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Shake Up Your Routine: 5 New Parks to Visit This Weekend

Photo credit: iStock/kieferpix

Photo credit: iStock/kieferpix

We’re not psychics, but we can probably predict your springtime weekend agenda, and it involves a lot of walking, running and hiking at the Schuylkill and Wissahickon. They’re Philly favorites, to be sure, but we have to admit: they can get a little repetitive if you’re hitting them up on a weekly (ahem, daily?) basis. Keep these local mainstays fresh in your warm-weather rotation by trying out a new lineup of glorious green spaces.

Here, five standout parks in or around Frederick, Maryland to get your started.

For long runs: Gambrill State Park With trails up to 32 miles long (that’s the Blue Trail), Gambrill State Park, which is nestled in the Catoctin Mountains in Frederick County, is ideal for a lengthy run.  All trails start at the Trailhead Parking Lot and many of them feature remarkable views that are worth the trek. Bonus: pets are allowed as long as they remain on leashes. 8602 Gambrill Park Road, Frederick, MD

For leisurely picnics: Utica District Park // Equipped with grills, picnic shelters and tables and a bevy of walking trails, Utica District Park is primed for a springtime picnic. Just be sure to pick up takeout from one of the many downtown dining destinations before you go. While you’re there, take a short drive to the Utica Mills wooden covered bridge, one of three in northern Frederick County. 10200-B Old Frederick Road, Frederick, MD

For hiking: Cunningham Falls State Park // With trail distances ranging from .5 mile to 7.5 miles, there’s something for everyone at Cunningham Falls State Park. Consult their site to see which trail is best for you (there are nine of ‘em!). According to Visit Frederick, the Lower and Cliff Trails lead to Maryland’s tallest cascading waterfall. 14039 Catoctin Hollow Road, Thurmont, MD

For family outings: Monocacy Battlefield // Located just outside the City of Frederick, Monocacy Battlefield isn’t just a place to brush up on your Civil War history; it’s a great place to enjoy the outdoors. Trails at the park offer a wonderful introduction to hiking for little ones. . In addition to enjoying the park’s scenic and battlefield trails, families can follow a variety of 1.5 mile Kids in Parks TRACK Trail Adventures focusing on topics like how things are connected in nature, birds an d more. 5201 Urbana Pike, Frederick, MD

For biking: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal // Ready to tackle a serious cycling adventure? Visit the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. At 184.5 miles long, the Canal invites experienced cyclists to ride the towpath for as long or as short as they’d like. Just enter the trail through one of the many access points and be sure to check out the Brunswick Visitor Center. Start planning your route here.


For more information about planning a weekend getaway to Frederick, Maryland, click here.