Best Places to Visit This Summer Near Frederick

Lucas Tessarollo, Writer

Harpers Ferry is a beautiful town located in West Virginia, but sits right on the border with Maryland. It is most known for being the place where John Brown attempted to take over the federal armory and use its weapons to free slaves in the area in 1859. His attempt was unsuccessful, but you can learn much more about this event and the fascinating history of Harpers Ferry in its many museums and sites that detail its history. It is only a 25 minute drive from Frederick, which will get you beautiful views of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. It is located where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers meet, which is perfect for anyone looking for an adrenaline rush, due to the jaw-dropping currents the rivers create. You can go white-water rafting through the rivers or take a dip into the calmer parts of the river. You also have options of up to 22 miles of hiking trails that take you through the Blue Ridge Mountains and nearby areas. There are also many quaint shops and restaurants that you can visit while you stroll through town.

Assateague Island is one of the natural treasures of Maryland, and is located in the southeastern-most part of Maryland, which makes it a fairly long way away from Frederick. The driving time is about three hours, but this is absolutely worth it! The island is a 37-mile long barrier island, with the bottom part belonging to Virginia. On the island you will find an extremely rare site in the whole of America… wild horses. They inhabit the beach and other parts of the island, and are incredible to view and take photos of. You can also ride domesticated horses on the beach which is an amazing activity. Other activities include being able to enjoy the beach, go fishing or crabbing, and camp at the beach which is an unforgettable experience. In addition, much of the island is open for hiking and trails that will lead you through the beauty of Assateague Island.

The Patapsco Valley State Park was established as a State Park in 1912 and is Maryland’s oldest state park. It boasts over 16,000 acres and stretches across 32 miles of the Patapsco River. The park is located about 40 minutes away from Frederick and is very close to Baltimore. It comprises eight areas, each of which has it’s own unique and fascinating story. For example, Daniels Area has a ghost town where you can explore the remnants and pond right beside it. All of the areas contain picturesque hiking trails where you can observe the river and the forest surrounding it. The Orange Grove Area includes the Cascade Falls which is an incredible natural waterfall. Another great area is the Hilton Area, which has one of the two swinging bridges in the park. This is an amazing national park which can be seen in one day for a small trip, or viewed for weeks on end in an extended camping trip. No matter what you choose, you never run low on things to do and places to see.

Antietam National Battlefield is a National Park and only a half an hour drive away from us. This site commemorates the place where 23,000 soldiers died in only 12 hours of battle on September 17, 1862. The battle began as the first Confederate invasion into the North, but ended with the Union pushing them back and Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation only five days later, which legally freed the slaves. The area is extremely fascinating to learn about, which you can do at multiple sites including the Pry House Field Museum, that includes many exhibits on the way that the wounded were treated in those times. Other spots of interest include the Antietam National Cemetery, which features a grand statue and more subdued graves, the many monuments throughout the park, and The Dunker Church, which was a focal point of the battle. Although not known for its natural beauty, the park sure has a lot to offer and includes scenic trails throughout the legendary battle field. There are also many protected bird, plant and animal species in the area that are great to observe.