Good Eats and Scenic Views: 4 Ways to Plan the Ideal Frederick, Maryland Weekend Itinerary
When you’re traveling, there’s certain activities you enjoy doing, so it only makes sense to make an itinerary. And when it comes to a weekend itinerary in Frederick, Maryland, there’s tons of activities to choose from to create lasting memories. To ensure you get the most out of your trip and take in Frederick has to offer, plan an overnight stay at one of its more than 20 nationally branded hotels.
Here are the spots, bites and outdoor adventures not to miss when you make your way to Frederick.
Gathland State Park
Gathland State Park rests atop South Mountain, which is the site of Maryland’s only state Civil War Battlefield. It’s also the home of the War Correspondents Memorial Arch, built in 1896 by author George Alfred Townsend. Plus, it happens to be the site of some tremendous hiking — the Appalachian Scenic Trail intersects the park, so you can choose your own adventure as you head north or south.
And when you need to fuel up, there’s plenty of good options — one not to miss is The Main Cup, serving up top-notch sandwiches and pastas about a 10 minute drive from the park. Want to take in the local wine scene? Orchid Cellar Meadery and Winery is renowned for its honey wines that cover a wide variety of flavor types. They age their wines anywhere from three to 36 months — see if you can guess the age of the wine in your glass! As always, drink responsibly.
C&O Canal National Historical Park
The first thing you need to know about C&O Canal National Historical Park: it covers a lot of ground. Frederick County alone contains almost 16 of the 184.5 miles that the park spans. That means you have a lot of options and lots to see. For instance, you can choose a less hilly hike along the canal’s towpath and take in views of the Potomac River while learning about the tribal history of those who once lived on the land.
After working up an appetite, there’s a few great options not far from each other. Hop in the car and chow down at Beans in the Belfry, which is housed in a 100-year-old restored church serving coffee, baked goods and panini sandwiches every day of the week. Afterward, take a short walk to Smoketown Brewing Station and sample the Patsy Hazy IPA, named after country singer Patsy Cline, who was known to perform at the building above where the brewery now stands.
Catoctin Mountain Park
When you head to Catoctin Mountain Park, you’ll be traversing one of the oldest mountains in the country. Learn some history as you pick a trail — for example, the Blue Blazes Whiskey Still Trail provides an interpretation of an area where moonshiners once reigned. You can also follow trails to unique geologic landforms like Chimney Rock and Hog Rock.
To whet your appetite, nearby Carriage House Inn is a local favorite, offering a prime rib french dip sandwich and Chesapeake crab dip, while Catoctin Breeze Vineyard will put some homemade wine in your glass to give you a taste of some true local flavor.
Cunningham Falls State Park
Sometimes, if you want a reward, you have to work for it, and that’s certainly true when it comes to hiking Cunningham Falls State Park. Choose from the Lower or Cliff Trails and get some cardio as you reach Maryland’s highest cascading waterfall.
If you want something a bit less intense, the Catoctin Furnace Trail brings with it a bit of history, as it’s the site of a past iron furnace operation. The furnace business dates back to the American Revolution and went out of business at the turn of the 20th century.
And when you’re planning your Cunningham Falls State Park trip, be sure to some time for swimming — the William Houck Lake Area located within the park is open for swimming and hiking from April to October.
For some good bites, Farmhouse Exchange delivers on its name, offering local produce as well as a deli on-site for some fresh eats. Nearby is Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery, an estate that serves its locally brewed spirits and wines amidst a gorgeous mountain and woodland backdrop.
For more on how to plan your Frederick, Maryland weekend itinerary, head here.This is a paid partnership between Visit Frederick and Philadelphia Magazine