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USA Parks
Western Region
Fort Frederick State Park
Baltimore Oriole ©
A Baltimore Orioles nest is a tightly woven pouch located on the end of a branch hanging down on the underside.
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11100 Fort Frederick Road
Big Pool, Maryland   21711

Phone: 301) 842-2155
Reservations: 888-432-2267
The site of Maryland's frontier defense during the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the Fort's stone wall and two barracks have been restored to their 1758 appearance. Historic displays are in the Fort, barracks and Visitor Center. The park annually holds military reenactments and other special events. Park lands adjoin the Potomac River and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal passes through park acreage. Tours are available by request. Daily Living History programming is available from Memorial Day through Labor Day and on weekends in the spring and fall.

The stone fort, named in honor of Maryland's Lord Proprietor, Frederick Calvert, Sixth Lord Baltimore, was erected by Governor Horatio Sharpe in 1756 to protect English settlers from the French and their Indian allies. Fort Frederick was unique because of its large size and strong stone wall. Most other forts of the period were built of wood and earth. The fort served as an important supply base for English campaigns. During 1763, an Ottawa Indian chief named Pontiac forged a massive Indian uprising. Several hundred settlers and militia force sought protection within the fort during this brief uprising.

Fort Frederick saw service again during the American Revolution as a prison for Hessian (German) and British soldiers. In 1791, the State of Maryland sold the fort. For the next 131 years, the fort and surrounding lands were farmed. During the Civil War, Union troops were often stationed around the fort to guard the C & O Canal.

In 1922, the State of Maryland re-purchased the fort. Throughout the 1920's, the State began development of Maryland's first state park. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, a company of the Civilian Conservation Corps was assigned to the park to reconstruct the dilapidated stone wall, perform archaeology and locate the foundations of the original interior buildings. Restoration continued in 1975. Future plans include reconstruction of the Officer's Quarters and other defensive works. Pick up a map of the park.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bike Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
The park offers a variety of boating options. Visitors can enjoy canoeing and kayaking on the Potomac River, which borders the eastern side of the park. However, there are no boat rental facilities within the park itself so visitors must bring their own equipment. Motorized boats are also allowed but they should adhere to speed restrictions for safety purposes.
You can enjoy fishing in the Potomac River, where species like smallmouth bass and catfish are abundant. The park's Big Pool offers a habitat for largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie. Fishing licenses are required to fish within these areas.

Fort Frederick State Park offers picnic tables and grills. There are also pavilions available for rent, ideal for large gatherings.
Biking enthusiasts can enjoy the Western Maryland Rail Trail, a paved path stretching for 28 miles. Be cautious of pedestrians.

The trail is mostly flat and perfect for all skill levels but always stay alert to avoid accidents.

Mountain bikers should note that off-road biking isn't permitted within park boundaries; stick to designated paths only.

Remember: helmets are not just recommended, they're required by law in Maryland for riders under age 16.

While cycling at night may be tempting due to less crowd, it's prohibited as trails close at sunset daily.

Please respect wildlife you might encounter on your ride - keep distance and do not feed them.

Always carry water with you during rides because dehydration could lead quickly into serious health issues if ignored.

Lastly, remember this rule: leave no trace behind except tire tracks! Keep our parks clean and enjoyable for everyone.
Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting various species, including warblers and woodpeckers. The park's diverse habitats attract a wide range of birds throughout the year. Visitors may also participate in organized bird walks led by local experts for an enhanced experience.

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Maryland State Parks