Splash into Summer in Frederick, Maryland

Get away to Frederick County, Maryland where you will find all the natural wonders the region has to offer with all the amenities of a city. 

Make your way down the Monocacy River, the perfect waterway for paddlers just starting out or looking for a relaxing float. Take in the grandeur of the Catoctin Mountains as you make your way past forests and farmlands. With 10 public boat launches in the county, tailor the length of your trip to fit your day. Hop on the Potomac River at the southern border of the county, an important river to maintaining the health of the Chesapeake Bay. This river offers everything from a mellow ride on a tube to Class III whitewater rapids.  

Head out of the city to Cunningham Falls State Park in the Catoctin Mountains and visit Hunting Creek Lake. During the summer, you can rents boats at the lake to explore the 43 acres surrounded by forests. Hike miles of trail, view the 78-foot cascading waterfall, the tallest in Maryland, and choose from over 100 campsites to extend your visit to the park.

At Greenbrier State Park, boaters can access the man-made freshwater lake to paddle in the Appalachian Mountains. Hike through 11 miles of trails through a variety of habitats, including the Appalachian Trail as it passes through the park.

Stop by The Trailhouse in Downtown Frederick for all the gear you will need, from tents and backpacks to climbing gear and paddling maps. While you are downtown, stop for a meal before making your way out onto the water. If you are looking for a guided trip, River & Trail Outfitters have an adventure for you. Whitewater raft on the Shenandoah River, tube or paddle down the Potomac River, cycle along the C&O Canal, or zipline high above the trees. Combine your paddle with drinks on one of their boat and brew tours.

Stay Awhile

Hike, bike, or horseback ride through the mountainous Gambrill State Park. Three overlooks allow you to view the valleys below and the mountains in the distance. Fish for bass, bluegill, and catfish in the small pond, no license required.

Visit the Carroll Creek Park from June through Octoberto see the Color on the Creek water garden. Volunteers manage the garden, filled with more than 1,200 blooming lilies, lotus, and bog plants on the water. View the butterfly waystations at Kemptown and Utica Parks for a glimpse of the monarch butterfly as it makes its way south for the winter.

Get up close with bison, sheep, and more on a safari excursion through the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo or bottle feed a calf at South Mountain Creamery before trying some of their delicious ice cream made with ingredients from the farm.  

Learn from important Civil War sites, including the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and Monocacy National Battlefield or ride into Downtown Frederick on the scenic Historic National Road, the first federally funded interstate highway. Enjoy a four-course meal in a vintage 1920s passenger car as the Walkersville Southern Railroad runs through the Maryland countryside.

With over 200 boutique shops and unique restaurants in Downtown Frederick and 20 tasting rooms in the county, there is plenty to do at the end of the day. Spend the night at one of several major hotel brands, like Hilton and Marriott, in addition to other vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts right downtown or out in the country.

In Frederick County, you will find all the outdoor adventure you are looking for with a backdrop that can’t be beat.

Places to Go, Things to See: