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Gathland State Park covers 140 acres and is situated on the western edge of Maryland near the state’s border with West Virginia. The park was once home to George Alfred Townsend, who was a war correspondent during the Civil War. This state park contains various parts of Townsend’s estate as well as one of the only monuments in the world dedicated to honoring journalists who were killed in combat.
Gathland State Park tends to have mild temperatures throughout the year, although the summer can be somewhat humid. This state park is a short drive away from cities such as Rockville and Hagerstown.
There are plenty of outdoor activities to do while at Gathland State Park. One is hiking. The state park is packed with winding trails that will take you through forests and by many of the park’s historic sites. One trail that might be of interest is the Appalachian Trail: South Mountain. This pathway spans about 13 miles long and gives you breathtaking panoramic views of the local area. Guests can also stay near the center of the park where they can hike to a local pottery shop and watch artisans at work.
Visitors to Gathland State Park could also go birdwatching. The park is filled with species like loons, orioles, blue jays, yellow finches, and pileated woodpeckers. During the fall, birdwatchers can stop by this state park to view the broad-winged hawk migration.
Another activity to enjoy while here is landscape photography. Gathland State Park is filled with forests that are often covered in wildflowers during the spring and summer, providing photographers with beautiful scenery to capture. Another place to consider is to head over to the Potomac River to capture its rushing rapids.
Book an RV in Frederick County to discover the numerous RV campgrounds to stay at while visiting Gathland State Park. One option that you will find is the Brunswick Family Campground. This travel trailer campground is close to the Potomac River and offers numerous camper sites visitors can choose from. Some amenities provided at this state park include 30/50-amps, sewer, water, and picnic tables.
Another place to keep your camper at is Dogwood Acres Campground. This RV campground is bordered by towering trees and offers 100 sites. Amenities provided here include WiFi, firewood, and electricity. This pet-friendly option also has a basketball court, snack bar, and hiking trails. There are strict check-in and check-out times that need to be adhered to.
Those who would like to explore the surrounding area will find a handful of destinations to venture to. Less than 30 minutes away in Thurmont is Catoctin Mountain Park. The park was created by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression and features over 25 miles of hiking trails. Visitors can also try rock climbing up the side of the park’s massive Wolf Rock. In addition to this, Catoctin Mountain Park is filled with a variety of unique historical artifacts like the Catoctin Iron Furnace which was built in the late 1770s by Maryland’s first governor.
About two hours away in Baltimore, MD is the National Aquarium. Built-in 1981, this gigantic aquarium is home to over 750 species that range from frogs to sharks. Visitors can take a tour of the aquarium where they’ll learn more about the species living in it and the impact they have on the world’s ecosystem. There are also plenty of interesting exhibits that highlight topics such as the diverse Mid-Atlantic shoreline and how animals adapt to changing landscapes.
While in Baltimore visitors can explore the Inner Harbor. This area not only has beautiful views of the Patapsco River but is filled with attractions that range from observation decks to historic buildings. Visitors will also find plenty of restaurants to stop by at, most of which serve meals featuring the area’s iconic Chesapeake blue crab.
While in the area head over to Annapolis to check out the Annapolis City Dock. This quaint dock features hundreds of boats and overlooks the Severn River. You can tour the dock or stop by one of the numerous shops and restaurants lining it. The dock is also a quick walk away from a few historic homes, including the William Paca House and Gardens, and the United States Naval Academy.
In Bowie, there’s the Patuxent Research Refuge. Created in 1936, the refuge was designed to help scientists better understand Maryland’s flora and fauna. While here you can hike through the refuge or go fishing in one of its many creeks and streams. Visitors might also catch a glimpse of one of the numerous wildlife species that nest in the park, including scarlet tanagers and red bats.