Gambrill State Park, Maryland

On our way south, we stopped in Frederick, Maryland, where David went to high school briefly.

We drove past the fortified Fort Detrick, US Army’s Medical Command installation known for its biological weapons program active between 1943 and 1969. Since the discontinuation of the program, the fort has hosted most elements of the United States biological defense program. Northwest of the fort, we reached Gambrill State Park. The park is located on Catoctin Mountain near Frederick, Maryland. The state park is known for the dramatic mountain views that can be seen from stone overlooks built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a work relief program established by Roosevelt to provide millions of young men employment on environmental projects during the Great Depression. During its nine years of operation, the CCC planted more than three billion trees and constructed trails and shelters in more than 800 parks nationwide.

Gambrill has several hiking trails and we enjoyed clear vistas from the High Knob overlook. Although we couldn’t go inside due to an event, we stopped by the Tea Room, which features a back patio with expansive views and a beautiful stone fireplace, built with local stone, hand-chiseled. I had to have a laugh at the lovely parking job that one of the visitors managed (but I was nice enough to blur out the license plate for your viewing–word to the wise: please, don’t be that guy!).

As always, one of the best part of our Maryland stop was catching up with friends. We visited two of David’s schoolmates, admired their beautiful work-in-progress home-on-the-hill renovation, and shared a lovely dinner.

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