American history from the colonial period to the present can be discovered at Fort Frederick State Park. Our 585 acre park features a unique stone fort that served as Maryland’s frontier defense during the French and Indian War. The Fort's stone wall and two barracks have been restored to their 1758 appearance. Historic exhibits are in the Fort, barracks, CCC Museum and Visitor Center. The park annually holds programs such as artillery firings, junior ranger, colonial children’s day and the 18th Century Market Fair. The park borders the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal passes through the park. The park also features a boat launch, campsites, camp store, fishing, flat water canoeing, a hiking trail, interpretive and educational programs, picnicking, a playground, and a shelter.
The centerpiece of the Fort Frederick State Park is a unique stone fort that served as Maryland’s frontier defense during the French and Indian War. Built in 1756, the Fort's stone wall and two barracks have been restored to their 1758 appearance. Historic exhibits are in the Fort, barracks, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum and Visitor Center. The fort barracks are open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on the weekends in the spring and fall, when staff and volunteers dress in period clothing and occupy the fort, demonstrating daily life in the 18th century. The 585-acre park borders the Potomac River and The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal passes through the park. The park also features a boat launch, campsites, camp store, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trails, a playground, a picnic area and large pavilion. Group tours are available seasonally.
Fishing and Boating
Big Pool Lake
Big Pool Lake lies within Fort Frederick State Park. Big Pool is a natural depression that was filled with water when the C & O Canal was created. Big Pool provides excellent opportunities for both the angler and boater. Gas motors are prohibited on Big Pool. A boat ramp provides access for canoes and other boats. Big Pool is primarily a warm water fishery, offering good fishing for species such as largemouth bass, catfish, carp, bluegill, and many others.
The Beaver Pond
The Beaver Pond is a perfect place for young anglers to try out their skills. Bank fishing provides families a safe place to catch a variety of fish species.
The Potomac River runs along the southern edge of the park. It provides excellent opportunities for boating and fishing. It and can be accessed by a foot path located across from the Beaver Pond parking lot. The foot path is suitable for carrying a lightweight canoe or kayak.
Family and youth group camping are available along the Potomac River.
Fort Frederick State Park offers several hiking opportunities.
Beaver Pond Trail
The Beaver Pond Trail is an easy trail for hikers, .3 miles in length, and passing along a wetlands around the campground. Hikers can see several species of turtles, waterfowl, birds, as well as white-tailed deer and other wildlife.
The Plantation Trail is an easy to moderate trail for hikers, 1.1 miles in length, and passes through forested areas of the old experimental tree plantation from the 1930’s. The trailhead is in the Picnic Area. Hikers can see a variety of wildlife, including white tail deer and turkeys, as well as a variety of flora, and fauna.
C&O Canal National Park
The C&O Canal National Park tow path runs through Fort Frederick State Park. There is parking and access for the C&O Canal at mile post 112.5.
Nestled in a wooden glen, the picnic area provides the perfect setting for a relaxing family gathering. Features include:
Picnic tables with grills
A picnic pavilion that holds up to 50 people can be rented for activities such as weddings, reunions or company picnics