Marines from Bravo Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, stationed at Fort Detrick, participated in the Great Frederick Fair military appreciation day parade. (Photo by Jenni Benson, September 2014)
Mountain views, battlefields, parks and cultural opportunities are all available in Frederick County. The county is home to the Appalachian Trail, the arts and adventure, with museums, historic locales, theaters and more. And if you’re looking for things to do outside the county, you’ll have no trouble; Frederick County is less than an hour from Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Gettysburg.
For more information on the area, check out the Tourism Council of Frederick County’s website at www.visitfrederick.org or call 301-600-2888. The following is merely a sampling of nearby cultural and recreational opportunities.
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo’s 50 acres are home to alligators, bears, lemurs, monkeys, tigers and more. The zoo, in Thurmont, also features seasonal wildlife safari rides. Visit http://cwpzoo.com.
The Great Frederick Fair
For more than 150 years, the Great Frederick Fair has delighted fairgoers. The county’s single largest event has rides, parades and 18,000 competitive exhibits, including livestock, home arts, farm and garden events. Visit www.thegreatfrederickfair.com.
Harpers Ferry Adventure Center
Harpers Ferry Adventure Center offers camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, tubing, whitewater rafting, zip lining and more on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers in the tri-state area of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. Visit https://harpersferryadventurecenter.com.
Catoctin Mountain Park is home to the presidential retreat Camp David. Although Camp David is not open to the public, the national park has many other recreational opportunities. The park maintains 25 miles of hiking trails with varying difficulty ratings and offers camping, cross-country skiing, fishing and more. Visit www.nps.gov/cato.
There are also several state parks in Frederick County and the local area. Cunningham Falls State Park has boat launches and rentals, canoeing and swimming. Gambrill State Park offers mountain bike and horse paths. Both have hiking, fishing, campsites and picnic areas. For a full list of state parks, visit http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands.
Carroll Creek Park features brick pedestrian paths, bridges, water features and a 350-seat amphitheater for outdoor performances. From April to October, the park’s water garden sets the stage for Color on the Creek. Approximately 4,000 lilies, lotuses, water irises and more create a colorful creek spectacle during this free event. Visit www.cityoffrederick.com/169/Carroll-Creek-Park and www.coloronthecreek.com.
For information on other city parks and recreational facilities, including pools, a dog park and a skate park, visit http://www.cityoffrederick.com/255/Parks-Recreation. For information on county parks, facilities and recreation programs, visit the Frederick County Division of Parks and Recreation website at www.recreater.com.
Roads and Rails Museum
The Roads and Rails Museum in Frederick has one of the largest miniature world model train displays in the country. The miniature world features a castle, a circus, walk-through mountains, a working volcano, a zoo and more. Visit www.roadsnrails.com.
From outlet malls and major department stores to unique boutiques and antiques, there’s something for every taste and budget in Frederick County. Visit www.visitfrederick.org/things-to-do/shopping.
Frederick is home to the Frederick Keys baseball team, a single A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Home games are played at Harry Grove Stadium. Visit www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t493 for tickets and other team information.
Skate Frederick Ice Sports & More features two NHL regulation rinks, a snack bar, video games, skate rentals, spectator seating and a pro shop. The facility has recreational and competitive ice hockey and figure skating programs. Visit http://skatefrederick.com.
If golf is your game, you can choose from more than 10 golf courses. Visit www.visitfrederick.org/things-to-do/golf.
Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre & Children’s Theatre
The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre in Frederick combines live stage shows with a full dinner buffet. Visit www.wayoffbroadway.com.