Located in Maryland, Fort Frederick State Park was opened in 1922 to pay homage to the fascinating history of the on-site fort. During the height of the French and Indian War, Fort Frederick served as an important stronghold in the area. Once the American Revolution hit the colonies, British soldiers were kept here as prisoners. Union troops were stationed near the fort during the Civil War, too. Today, the fort is a part of the 287-acre park with plenty of activities year-round for the whole family to enjoy. The park serves as a recreational area and a historical monument of the past.
Fort Frederick State Park is an exciting destination for an RV vacation all year long. Summers offer hiking, swimming, boating, and picnicking for all ages. In the winter, many campers find the campground to be much quieter, with plenty of time to appreciate the birds and try their hand at geocaching.
History buffs are in for a real treat during a visit to Fort Frederick State Park. The 18th-century fort is restored to its full glory with a stone wall and two barracks to explore. In addition to that, RV visitors can delve deeper into history with a visit to the Civilian Conservation Corp Museum and Visitor Center.
Fort Frederick State Park runs along the Maryland and West Virginia state line. The Potomac River divides the two states while providing plenty of water sports for the whole family to enjoy. The park is about 75 miles north of Washington, D.C along I-270 N and I-70 W. I-70 is a double-lane highway and is a lovely drive through the forested area. To the west of the park, the secondary roads have numerous steep gradients, and RVers will find the interstate easier for driving larger vehicles.
The roads are wide and easy to navigate to the entrance of the park. The park has good signage, but it is also recommended to carry a map with you at all times. There are four parking lots in the park, with each near a public area. Exploring the park by bike or foot is highly recommend.
In the event of inclement weather, the park may close due to flooding. Please be sure to check the forecast before you travel. If you plan on arriving later than anticipated, be sure to let the park office know. They will provide you with optional ways to check-in and find your site.
With Antietam, Gettysburg, and Harpers Ferry Battlefield only a short distance away, make Hagerstown/Antietam Battlefield KOA your home base. For days when you’re not exploring the nearby attractions, spend time on-site floating down the Conococheague Creek beneath the green canopy of falling leaves or take your fishing pole out to the water’s edge. Perhaps get a game of mini-golf started with your loved ones after an afternoon at the pool. Indulge your taste buds with classic American cuisine at the Remember When Diner, which is open on the weekends. There’s even a dog park for your pets to burn off some energy. Stay connected with Wi-Fi and cable TV, and keep the fires burning with firewood and propane available on-site for purchase.
The campground at Fort Frederick State Park is small and perfect for self-contained RVs. There are 29 sites available for reservation in this dry campground, and they are spacious. There are no hookups, but you can find a dumping station and potable water near the railway tracks, within a mile of the campground. There are no water spigots in the campground, so make sure to fill up your water bottles before settling down for the night. Portable toilets are set up in the campground between May through October. You can use your generator during day time hours, but to respect other campers, please remember to turn your generator off at night.
The maximum size of an RV allowed is up to 50 feet long. There are only two vehicles allowed at each campsite at one time. Campsite amenities include a picnic table, lantern post, and a fire ring. You are not allowed to gather firewood from your surroundings, but you can buy some from the Sutler Shop in the park. The park prohibits campers from bringing their own firewood as well. You may stay a limit of 14 days at a time and may reserve a spot up to 11 months in advance. Campsites are open for reservations from May to October.
At the most northern part of the campground are four youth group campsites available for reservation between the first Sunday in May and the first Sunday in November. While there is no potable water source in the camp, portable toilets are provided for campers during this time. There are flushing toilets and rinse-off stations at the bathroom facilities by the fort and potable water and dumpster a short walk from the camp, near the railway tracks. There is also a camp store by the fort where you can buy camping supplies.
Geocaching is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy during your RV road trip to Maryland. You will need a pencil, sturdy hiking boots, a GPS capable device, the spirit of a pirate, a water bottle, and a snack. Dogs are allowed on the trails with you as are long as they remain on their leash. Remember to have fun and learn the cache logging rules before you go. Remember to leave the cache as you found it so that others can enjoy the adventure after you.
Fort Frederick State Park has two trails of its own and shares a few with C&O Canal National Historical Park. You can explore the wetlands on the short Beaver Trail, where you can see native wildlife and birds, including waterfowl and white-tailed deer. This trail is 0.3-miles long and skirts around the campground. If you want to hike through an enchanted forest, try your luck on the one-mile Potomac Trail. If you are looking for something longer, the Plantation Trail is 1.1-miles long and meanders through the forest. The trailhead for this walk is in the Picnic Area. You can get a map from the main office and learn more about the different animals and spots you can visit. Remember to pack a sturdy pair of walking boots in your campervan. While the trails aren't steep, they can be a bit strenuous for beginners.
Maryland is home to an assortment of beautiful birds. Many of these birds call the park home, including the state bird, the Baltimore oriole, and the common morning dove. There is a wide variety of bird habitats in this park that attract a range of birds. In the summer months, the Baltimore orioles nest here. In the spring and fall, migrating birds pass through, including warblers, and you'll often be able to spot Louisiana waterthrush and American redstart. The river area is an excellent spot to watch migrating ducks. Winter waterfowl love this park too, including wood duck, common merganser, and lesser scaup. Take your binoculars and camera with you on the trails as you explore the park. Remember to wear a pair of sturdy hiking boots and pick up a birding list from the main office and use a pen to check off the species you see.
Big Pool and the Potomac River are great spots to explore on a kayak. Whether you're fishing or just paddling for fun, kayaking is a great activity for the whole family. If you don't own your own kayak, you can rent one at the park. You do not need a special license to take your kayak out on the lake or river. You will, however, need a life jacket and sunscreen. If you're looking for a bit of a challenge, try the rapids on the upper river. Take a buddy with you, and remember to never go on the water after dark.
Fort Frederick State Park is a lovely place to enjoy a fun boating excursion. The Potomac River is a top destination for boaters in the area. While gas motors can't be used on Big Pond, other boats can also enjoy its waters. Boaters can park in the southern parking lot, and you can launch your boat into Big Pool from there. Be sure to wear a lifejacket at all times and follow all water regulations. If you plan to spend the day on the river, remember to wear sunscreen and bring a snack with you in case you get hungry from all of the paddling.
The Potomac River provides excellent opportunities to fish the day away. The Beaver Pond is a great place for young anglers to learn the trade. From the safety of the bank, they can catch a variety of fish in this warm water pond, including bass, crappie, catfish, and many more. Fishing at Big Pool is just as much fun, and you're bound to catch some carp, largemouth bass, or bluegill in these warm waters. A footpath is used by anglers to walk from the Beaver Pond parking lot to the Potomac River. You will need a valid fishing license to participate in any fishing adventures within the park.