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Article Archive >> Summer Tourism

Recreation and the Outdoors

Recreation and the Outdoors

During the warmer months it is common practice to seek out outdoor activities. Washington County, Maryland is full of these opportunities. Here's a few of my favs.
Crystal Grottoes
19821 Shepherdstown Pike, Boonsboro * 301-432-6336. Crystal Grottoes is the only commercial cave now open in Maryland. The well-informed guides give visitors a fun, educational forty-minute tour. They explain the history of the cavern, formations within, and the geological aspects of the caverns while leading you through brilliantly lighted chambers.
Delicate drape-like stalactites, bacon rinds, and stout columns in pure white or buff colors dominate most of the ceilings and walls. The commercial tour route covers approximately one third of the known cave.
Miller House and Gardens
135 West Washington Street, Hagerstown * 301-797-8782. The mansion is a typical town house of the late Federal period. In the entrance hall is the original hanging stairway rising in a graceful curve to the third floor. There are several bedrooms with furnishings from the 1850's - 1870's. Exhibits include papers and historic items of the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
Sideling Hill
6 Miles West of Hancock Between Cumberland and Hagerstown * 301-842-2155. Sideling Hill is one of the best rock exposures in Maryland and quite possibly in the entire northeastern United States. Sideling Hill Visitor Center is on Sideling Hill Wildlife Management Area's (WMA) 3,000-acres of mixed oak-hickory forest that straddles Sideling Hill Creek. This area in the mountains is a wonderful place for outdoor adventurers; this is a prime location for mountain landscape and wildlife, especially in the spring when the wildflowers of the forest floor and the mountain laurel bloom. The history of the mountains has left scenic cliffs where rocky projections of shale and sandstone. A wide bridge takes visitors from one side of the interstate to the other side, all while enjoying a fabulous, breath-taking view.
Family Recreation Park
21036 National Pike, Boonsboro * 301-733-2333 * www.famrecpark.com. This park offers attractions for the entire family - young and old. There are go-karts, mini-golf, junior activities, batting cages, a driving range, paintball and much more.
Hagerstown Speedway
6 Miles West of Hagerstown, MD Route 40 * 301-582-0640 * www.hagerstownspeedway.com. Exactly as named, the speedway offers racing with themed events. Visit their website for dates, times, and events.
Antietam Recreation
9729 Faris Shop Road, Hagerstown * 301-797-3733 * www.antietamrecreation.com. This family-owned and operated center was designed to provide families and children with activities in a friendly, Christian atmosphere. With 32-acres, this facility is bordered on three sides by the Antietam Creek. They offer a chapel, swimming pool, playing field, cable ride, boats, and more.
Western Maryland Rail Trail
301-842-2155 * www.hancockmd.com/WMRT/index.html. The trail provides a unique paved hiking and biking experience. Built on an abandoned railroad bed, this more than 22-mile trail extends from Big Pool to Pearre, paralleling the Potomac River and C&O Canal.

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