gathland state park

Gathland State Park: Explore Maryland

Gathland State Park is a historic park located in Burkittsville, Maryland. Named after war correspondent George Alfred Townsend, who lived on the property and used the pen name “Gath” during the Civil War, the park is rich in history and offers a unique opportunity to explore Maryland’s past.

The park is also home to the War Correspondents Memorial Arch, the first monument dedicated to journalists killed in combat. With its location on the famed Appalachian Trail, Gathland State Park is a must-visit destination for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gathland State Park is a historic park in Burkittsville, Maryland.
  • Named after war correspondent George Alfred Townsend.
  • Home to the War Correspondents Memorial Arch.
  • Situated on the Appalachian Trail.
  • Offers opportunities for historical exploration and outdoor activities.

Essential Information about Gathland State Park

Gathland State Park Visitor Center

Gathland State Park, located at 900 Arnoldstown Rd, Jefferson, MD 21755, is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and outdoor lovers alike. Before you embark on your journey to explore the park’s rich history and natural beauty, it is essential to know some key information that will enhance your visit.

Gathland State Park Map

When visiting Gathland State Park, it’s helpful to have a map handy to navigate the trails and attractions. The park provides a detailed map on their website, allowing you to plan your route and make the most of your time in the park. Whether you’re interested in exploring the historic monuments or taking a leisurely hike, the map will guide you to your desired destinations.

Visitor Center

Before embarking on your Gathland State Park adventure, make sure to stop by the visitor center. Located in the park, the visitor center provides valuable information about the park’s history, amenities, and any additional services or events happening during your visit. The knowledgeable park staff can answer any questions you may have and provide recommendations based on your interests.

By starting your visit at the visitor center, you can gain a deeper understanding of the park’s significance and ensure that you don’t miss any hidden gems along the way.

Location Hours Phone
Gathland State Park Visitor Center Open daily from 9am to 5pm (123) 456-7890

With the essential information in hand, you’re now ready to embark on a memorable journey through Gathland State Park. Whether you’re exploring the trails, learning about the park’s history, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, Gathland State Park offers an enriching experience for all who visit.

Park Highlights and Activities

gathland state park hiking trails

Gathland State Park offers a range of activities and highlights for visitors to enjoy. One of the main attractions of the park is its extensive network of hiking trails, which cater to all skill levels. From leisurely nature walks to more strenuous hikes, there is something for everyone. The trails wind through the park’s beautiful wooded areas, offering a chance to immerse yourself in nature.

A standout feature of Gathland State Park is its breathtaking overlooks. These vantage points provide panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, allowing visitors to take in the beauty of the Maryland countryside. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or simply looking to enjoy the scenery, the overlooks are a must-see.

If you’re interested in overnight stays, Gathland State Park offers camping facilities. Set up your tent in the designated camping areas and experience the tranquility of spending a night under the stars. It’s the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.

In addition to hiking and camping, Gathland State Park also features a picnic area, making it an ideal spot for a day trip or a family outing. Pack a delicious lunch and enjoy it amidst the park’s serene surroundings. The picnic area provides a peaceful and picturesque setting to relax and unwind.

Hiking Trails at Gathland State Park

When it comes to hiking at Gathland State Park, there are several trails to explore. Each trail offers its own unique features and challenges, ensuring a rewarding experience for hikers of all levels. Here are some of the park’s notable hiking trails:

  • The Appalachian Trail: As Gathland State Park is located on the Appalachian Trail, hikers can venture along this iconic long-distance trail. The segment that passes through the park offers stunning views and a chance to experience a small part of this famous trail.
  • The Crampton Gap Loop Trail: This trail is a moderate 4.5-mile loop that takes you through the park’s diverse landscapes, including wooded areas and open fields. Highlights of the trail include the War Correspondents Memorial Arch and picturesque views from the overlook.
  • The South Mountain Overlook Trail: This short but challenging trail leads to a rewarding overlook, where you can enjoy sweeping views of the South Mountain range. It’s a great option for hikers looking for a quick adventure.

These are just a few examples of the hiking trails available at Gathland State Park. Each trail offers its own unique experiences and opportunities for exploration, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Facilities and Amenities Details
Picnic Area A designated area with tables and grills for picnicking.
Camping Designated camping areas for overnight stays.
Restrooms Basic restroom facilities available for visitor use.
Parking On-site parking for visitors’ convenience.

Exploring the Area and Nearby Parks

Gathland State Park Civil War

Gathland State Park is more than just a park – it’s a gateway to the rich history and natural beauty of the surrounding area. History enthusiasts will be delighted to discover the park’s connection to the Civil War, with monuments and structures that offer a glimpse into the past. From the War Correspondents Memorial Arch to the remnants of George Alfred Townsend’s mountain estate, every step in Gathland State Park is a step back in time. Take a moment to imagine the lives of the soldiers who fought on these grounds and the correspondents who reported on their struggles.

But the exploration doesn’t stop at Gathland State Park. The nearby town of Burkittsville, known for its role in the film “The Blair Witch Project,” is also worth a visit. Wander through the streets and imagine the eerie tales that unfolded here. For those who crave more outdoor adventures, there are other nearby parks and trails to explore. Whether you’re into hiking, cycling, or simply enjoying the great outdoors, the surrounding area has something for everyone.

“Every step in Gathland State Park is a step back in time.”

Table: Nearby Parks and Trails

Park/Trail Name Distance from Gathland State Park Key Features
Crampton’s Gap 2 miles Historic site, scenic views
Appalachian Trail Adjacent to Gathland State Park Scenic hiking, panoramic overlooks
Washington Monument State Park 10 miles Historic monument, hiking trails
Greenbrier State Park 15 miles Swimming, camping, boating

As you venture beyond Gathland State Park, remember to immerse yourself in the stories and natural beauty of the area. Capture the essence of the Civil War, embrace the mystique of Burkittsville, and explore the other parks and trails that make this region a true gem. There’s so much to discover, so lace up your boots and start your journey.

Planning Your Visit to Gathland State Park

When planning your visit to Gathland State Park, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the services and facilities available. The park offers basic amenities such as restrooms and parking to ensure a comfortable experience for visitors. However, it’s important to note that there are no accommodations within the park itself.

If you’re looking for overnight stays, there are various accommodations available in the surrounding area. You’ll find a range of options, including hotels, inns, and campgrounds, catering to different preferences and budgets. Whether you prefer a cozy room or a night under the stars, there’s something for everyone near Gathland State Park.

In addition to planning your accommodations, it’s recommended to check out additional resources to enhance your visit. There are various historical books and websites that provide detailed insights into the park’s rich history and significance. These resources can offer a deeper appreciation of Gathland State Park and its connection to Maryland’s past.

By preparing ahead and utilizing the available resources, you can make the most of your visit to Gathland State Park. Whether you’re exploring the park’s amenities or delving into its history, the combination of natural beauty and historical significance will create a truly memorable experience.


Where is Gathland State Park located?

Gathland State Park is located at 900 Arnoldstown Rd, Jefferson, MD 21755.

What are the park’s operating hours?

The park is open during specified hours, which can be found on their website.

Is there a visitor center at Gathland State Park?

Yes, there is a visitor center at the park that provides information about the park’s history and amenities.

What activities can be enjoyed at Gathland State Park?

Gathland State Park offers scenic hiking trails, a designated picnic area, and camping facilities.

What is the park’s connection to the Civil War?

Gathland State Park is situated in an area rich in Civil War history, with various monuments and structures still standing today.

Are there accommodations within the park?

No, there are no accommodations within the park itself, but nearby accommodations can be found in the surrounding area.

Are there nearby parks and trails to explore?

Yes, there are other nearby parks and trails that offer opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration.

What additional resources can enhance my visit to Gathland State Park?

It’s recommended to check historical books or websites that provide more insight into the park’s history and significance.

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