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Fort Frederick State Park, Big Pool

#23 of 61 in Nature in Maryland
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
Fort Frederick State Park is a Maryland state park surrounding the restored Fort Frederick, a star fort active in the French and Indian War (1754–1763) and the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The park is south of the town of Big Pool on the Potomac River; the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal runs through the park grounds. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973.
French and Indian WarFort Frederick was built in 1756-57 by the colony of Maryland. During the French and Indian War in 1756, a £6000 appropriation was authorized by the Maryland Legislature at the request of Governor Horatio Sharpe to build a fortification on the frontier. The fort, named after Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore, was completed the following year. "The fort's design, which was developed by Sebastian Vauban, a French engineer, is a large square with four diamond-shaped bastions. This is typical of 18th century fortifications. The fort is built of native sandstone."
The large stone fort was designed primarily as a place of refuge for area settlers. Between 1757 and 1758, small raids by Indians in nearby settlements caused settlers in the surrounding countryside to flee eastward. At the same time men of the 60th Regiment of Foot and local militia soldiers garrisoned the fort. Ranging parties were sent from the fort to patrol the area and to deter if not prevent Indian raids.
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Fort Frederick State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
97 reviews
  • We parked at the Fort and made loop via that C & O path to Ernstville (you can exit towpath to the Western Maryland Railtrail). Came back on the WMR and walked on the road back to the park.  more »
  • The fall colors were changing in Washington County, Maryland when we visited Fort Frederick. Even though many parts of the park were closed, we enjoyed a walk around the fort and down the road toward....  more »
  • Me and my son took a quick trip to visit this gem. None of the buildings were open and you could not get into the fort but you could see alot. This place is beautiful and alot of history. A big issue....  more »
  • Fabulous interpretation! The reenactors in the fort were amazing in their knowledge of events and the time period and were very engaging with visitors. There were musket demonstrations, drills, canon firing, it was fantastic. We stayed for several hours and enjoyed ourselves immensely! Definitely will go back!
  • Awesome place to tour for those who love history. Be prepared for some walking though. Fort Frederick Days is a good time to visit. You can do the historic tour and then go shopping for artsy stuff and maybe even meet a local author (at least I did at the last Fort Frederick Days).
  • A truly beautiful state park! It is well maintained, clean, a great place to visit, camp or see re-enactments. The daily fee is very reasonable. Very peaceful place, even if just to walk the trails or have a cookout.
  • This is an amazing place. It is wonderfully restored and the artifacts and barracks exhibits rival any war-themed museum around. The guides are in period dress and extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Beautiful countryside. You don't want to miss this!
  • Great state park! Wonderful interpreters and rangers. The fort itself is well preserved. The trails are easy and the Potomac river trail ends at a stony beach along the river.

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