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 Marylandís 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 childrenís 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. For more information on facilities, hours, and programs please contact the visitor center. View the Fort Frederick State Park Calendar of Events for 2013.
The stone fort built in 1756 protected Marylandís frontier settlers during the French and Indian War. Fort Frederick is unique because of its strong stone wall, large size, and roomy barracks. Fort Frederick also saw service during the American Revolution as a prison for British soldiers. For the next 131 years, the fort and surrounding lands were farmed. 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. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, a company of the Civilian Conservation Corps restored the fort and began development of the state park. In 1975, the park reconstructed two soldierís barracks inside the fort. These 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.
Temporary Campground Closure
Due to the 19th Annual 18th Century Market Fair scheduled for April 24-April 28, the campground will be closed during this event.
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
At the visitor center, our helpful and courteous staff can provide you with information about the park and the surrounding area. The visitor center houses exhibits highlighting the parkís history and offers a 10 minute orientation film, "Legacy of Fort Frederick," upon request. Some of the exhibits include mannequins displaying various figures related to the history of the Fort, as well as a Confederate Civil War Cannon.
Captain Wortís Sutler Shop
Captain Wortís 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 Wortís is open weekends in the spring and fall, and seven days a week Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Nestled in a wooden glen, picnic tables with grills and a playground provide the perfect setting for a relaxing family gathering. A picnic pavilion that holds up to 50 people can be rented for activities such as weddings, reunions or company picnics.
Camping along the Potomac River is available on 29 unimproved sites which include a fire ring and picnic table. The family campground is first come, first served and includes portable toilets only. Four youth group campsites are available for organized youth groups.
Boating and Fishing
Within Fort Frederick State Park lies Big Pool Lake. 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 historic Potomac River also provides excellent opportunities for boating and fishing. It runs along the southern edge of the park 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 an easy trail for hikers. The Beaver Pond Trail, .3 miles in length, passes along a wetlands area behind the campground. Hikers can see several species of turtles, waterfowl, birds, as well as white-tailed deer and other wildlife.
The WMRT is located just one-half mile west of Fort Frederick State Park, a 23-mile paved path that follows the former Western Maryland Railway line. This is an excellent trail for bicycling, hiking, cross country skiing, and other recreational activities. The Rails to Trails Conservancy, a non-profit organization, recently chose the Western Maryland Rail Trail as one of the top 12 trails in the United States. The Western Maryland Rail Trail can be accessed from I-70, from either exit 12 (Big Pool), exit 3 (Hancock), or from I-68 at exit 77 (Pearre Station).
Situated seven miles southwest of Hancock, Maryland, the former Woodmont Rod and Gun Club comprises approximately 3,425 acres of land. Acquired by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 1995, the property is run through a cooperative agreement with the Woodmont Chapter of the Izaak Walton League. The property provides a perfect setting for hunting, hiking, and other recreational activities. Several special events are held at the Lodge and on the property April through September. For more information, contact Fort Frederick State Park at (301) 842-2155. Pets are permitted at Woodmont NRMA except in the Lodge.
Woodmont is located 15 minutes south from I-68 off of Woodmont Road. From Interstate 68 take exit 77. Turn left onto U.S. Route 40, then turn right onto Woodmont Road. Follow Woodmont Road approximately 6 miles. Signs mark the entrance to the lodge.
Fort Frederick Info...
- View the Calendar of Events for 2013.
- Camp Loop Map of Fort Frederick State Park
- Western Maryland Rail Trail
- Fort Frederick Calendar of Events
- Woodmont NRMA
- Park Reservations
- Statewide Volunteer Opportunities
- Fort Frederick Volunteer Opportunities
- Friends of Fort Frederick State Park
- Standards for Historic Weapons Use
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
Contact Fort Frederick
Hours of Operation
8 a.m. to Sunset, April-October
10 a.m. to Sunset, November-March
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us