ALTERNATE ROUTE TO THE MID-ATLANTIC AIR MUSEUM FROM THE SOUTH

If you are traveling from the Baltimore Washington area, or anywhere generally south of Reading, and wish to avoid the long-term construction projects along I-83 and US Route 222, we can recommend another route. 

The alternate is actually about 19 miles shorter than the "quickest" I-83/Rte 30 /Rte 222 route, that all the mapping programs will send you along.  But in normal conditions - meaning without construction delays - the alternate does takes longer due to slower speed limits and a number of small towns you will pass through along the way.  If you can't stand doing 55, 50, and even 40 at times on country roads, and slowing down to 30 or 25 for the villages and towns, you better stick to the Interstates.

But if crowded Interstates, Jersey barriers, flagmen, work-zone speed limits, and bevies of big rigs are something you would not mind paying a time premium to avoid, this may be for you.  It is a much more relaxing drive, taking you across the scenic Conowingo Dam, over a few tree-cloaked mountain ridges and through some beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch countryside and small towns on good, four and two-lane roads, with a bit of divided access highway on either end.   According to the DeLorme Street Atlas 2006 USA program, from which these maps were printed, and which we highly recommend, that penalty is only 6 minutes!  But don't you believe it.  It's more like half an hour on a good day and a bit more on a Sunday when you are slowed down by the occasional Amish horse and buggy.

                THE "QUICKEST" ROUTE  117 MILES                          THE "SHORTEST" ROUTE  98 MILES

             

 

Sound good to you?  OK then, we'll start you out on the north side of the Baltimore at the junction of the Baltimore Beltway, I-695 and I-95 North.  You could take US Rte 1 North right from the start, but this section is riddled with traffic lights and has nothing to recommend it unless you are looking for fast food and shopping centers.  (More on food a bit later.)  Instead, we'll take I-95 for a bit before kicking over to our country drive.  Keep a stiff upper lip - we'll be leaving all those tractor-trailers and commuters behind shortly. 

At Mile 0 From I-695 take Exit 33 onto I-95 North toward New York.  Zero your odometer and we'll give you the approximate accumulated mileages along the route.
At Mile 9

 
Take Exit 74, Mountain Rd North, Rte 152
At Mile 14 Turn right onto US 1 North.  By the way, the gas stations in this area of Harford County, MD are often, but not always, the cheapest along the whole route.
At Mile 33
You'll cross the Susquehanna River on the Conowingo Dam, remaining on US 1
At Mile 42
Cross the Mason-Dixon line leaving the 'Old Line State' and enter the 'Keystone State'.
At Mile 50
Exit at Rte 10, Oxford.  You are going to take a right at the top of the exit ramp, but if you are hungry, we recommend you take a left and pull into Margaritas Italian Restaurant just across the road from the intersection.  This is a family-run establishment with some of the best pizza we have ever had.  Everything else on the menu is great, too. OK, full bellies,
pull out of the lot and take a left onto Rte 10 North.
 
At Mile 56
Rte 10 takes a right turn in the little town of Cochranville, so be looking out for it and stay with 10.   You'll pass through Parkesburg, cross Rte 30 where there are a couple more good places to gas and snack up, staying with Rte 10.
 
At Mile 67
In the village of Compass, Rte 10 takes another right turn where it crosses Rte 340.  Go right at the intersection.  If you go straight on through at the crossroads you will find yourself on Rte 340 going west, which is entirely the wrong direction.  It's well marked, just watch for the signs.
   Next you'll go through the town of Honey Brook.
 
At Mile 77
You come to Morgantown and Rte 23 where you will turn right at the light.  Be ready for an immediate left turn at the next light...
 
At Mile 77
Take the Fry Road ramp onto I-176 North.  Now you can let the horses out on this lightly traveled divided access highway.  Keep an eye peeled for deer.
 
At Mile 89


I-176 ends where it joins US Rte 422.  Bear left for Reading.  Be careful where the ramp spills you onto US 422 as there is no merging lane.   OK, we're on base leg now.  The city of Reading will appear on your right as you cross the Schuylkill River. 
 
At Mile 92
US 422 merges with US 222 North toward Allentown, follows the river course, bends away briefly to the northwest, then swings back northeast as it bypasses the city and circles around to the north of Reading, where the airport is situated.  Make note of the shopping areas on the left side of the highway where you will find many hotels and restaurants. 
 

We are now on short final so I'm handing you off to the tower - I mean Local Map and Directions.

We hope you enjoy the trip, and your visit to the
Mid-Atlantic Air Museum


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