Washington Monument State Park

Quick Facts

Washington Monument State Park

Maryland

(301) 791-4767

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Washington Monument State Park is named for the first monument in the country erected to the first President, George Washington. A rugged stone tower was dedicated to the first president by the citizens of Boonsboro in 1827. Washington traveled through Western Maryland in his early years as a surveyor.

The monument makes it an ideal site for spotting migratory birds such as hawks, eagles and falcons. The peak time is mid-September.

The Appalachian Trail goes through the state park, and passes the base of the monument. The monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1972.

There are youth group campsites available by reservation. The park lands offer picnic tables. Pets on a leash are permitted in Washington Monument State Park.

Map of Washington Monument (MD)

Latitude, Longitude: 39.496787, -77.620100

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Activities

  • Bird Watching

    The park offers superb birdwatching since the Cumberland Valley is a migratory bird flyway. Birding enthusiasts make an annual count of migrating hawks and eagles.

  • Hiking

    Most of the Washington Monument's hiking trail is part of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Visitors are welcome to hike the A.T from Maine to Georgia or for just a few miles. Those planning an overnight backpack outing can park at Washington Monument State Park for a few days. The Appalachian Trail is a footpath only. Mountain bikers can use the trails at Greenbrier State Park.

  • Historic Sites

    Built in 1827, it was the first monument to George Washington to be completed. The Baltimore Washington Monument was completed two years later, although it had been started considerably earlier in 1815. The famous Washington Monument in the District of Columbia was not completed until 1885. The stone tower was built and dedicated to the first president by the citizens of Boonsboro, Maryland on July 4, 1827. The tower is 34-feet tall and was built by the citizens of the village of Boonsboro.

    On July 4, 1827, most of the 500 inhabitants of the town assembled in the public square to build the monument. Initially, it stood 15 feet high on a base 54 feet in circumference. Plans were made to complete the tower to a height of 30 feet "after the busy season," and in the fall of that year this was done.

    In 1920, the one-acre site was purchased by the Washington County Historical Society, and in 1934 it was deeded to the State of Maryland for use as a state park. The tower was rebuilt in its present form by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, who set in place the original cornerstone and a facsimile of the dedication tablet.

    The monument museum is open on weekends only in April and October, seven days a weeks from May through September and closed during winter months. It features artifacts related to the monument's history and the Battle of South Mountain.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic sites with tables and grills are available or you can rent a picnic shelter for your family or group. There is a multi-purpose field for pick up games and playground for children.

    Pavilions are by reservation.

Seasonality/Weather

The peak time for birdwatching is mid-September.

Directions

Driving

From points east: Washington Monument State Park can be reached off Interstate 70 westbound to Exit 49, MD Alternate Route 40. Travel westbound (turn left) on Alternate 40 for approximately nine miles. At the top of South Mountain, turn right on Washington Monument Road. After one mile, the road intersects with Zittlestown Road at a four-way stop. Go straight to enter the park.

From points west: Washington Monument State Park can be reached off Interstate 70 eastbound via Exit 35, MD Route 66. Go south on Route 66 (turn right) and travel approximately six miles to MD Alternate 40 in the town of Boonsboro. Go east on Alternate 40 (turn left) and travel approximately four miles to the top of South Mountain. Turn left on Washington Monument Road. After 1 mile, the road intersects with Zittlestown Road at a four-way stop. Go straight to enter the park.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(301) 791-4767

Links