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Overview

On its northern border with Pennsylvania, Central Maryland is marked by a string of small parks on Catoctin Mountain, north of Frederick. Along with hiking, camping and 78-foot Cunningham Falls, attractions on its steep slopes and foothills are Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo and Catoctin Iron Furnace, put into operation in 1776. The meandering Potomac forms Maryland's southern border with West Virginia, and alongside it runs the historic C&O Canal, whose towpath is popular for walking, horseback riding and bicycling. Among its highlights is the Monocacy Aqueduct in Dickerson; the Monocacy River is a favorite for paddlers. One of the ...

On its northern border with Pennsylvania, Central Maryland is marked by a string of small parks on Catoctin Mountain, north of Frederick. Along with hiking, camping and 78-foot Cunningham Falls, attractions on its steep slopes and foothills are Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo and Catoctin Iron Furnace, put into operation in 1776. The meandering Potomac forms Maryland's southern border with West Virginia, and alongside it runs the historic C&O Canal, whose towpath is popular for walking, horseback riding and bicycling. Among its highlights is the Monocacy Aqueduct in Dickerson; the Monocacy River is a favorite for paddlers. One of the earliest acts of colonial rebellion was in Frederick in 1765, and the city is filled with historic attractions: the Barbara Fritchie House, the Historical Society of Frederick County, Hessian Barracks and Rose Hill Manor plantation house. The Civil War roared through this area during the 1860s and no place brings it home more than Antietam National Battlefield, scene of the bloodiest single day of the Civil War, but which delayed the Confederate army long enough to save Washington D.C. One of the best ways to see Antietam’s 8-mile self-guided tour is by bicycle. Just outside of Frederick is Monocacy National Battlefield. The entire region, especially Frederick, is filled with antiques shops.

Stillman Rogers
About the Expert

Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    This is a year-round destination, although the tow path can be very muddy in the spring.