Frederick and Western Maryland

Frederick is a great home base for exploring the region's lush mountain forests, powerful national battlefields, and quaint historic towns.

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  • 1. Antietam National Battlefield

    Museum/Gallery

    Time has returned Antietam National Battlefield, the site of the bloodiest one-day battle of the Civil War, to its tranquil antebellum appearance...

    Time has returned Antietam National Battlefield, the site of the bloodiest one-day battle of the Civil War, to its tranquil antebellum appearance, with woodlands giving way to sloping cornfields bound by rough-hewn fences. On September 17, 1862, more than 23,000 Union and Confederate troops were killed, wounded, or missing here. The gruesome battle led Abraham Lincoln to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. A self-guided tour by car follows 8½ mi of well-preserved battlefield including Dunkard Church and Bloody Lane. An hour-long documentary is shown at the visitor center at noon each day, and there is an exhibit of Civil War artifacts. You can also hike the battlefields with an audio tour or accompanied by a ranger. Stop at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum (an extension of Frederick's National Museum of Civil War Medicine), where a re-created operating room and implements used to care for the wounded are displayed.At the historic Newcomer House, The Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area Exhibit and Visitor Center, a new addition to the battlefield site, aims to promote stewardship of historic, cultural, and natural Civil War resources across the region and features interpretive exhibits that play on key themes such as On the Home Front, In the Heat of Battle, and Beyond the Battlefield. Brochures, maps, county visitor guides, and other materials are available, and center volunteers can help visitors tailor their plans for exploring the heritage area. 18422 Shepherdstown Pike, Keedysville, 21756. 301/432–6402. www.heartofthecivilwar.org. Open Sat. and Sun., May–Oct. 11–5; open daily Nov. and Apr. 11–5.

    Rte. 65, Sharpsburg Pike, Sharpsburg, Maryland, 21782, United States
    301-432–5124

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Battlefield $4 for individuals; $6 for families; Pry House $2 suggested donation, Battlefield: daily dawn–dusk. Visitor center: Labor Day–Memorial Day, daily 8:30–5; Memorial Day–Labor Day, daily 8:30–6. Pry House: Labor Day–Memorial Day, daily 11–5.
  • 2. Boonsborough Museum of History

    Museum/Gallery

    Doug Bast, a local historian and founder of the Boonsborough Museum of History, never gave up his boyhood habit of collecting unusual curios...

    Doug Bast, a local historian and founder of the Boonsborough Museum of History, never gave up his boyhood habit of collecting unusual curios. Besides extensive Civil War artifacts (including a cannonball), among the quirky finds crammed into this small house are a wooly mammoth tusk, a moonshine still, mummified animals, a piece of the White House discarded during a mid-20th-century renovation, patent medicines, and Geronimo's walking stick.

    113 Main St., Boonsboro, Maryland, 21713, United States
    301-432–6969

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $4, May–Sept., Sun. 1–5 and by appointment.
  • 3. C&O Canal National Historical Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    This park is the starting point for walking and biking the towpath, and taking tours on replica canal boats. Markers set occasionally along...

    This park is the starting point for walking and biking the towpath, and taking tours on replica canal boats. Markers set occasionally along the towpath explain the railroad's role in the development of the town and the region's coal industry. There are even mules on hand, since the history of the canal includes these hardy 1,000-pound animals who once pulled canal boats. At nearby Canal Place, you can grab a bite, browse through the small shops, or listen to a summer concert on the water.

    Western Maryland Railway Station, 13 Canal St., Cumberland, Maryland, 21502, United States
    301-722–8226

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Daily 9–5
  • 4. Casselman River Bridge

    Bridge/Tunnel

    By the time you spot the picturesque Casselman River Bridge, you're almost in Grantsville. This single-span stone arch bridge ½ mi east of town...

    By the time you spot the picturesque Casselman River Bridge, you're almost in Grantsville. This single-span stone arch bridge ½ mi east of town was built in 1813; at the time it was the largest of its kind. Though the bridge is no longer in use, it serves as the backdrop for a small state park and picnic area.

    Rte. 40, Grantsville, Maryland, 21536, United States
  • 5. Catoctin Mountain Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Nearly 6,000 acres of thick pine forests, rocky ledges, and magnificent views make Catoctin a true retreat. America's presidents apparently...

    Nearly 6,000 acres of thick pine forests, rocky ledges, and magnificent views make Catoctin a true retreat. America's presidents apparently think so, too—Camp David is hidden within the park, although, of course, it is not open to the public. Catoctin also rents rustic cabins built during the era of the federal Works Progress Administration, and there's a dining hall that seats 120 people.

    6602 Foxville Rd., Thurmont, Maryland, 21788, United States
    301-663–9388

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Daily dawn–dusk
  • 6. Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo

    Zoo/Aquarium

    About 6 mi from Catoctin Mountain Park, this preserve/zoo holds more than 350 animals on some 30 acres. The zoo is easily navigated by children...

    About 6 mi from Catoctin Mountain Park, this preserve/zoo holds more than 350 animals on some 30 acres. The zoo is easily navigated by children, and the tall trees and winding paths make for comfortable walking. Exotic animals here include tigers, macaws, monkeys, and boas. A petting zoo allows kids to mingle with goats and other small animals. Throughout summer there are interactive shows, when the little ones can touch snakes and learn about grizzlies.

    13019 Catoctin Furnace Rd., Thurmont, Maryland, 21788, United States
    301-271–3180

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $14.95, Mar., weekends 10–4; Apr. and Oct., daily 10–5; early to late May and early to late Sept., daily 9–5; Memorial Day–Labor Day, daily 9–6
  • 7. Community Bridge Mural

    Public Art

    From an outstretched hand to a Constellation shaped like a drinking gourd, dozens of images and symbols are woven into this sweeping and remarkable...

    From an outstretched hand to a Constellation shaped like a drinking gourd, dozens of images and symbols are woven into this sweeping and remarkable trompe-l'oeil mural, which makes a humble concrete bridge appear ivy-covered and made of intricately carved stone. The public art is the work of nationally known artist William Cochran who used ideas submitted by Frederick residents and others nationwide as inspiration. The bridge and the waterway it spans are part of the multimillion-dollar construction, development, and renovation efforts that revitalized the Carroll Creek Park area. Restaurants offer outside seating along the walkways that flank the creek and bands play during summer festivals. Thousands of visitors now enjoy this area's charms year-round.

    Carroll Street Bridge between E. Patrick and E. All Saints Sts., Frederick, Maryland, 21701, United States
    301-228–2888
  • 8. Cunningham Falls State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Located in the Catoctin Mountains, this state park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts: there's hiking, fishing, and a crystal clear man-made...

    Located in the Catoctin Mountains, this state park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts: there's hiking, fishing, and a crystal clear man-made lake for swimming and boating. The showpiece for many is a 78-foot waterfall (hence the name, although some locals call it McAfee Falls)—the largest cascading waterfall in the state. The park also features an aviary, the historic Catoctin Iron Furnace, campgrounds, and activities such as maple syrup making, and a bird and reptile program for kids. Picnic tables and grills are available, and campsites/cabins can be rented from April through October.

    14039 Catoctin Hollow Rd., Thurmont, Maryland, 21788, United States
    301-271–7574

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Memorial Day–Labor Day $5 per person; Labor Day–Memorial Day $3 per vehicle
  • 9. Deep Creek Lake State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    The 1,818-acre Deep Creek Lake State Park hugs the eastern shore of the lake and has a public boat launch, small beach with lifeguards (in summer...

    The 1,818-acre Deep Creek Lake State Park hugs the eastern shore of the lake and has a public boat launch, small beach with lifeguards (in summer), and picnic and camping sites. The lake's indigo waters are breathtaking—literally. Even in summer the water can be chilly. At the park's Discovery Center are hands-on educational activities for children, a freshwater aquarium, native animals on display, and a small gift shop. The center is also a staging area for organized outdoor activities, including boat tours.

    898 State Park Rd., Grantsville, Maryland, 21541, United States
    301-387–4111
  • 10. Discovery Station and Hagerstown Aviation Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    A full-size model of a triceratops skull welcomes you to the Discovery Station and Hagerstown Aviation Museum, the first hands-on science museum...

    A full-size model of a triceratops skull welcomes you to the Discovery Station and Hagerstown Aviation Museum, the first hands-on science museum in Western Maryland. Set in a former bank building, the museum allows kids to work the controls in the cockpit of a Cessna plane, squeeze through a model of an artery, and dig in sand for dinosaur fossils. Other popular attractions include a National Institutes of Health–sponsored exhibit on the eye and a model of the solar-powered NEAR spacecraft which traveled more than 200 million miles from the sun to explore asteroids.

    101 W. Washington St., Hagerstown, Maryland, 21740, United States
    301-790–0076

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $7 $, Tues.–Sat. 10-4, Sun. 2–5
  • 11. Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Parish Hall

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Of particular interest is the Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Parish Hall. Built in 1849–50 on the site of the former Fort Cumberland, this historic...

    Of particular interest is the Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Parish Hall. Built in 1849–50 on the site of the former Fort Cumberland, this historic church was a frontier outpost during the French and Indian War. The Gothic Revival church is built of native sandstone and contains three large Tiffany windows.

    16 Washington St., Cumberland, Maryland, 21502, United States
  • 12. Fort Frederick

    Military Sight

    Along the Potomac River stands Fort Frederick, the only remaining stone fort from the French and Indian War. Built in 1756 and named after Frederick...

    Along the Potomac River stands Fort Frederick, the only remaining stone fort from the French and Indian War. Built in 1756 and named after Frederick Calvert, the sixth Lord of Baltimore, Fort Frederick's stone walls protected Maryland's frontier settlers. Today, a visitor center displays artifacts from the French and Indian War and several times a year, staff and volunteers dressed in 18th-century period clothing give visitors a taste of life in the Colonial era. The park also offers hiking trails, skiing, boating, and canoeing.

    11100 Fort Frederick Rd., Big Pool, Maryland, 21711, United States
    301-842–2155

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $3, Apr.–Oct., daily 8 am–dusk; Nov.–Mar., weekdays 8 am–dusk, weekends 10 am–dusk
  • 13. Frederick Visitor Center

    Visitor Center

    After more than three decades in a previous location, a new Frederick Visitor Center is expected to open in early 2011 near the new I–70 interchange...

    After more than three decades in a previous location, a new Frederick Visitor Center is expected to open in early 2011 near the new I–70 interchange on East Street. The Tourism Council of Frederick County is renovating the circa-1899 industrial warehouse; as of this writing, construction was well underway. In addition to maps, brochures, and displays highlighting regional attractions and amenities, the new center will boast a 2,200-square foot exhibit area, an orientation film about Frederick County, and expanded restroom facilities. Guided 90-minute walking tours will leave from the center on weekends (Saturday at 11 am; Sunday at 1:30 pm), from May through October.

    151 S. East St., Frederick, Maryland, 21701, United States
    301-600–4047

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tour $7, Daily 9–5
  • 14. George Washington's Headquarters

    Notable Building

    In a log cabin about the size of an ice-cream stand, the man who would become America's first president mapped out strategies during the French...

    In a log cabin about the size of an ice-cream stand, the man who would become America's first president mapped out strategies during the French and Indian War (1754–63). George Washington's Headquarters, the only remaining structure from Fort Cumberland, was used by the patriot when he was an aide to General Braddock. The 250-year-old cabin contains a simple bed, desk, and fireplace, which can be viewed from outside through large windows. A walking tour that continues along the canal begins here.

    Washington and Greene Sts., Cumberland, Maryland, 21502, United States
    301-777–5132

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, By appointment.
  • 15. Gordon-Roberts House

    Historic Home

    Josiah Roberts, the one-time president of the C&O Canal, commissioned this Second Empire–style house on fashionable Washington Street in...

    Josiah Roberts, the one-time president of the C&O Canal, commissioned this Second Empire–style house on fashionable Washington Street in 1867, a few years after he was released from prison for being an alleged secessionist. The Allegany County Historical Society has its headquarters here today, and costumed guides lead guests through rooms of Victorian furnishings. A courting couch in the parlor has three sitting compartments—the young lady and her caller sat on opposite ends while two chaperones were perched between them. The museum hosts themed teas throughout the year.

    218 Washington St., Cumberland, Maryland, 21502, United States
    301-777–8678

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $5, Tues.–Sat. 10–5
  • 16. Green Ridge State Forest

    Forest

    At 46,000 acres, Green Ridge State Forest—part of the Allegheny Mountain chain—is the state's second-largest forest, stretching from Pennsylvania...

    At 46,000 acres, Green Ridge State Forest—part of the Allegheny Mountain chain—is the state's second-largest forest, stretching from Pennsylvania nearly to the West Virginia border. A century ago, this land was home to iron, sawmill, and other workers. Remains of their mossy cemeteries and crumbling stone homes can be found among vast stands of hickory and oak trees. A victory for Maryland and Mother Nature, the second-growth forest is a beautiful spot to camp, hike, ride mountain bikes, and fish at a stocked lake.

    28700 Headquarters Dr. NE, Flintstone, Maryland, 21530, United States
    301-478–3124

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Park office daily 8–4
  • 17. Hager House and Museum

    Historic Home

    In 1739 Jonathan Hager, an adventurous young German immigrant, built a stone home over two springs in a virgin forest. The Hager House and Museum...

    In 1739 Jonathan Hager, an adventurous young German immigrant, built a stone home over two springs in a virgin forest. The Hager House and Museum still stands, a testament to Hagertown's founder and early-American life. The thick-walled home includes bedrooms, a sewing room, and a kitchen furnished with pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as a replica of the trading post that Hager operated. Guided tours include the indoor springhouse where the family preserved food and kept cool in summer. Coins, pottery, and buttons excavated from the property are on display, and Colonial-style gardens of fragrant rosemary, lavender, and thyme surround the home.

    110 Key St., Hagerstown, Maryland, 21740, United States
    301-739–8393

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $3, Apr.–Dec., Thurs.–Sat. 10–4; Sun.–Wed. by appointment only.
  • 18. Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    Dubbed "Hub City" due to its importance to the Western Maryland and Baltimore & Ohio railroads, Hagerstown has a rich railway history. It...

    Dubbed "Hub City" due to its importance to the Western Maryland and Baltimore & Ohio railroads, Hagerstown has a rich railway history. It's been more than a decade since the city demolished the roundhouse (a circular building used for repairing steam locomotives), but the museum preserves several cabooses, locomotives, and trolley cars as well as other railroad artifacts and memorabilia. During the Christmas season the elaborate train gardens are particularly enchanting.

    300 S. Burhan's Blvd. (US 11), Hagerstown, Maryland, 21740, United States
    301-739–4665

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $3.50, Fri.–Sun. 1–5
  • 19. Harpers Ferry

    Town/Village

    Along the cobblestone streets of the town abolitionist John Brown made famous, costumed interpreters in 19th-century homes and storefronts...

    Along the cobblestone streets of the town abolitionist John Brown made famous, costumed interpreters in 19th-century homes and storefronts demonstrate period activities such as candle-dipping. Lectures and special tours are offered on weekends. Several hikes meander through the shady mountains that surround the sprawling park, passing over stone bridges and past the remains of homes and churches. There's plenty of parking at the Cavalier Heights Visitor Center along with the free shuttle buses that depart approximately every 15 minutes.

    Visitor Center and Parking:, 171 Shoreline Dr., Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, 25425, United States
    304-535–6029

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $6 per vehicle, $4 per person arriving by other means, Daily 8–5
  • 20. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    At the stunning convergence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, the town of Harpers Ferry—just over the border in West Virginia—played a key...

    At the stunning convergence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, the town of Harpers Ferry—just over the border in West Virginia—played a key role in the events leading to the Civil War. This historical park brings to life details of the famous raid led by John Brown, a radical abolitionist. His plan—to take control of the town and commandeer weapons from the arsenal for the fight against slavery—was ultimately foiled and Brown was later tried and hanged. Still, historians cite the incident as the spark that helped ignite the conflict between North and South. The town, at the crossroads of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, has been restored to its appearance during Brown's time, and various exhibits highlight early American life and Civil War history. The breathtaking rivers, shrouded by wooded cliffs, are popular spots for rafting and tubing during the warmer months.

    West Virginia, United States

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