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Maryland State Parks Celebrate Independence Day

History, Nature and Free Fishing Offered Throughout the Old Line State

Fort Frederick before its restoration in the 1930s.

It’s our nation’s birthday and the Maryland Park Service is ready to celebrate. Maryland’s rich history and natural beauty is on display throughout the park system and many of the events planned this weekend provide a perfect way to enjoy Independence Day with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Every Marylander is encouraged to find a nearby state park, check out the department’s calendar of events, and don’t forget to make camping and other reservations.

Among those historic stops is Fort Frederick State Park, featuring one of the largest fortifications built by English colonists in North America, and an ideal place to spend a patriotic holiday in Western Maryland.

“The Fort is Pretty Full” will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 1 through July 4. Highlights of the weekend will include educational experiences about the fort’s activities during the American Revolution, as well as musket-firing and hearth-cooking demonstrations, military drills and more.

The events take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Events begin with a flag raising ceremony over the historic fort, which was built in 1756. Visitors will pay a service charge of $3 per vehicle for residents and $5 for nonresidents. Visitors should also be advised that disabled access is available, although most of the activities are on grassy areas.

For water enthusiasts, Gunpowder Falls State Park is hosting a Twilight Paddle at 8 p.m. July 4. Visitors will explore and experience the marshlands of Saltpeter and Dundee creeks at night, and even enjoy some fireworks. Participants must be at least 12 years old, and registration is required. Canoes and personal flotation devices will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.

Known for its kayaking, swimming and fishing within one of the park’s six areas, Gunpowder Falls is the perfect place to cool off. Registration information is available here.

Throughout Maryland, July 4 is a free fishing day – anyone can fish without a license, and many of the state’s public lands provide excellent fishing locations. In Southern Maryland, Chapman State Park will celebrate the day with the park naturalist hosting a morning of fishing from 10 a.m. to noon July 4. Poles and bait will be provided. The group will be meeting at Pavilion 1 at 10 a.m.

On the Atlantic coast, Assateague State Park is celebrating by hosting a Fourth of July Bike Parade. The park invites all guests to decorate their bikes with patriotic flair at a free event open to all ages. The parade will start at the Ranger Station and continue all the way to the Nature Center. Prizes will be awarded for the best decorations.

These are just a few of the many events taking place in Maryland’s public lands this Independence Day. A more complete list is available here.