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An Excursion To Grantsville

The historic National Road, which once connected the East Coast to the Ohio Valley, still comes through here: You can see the tall mile markers along the road. Plan to stop in pretty little Grantsville for some shopping and a home-cooked meal.

To get here from Route 68, take exit 19 north (Rte. 495) to U.S. 40 east. The first stop is the Casselman River Bridge. This was the largest single-span stone bridge ever built when it was constructed in 1813. It was closed to traffic in 1953, but you can walk across it to a small riverside park.

At one end of the bridge is the Spruce Forest Artisan Village, 177 Casselman Rd. (tel. 301/895-3332; www.spruceforest.org). Old homes, schoolhouses, and shops were relocated here from other parts of Western Maryland; some date from Revolutionary War days. Twelve structures house studios where you can watch artisans carve wooden birds, beat iron into jewelry, and weave shreds of wood into baskets. Studio hours vary, but something is always open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm between Memorial Day and the last Saturday in October, plus one December weekend. Off-season you take your chances, but the artisans do work here when the weather's agreeable. Music is offered Saturdays in summer. The restored 1797 Stanton's Mill offers tours by appointment. (Visit www.spruceforest.org.)

The Old Red Barn, 146 Casselman Rd. (tel. 301/895-5347), has two floors of goods a home cook will love, as well as Frostburg-made McFarland Candies.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.