Washington Monument State Park is located atop South Mountain in Western MD and is dedicated in memory of George Washington. Originally built by the citizens of Boonsboro, MD in 1827, the monument now stands as a prominent outlook and site for bird-watching, offering views of migratory birds such as hawks, eagles, and falcons. While the monument may stand as the main attraction, the park also offers several small hiking trails, camping spots, and picnicking areas/shelters.
8 a.m. to Sunset (April to October)
10 a.m. to Sunset (November to March)
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
Day Use Service Charges: Year round $2/vehicle. Out-of-state residents $4/vehicle.
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.
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: Mount Vernon and Fort Necessity Shelters can be rented by through the online reservation service or by calling 1-888-432-CAMP.
Youth Group Camping: You can reserve a campsite for your youth group outing through the online reservation service or by calling 1-888-432-CAMP.
Bird Watching: The monument makes it an ideal site for spotting migratory birds such as hawks, eagles and falcons. The peak time is mid-September.
South Mountain State Battlefield: The main office for South Mountain State Battlefield is located in Washington Monument State Park. Stop by the park office or museum to learn more about the first major Civil War battle fought in Maryland.
Museum: The monument museum features historical artifacts related to the history of Washington Monument and the Battle of South Mountain. It is open on weekends only in April and October, and seven days a week from May through September. It is closed during the winter.
According a period newspaper account, on the morning of July 4, 1827 most of Boonsboro’s 500 inhabitants assembled at the public square.
Behind the Stars and Stripes and stepping spiritedly to the music of a fife and drum corps, they marched two miles up the mountain to the monument site.
The citizens worked until noon and then held a dedication ceremony and lunch. They resumed work and by 4 p.m. the monument stood fifteen feet high on a 54-foot circular base. The day ended with the reading of the Declaration of Independence and a three round salute fired by three Revolutionary War veterans. The workers returned that September to finish. Upon its completion, the monument stood 30 feet high.
The monument often fell into disrepair, and was rebuilt at least twice during its history - mostly recently by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936.