​Fort Frederick State Park is located in the Cumberland Valley, 18 miles west of Hagerstown and one mile south of I-70 near Big Pool (Rt. 56, Exit 12). The park is 88 miles from Baltimore and 81 miles from Washington, D.C.

Fort Frederick State Park
11100 Fort Frederick Road
Big Pool MD 21711​


Driving Directions:

Fort Frederick State Park is located in Washington County, off Route 70 Exit 12 (Big Pool). Travel one mile east on State Route 56 to the park's entrance.​

Hours of Operation:

8 a.m. to Sunset, April-October

10 a.m. to Sunset, November-March

Pet Policy:

​Pets are allowed in Fort Frederick State Park in the following areas:

  • Pets are allowed in all day-use areas except the fort
  • Pets are allowed in campground
  • Pets are allowed in picnic area

Hunting Policy:

  • Managed shotgun deer hunting program in a 500 acre designated area - lottery system to select hunters - Managed Hunt Permit required to participate in the hunt (not required to participate in the lottery)

Fort Frederick State Park

Aerial view of Ft. Frederick
American history from the colonial period to the present can be discovered at Fort Frederick State Park. Features include:

  • 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 borders the Potomac River.
  • 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.
  • For more information on facilities, hours, and programs please contact the visitor center.
  • Download the Fort Frederick State Park June program calendar
  • Download the Fort Frederick State Park 2018 Calendar of Events

Fort Frederick State Park serves as the headquarters for a complex of facilities that includes:

Fort Frederick

  • The stone fort built in 1756 protected Maryland’s frontier settlers during the French and Indian War.
  • Fort Frederick is unique because of its strong stone wall, large size, and roomy barracks.
  • The fort saw service during the American Revolution as a prison for British soldiers.
  • During the Civil War, Union troops were often stationed near the fort to guard the C & O Canal.
  • In 1922, the State of Maryland acquired the fort and in 1930's, the Civilian Conservation Corps restored the fort walls and began development of the state park.
  • The fort barracks are open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on the weekends in the spring and fall.
  • During those times, staff and volunteers dressed in 18th century clothing occupy the fort, demonstrating daily life in the 18th century.
  • Group Tours are available seasonally. Call 301-842-2155 for details.
  • Learn more about the Fort's history
  • Take a Virtual Tour of Fort Frederick State Park by downloading a Powerpoint presentation
  • Learn about Fort Frederick in the Civil War

Visitor Center

At the visitor center, our helpful and courteous staff can provide you with information about the park and the surrounding area. Visitors can view a 10 minute orientation film, Legacy of Fort Frederick, upon request. The visitor center houses exhibits highlighting the park’s history, including:Fort Frederick artillery cannon being fired

  • Fort Frederick and local Archeology
  • Life at Fort Frederick During the French and Indian War
  • Union Soliders equipment
  • William’s Family
  • The Civilian Conservation Corps
  • Western Maryland Railroad
  • A Confederate Civil War Cannon

  • Captain Wort’s Sutler Shop

    • Captain Wort’s Sutler Shop sells items including souvenirs, food, camping supplies, as well as firewood.
    • Some souvenir items you may purchase are historical books, flags, toy muskets, Fort Frederick clothing, patches, magnets, maps, and hiking staff medallions.
    • Items related to the Western Maryland Rail Trail can also be purchased.
    • Captain Wort’s is open weekends in the spring and fall, and seven days a week Memorial Day through Labor Day.


    The pavilion at Fort FrederickNestled in a wooden glen, the picnic area provides the perfect setting for a relaxing family gathering. Features include:

    • Picnic tables with grills
    • A playground
    • A picnic pavilion that holds up to 50 people can be rented for activities such as weddings, reunions or company picnics


    Camping is available along the Potomac River. Features include:

    • 29 unimproved sites which include a fire ring and picnic table
    • Portable toilets
    • The family campground is first come, first served only
    • Four youth group campsites are available for organized youth groups

    Fishing and Boating

    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 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.


    Fort Frederick State Park offers several hiking opportunities.

    The Beaver Pond Trail is an easy trail for hikers, .3 miles in length, and passes 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.
    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

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    Online Services

    Contact the Park Service

    • To Report Violations of Park Rules: 1-800-825-7275 (Park Watch) or 1-410-260-8888 (Communications Center)
    • General Information: 1-800-830-3974 (Annapolis Office)
    • Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
    • Email Us
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