Frederick County is home to some seriously gnarly mountain biking. The Frederick Watershed will challenge and delight even the most confident mountain bikers. Considered by many to be the best riding in all of Maryland, the Frederick Watershed is ideal for those who like it techy and airborne. Tough off-camber moves, big drops, and lots of booters make the watershed a destination for truly skilled riders. The Catoctin Blue Trail begins in Gambrill State Park before entering into the watershed. You can ride the length of two trail systems on the Catoctin, but you’ll find the gnarly stuff on its numerous offshoots. Explore the 20 miles of trail within the watershed and discover countless opportunities to test your skill and mettle.
Nearby Gambrill State Park also serves up a challenging trail experience. Built with cross-country riding in mind, Gambrill serves up 16 miles of tough, technical riding. Red Maple and Green Ash Trail are intermediate-friendly, but Black Locust and Yellow Poplar quickly become steep, rocky, and technical.
Big drops and chunky rocks take a toll on your bike, so visit The Bicycle Escape in Downtown Frederick when you need repairs. It is also a great place to go for gear, rentals, and resources for biking in the area.
New to biking? Not to worry because Frederick also abounds in novice trails and towpaths.
The Frederick History Bicycle Loop, with stops at the Francis Scott Key Monument and several local Civil War sites, is an ideal ride around town for families. Voted the best bike ride in Maryland by Bicycling.com, the picturesque 50-mile Covered Bridge Route is great for touring and road cyclists, taking you to all three of Frederick’s historic covered bridges.
Grab a brochure to pick the right tour with Frederick County Heritage Bicycle Tours, who will help you pick the right route and show you living history, mountain views, and the “Spirits of Burkittsville, ”the town made famous by the movie “The Blair Witch Project.”
Frederick’s cultural richness is equally enjoyed on foot. Located less than one hour from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Gettysburg, Downtown Frederick is surrounded by mountains, wineries, breweries, and vibrant Main Street communities.
Catoctin Breeze Vineyards offers views of Catoctin Mountain, award-winning wines, live music, and food trucks every weekend. Black Ankle Vineyards has an indoor tasting room with a huge outdoor patio, and live music every Friday. This winery is focused on sustainability and built their tasting room entirely out of materials found on the property.
For a frothy brew, try Flying Dog, Maryland’s largest craft brewery. They’ve got 20 beers on tap, some of which are only available in the tasting room.
Attaboy Brewery is a popular spot for locals. Located downtown along Carroll Creek Park, you can order food from downtown restaurants and then share a beer with the natives.
Frederick Brew Bus is a great way to sample all the local suds. This flat-rate hop-on, hop-off bus, travels between Frederick’s breweries. It’s a great option for groups who don’t want to drive.
If you have a penchant for craft spirits, seek out Frederick’s unique distilleries. McClintock occupies a renovated historic building along Carroll Creek Park serving certified organic gin, whiskey, and vodka. Springfield Manor, known for their lavender gin from lavender grown on the property, also makes wine and beer. They host trivia every Friday night, as well as live music and food trucks on weekends.
Once you’ve recovered from hours of biking and sampling libations, you can hike the Appalachian Trail, tour a civil war battlefield, or submerge yourself in the beautiful Shenandoah and Potomac rivers near Harpers Ferry and Antietam Creek. The folks at River and Trail Outfitters will set you up on a raft, tube, or kayak.
Whether you prefer a walkable downtown with plenty of nightlife, a scenic countryside, or a mix of both, Frederick has a lot to offer.
In Frederick, museums meet martini bars, scenic landscapes provide thrill seekers with adventure, and cutting-edge cuisine is served up in Civil War-era buildings alongside unique specialty, galleries, museums, and theaters. visitfrederick.org