Located atop South Mountain, Washington Monument State Park is named for the first completed monument dedicated to the memory of George Washington. The Washington Monument is a rugged stone tower that was initially erected by the citizens of Boonsboro in 1827.
- Pets are allowed in Washington Monument State Park.
According a period newspaper account, on July 4, 1827 at 7 a.m., 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. The monument is currently maintained by the Maryland Park Service.
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.
Overnight parking for the Appalachian Trail is permitted in the lower parking lot near the youth group camping area. Please register your car in the hikers' log near the bulletin board. Please take any valuables with you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The main parking area, comfort station and picnic pavilion at Washington Monument State Park are accessible to the mobility impaired.
Plan Your Visit
Call the park office, and we will help make your plans (301) 791-4767.
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 9 miles. At the top of South Mountain, turn right on Washington Monument Road. After 1 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 6 miles to MD Alternate 40 in the town of Boonsboro. Go east on Alternate 40 (turn left) and travel approximately 4 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.
Washington Monument State Park
6620 Zittlestown Road
Middletown MD 21769
c/o Greenbrier State Park
21843 National Pike
Boonsboro MD 21713
Contact Washington Monument
Phone: (301) 791-4767
Hours of Operation
8 a.m. to Sunset (April to October)
10 a.m. to Sunset (November to March)
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours. Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us