Adults - $20 Kids (<11) - $10 Group Discount tickets available by reservation. CASH ONLY

Rural Heritage Museum — The museum is held in three buildings: Early Rural Life, Farming Progression, and Transportation Methods. In addition, there is a Rural Heritage Village and Homestead. Admission is free; donations are welcome.

DLC Ciderworks - Distillery Lane Ciderworks started selling hard cider in 2010. For home brewers, there is fresh juice to ferment at home. There’s also a Cider Making class for those interested in making their own or looking for a perfect gift. Tastings are $6.00/person for 5 one-ounce pours and a souvenir glass.

Antietam Creek Vineyards – The southern neighbor of Antietam National Battlefield, Antietam Creek takes exceptional care in the vineyard to produce quality grapes that express the full characteristics of Bordeaux-style wines. Join them for a tasting in their converted 1903 barn and take in a view of rolling hills and the mountains beyond.

With apologies to Samuel Johnson, if you are tired of Shepherdstown, you are tired of life. The Back Roads Century Ride has always been special. Now, it is simply irresistible!

Antetiam image

Shepherdstown Pedal and Paddle
Pedal & Paddle

Shepherdstown Grapes and Grain
Grapes & Grains

Shepherdstown Little House
Shepherdstown's Little House

Shepherdstown Pottery Studio
Pottery Studio Tour