Antietam National Battlefield is well known for its role in American history. Established in 1890 to commemorate the single bloodiest day of the American Civil War (23,110 casualties), the park attracts an estimate of 205,000 visitors each year. The battlefield, located in the Great Valley region of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley province, encompasses over 3,250 acres of farmland, pastures, woodlots and limestone forests.
In 1992, the Antietam National Battlefield General Management Plan was approved, outlining goals for restoring the battlefield to its 1862 appearance. The plan includes projects such as replanting of historic woodlots and orchards, re-establishing original fencelines, lanes and trails, as well as maintaining the integrity of the historic farmsteads.
The areas in natural cover at the battlefield offer a haven for many different species of plants and animals, and also provide a number of secondary benefits including water and air quality enhancement, ground-water recharge, storm flow moderation, and recreational enjoyment.