Fort Frederick State Park occupies a 585 grassy acres adjacent to the Potomac River with easy access to the C&O Canal Towpath and Western Maryland Rail Trail. Sitting on its highest point is sprawling Fort Frederick, one of the largest fortifications ever built by the British in North America. Now restored to its 1758 appearance, the fort and its two remaining barracks can be toured, along with a museum and visitor center with exhibits interpreting the fort’s history. The park also features a boat launch, campsites, camp store, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trails, a playground, a picnic area and large pavilion.
Built in 1756 with 18-foot stone walls and imposing bastions, the fort was positioned to defend against attacks from French and Indian foes. Although no military action occurred at Fort Frederick, it served as an important staging area and supply base for English operations further west. Decades later, it was pressed into service as a Revolutionary War prison camp. During the Civil War, Union troops briefly used it for protection from Confederate attacks. In 1922, the State of Maryland acquired the fort and in the 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, when staff and volunteers dress in period clothing and occupy the fort, demonstrating daily life in the 18th century. Group tours are available seasonally. Parking is available on site.