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Washington County WanderingsView Old Blog Posts

Top National Parks in Hagerstown and Washington County, Maryland October 15, 2023

Washington County in Maryland is known for its remarkable national parks that document our country’s Civil War history and provide hiking and biking trails with an international allure. In 2016, the National Park Service is celebrating its centennial anniversary, and it’s launching several programs like Find Your Park to help nature enthusiasts get to the know the nation’s parks and find the perfect ones to visit in the centennial year. So put on your hiking boots and get ready to explore some of the most scenic parks on the East Coast. Here’s your guide to the top national parks in… Read More

Pickleball Is Taking Hagerstown by Storm! September 5, 2023

By Guest Contributor, Brandon Mackie, Pickleheads.comRight now, pickleball is becoming the game to play in Hagerstown. The exhilarating, easy-to-learn sport now has plenty of fans the city, offering an infectious mix of relaxed yet competitive gameplay and a friendly, social atmosphere.It doesn’t matter if you’ve played before or you’re completely new to the game – everyone’s welcome at a pickleball court. So, what are you waiting for? Lace up your sneakers and join the town’s growing pickleball community. What Is Pickleball? Pickleball blends together aspects of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, but it’s usually played on a smaller court with lower nets,… Read More

The Scoop on Ice Cream in Washington County June 30, 2023

We've got the Scoop on Ice Cream! From Cow-to-Cone creameries, to local wine-flavored delights, and everything in between, Washington County has some of the best ice cream in the region.  Misty Meadow Farm Creamery, located in Smithsburg, is Washington County’s first and only farm creamery. The family owned and operated business processes milk from its dairy cows into ice cream. The homemade, hand-dipped, cow to cone ice cream is a rich, delightful treat that comes in 30 different flavors. In addition to special seasonal flavors, the menu includes sugar free gelato and dairy free sorbets. Enjoy a cup or cone… Read More

Play Indoors with the Family this Winter in Washington County! January 6, 2023

Brrrrr, it’s cold outside, which means it’s that time of year when you’re probably wanting to get out of the house without sacrificing the warmth of the indoors. The good news is there are lots of great indoor activities in Washington County! While this is not a full list of things, to do, the hard part may be choosing which to do first! Of course, there’s always the option of bundling up and enjoying the quiet beauty of the outdoors during the winter months. Play Indoors! A favorite is Tilt Studio at the Valley Mall, offering 100 arcade and video games,… Read More

Top 5 State Parks to View Fall Foliage in Washington County, Maryland September 23, 2022

The Best View is Yours in Washington County, MD!  Hagerstown and our quaint historic towns in Washington County, MD lie within Maryland’s eastern border of Appalachia, and fall is one of the best times to visit. Visitors love to binge-watch our gorgeous, vibrant bursts of fall foliage once temperatures start to drop. So grab your camera and visit these six places throughout the county for Instagram-worthy shots of fall’s changing colors. 1. Fort Frederick and Sideling Hill Rest Area Driving west on I-70, you come to Fort Frederick State Park where frontier times American can be discovered. This 585 acre… Read More

Summer Fun in Washington County, MD: May 23, 2022

Epic adventures for the whole family! 1. Explore Crystal Grottoes Caverns in Boonsboro, Maryland. Crystal Grottoes Caverns is Maryland’s only show cave and has more formations per square foot than any cave known to man. Owner Jerry Downs proudly says it is the most naturally kept cave in the world. The temperature at Crystal Grottoes is what makes it the perfect summer attraction. It’s a constant 54 degrees year round, regardless of how high the outside temps soar. The caverns are open daily from April through November. Tours are offered every 30 minutes and group discount tickets are available by reservation only.… Read More

Hit Us Up for Spring Fun in Washington County, MD March 29, 2022

As the days have been getting longer and the temperatures rise there are many things to enjoy about springtime in Maryland. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend time in the outdoors and enjoy activities that go hand-in-hand with this season. Here are some of the best things about spring in Washington County: April Events: April 26-24, 2022: National Park Week is celebrated each year in April by the National Park Service (NPS) and the National Park Foundation. It’s the perfect time to visit local NPS sites and take advantage of the fee-free day that kicks off the week-long celebration. Learn… Read More

Boatman's Bean Soup February 20, 2021

Boatman’s Bean SoupCredit: Rose Harris, Owner of Desert Rose Café in Williamsport, Maryland Available at the Café throughout this 50th anniversary year.Inspired by the book "Home on the Canal" by Elizabeth Kytle.SERVES 6 (large, hearty bowls) INGREDIENTS• 1 pound great Northern beans or navy beans• 2 quarts water (I never measure the water exactly, but use enough to cover the beans with ½ inch to 1 inch of water)• 2 medium Irish potatoes, diced• 1 large onion, chopped (I use a yellow onion)• 1 large ham bone or ham hock (cut lean meat off)• 1 pint of canned tomatoes or… Read More

Women on the C&O Canal May 19, 2020

By Esther Herbers April 15, 2020Reprinted with permission for the C&O Canal Trust: https://www.canaltrust.org/2020/04/women-on-the-co-canal/View historical photos at this site!Maryland is celebrating the year of the woman in 2020, the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment. To celebrate, we are taking a look at the roles women played on the C&O Canal. Much of the canal’s history focuses on men, but Karen Gray, the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s volunteer historian, pieced together information on the canal’s women. Most of our canal women appear in oral histories, newspaper reports, C&O Canal Company reports, and secondary sources from the period of… Read More

Mary Mish - The Woman to Thank for Early Historic Preservation Efforts in Washington County March 25, 2020

Mary Vernon Mish was a pioneer for historic preservation in Washington County. Born in New York in 1905, Mish was the daughter of a distinguished journalist who would head the Chicago Daily News’ Washington bureau for 33 years. Mish married resident Frank W. Mish, Sr. in 1927 and moved to Hagerstown, where they had two sons. They later moved to and restored Maidstone-on-the-Potomac, just opposite of Williamsport.           Mish was active in the Hagerstown Garden Club, Arts and Letters Club, and the Washington County and Berkeley County Historical Societies. She became the first female president of the Washington County Historical Society,… Read More

Bird Watching and Bird Trails August 30, 2019

Bird·watch·ing /ˈbərdwäCHiNG/ noun:  the practice of observing birds in their natural environment as a hobby. Do you enjoy birdwatching, either as a casual enthusiast or a devoted bird lover? Washington County has an abundance of public lands and parks. Its geography, topography, and diverse habitat make it the perfect destination for your next birdwatching adventure. Whether you have a weekend or an entire week to spend, you’re sure to be delighted by the vast birding opportunities here! If you’ve been a bird enthusiast for some time, you know it’s a hobby that offers wonderful opportunities to learn about different kinds… Read More

Enjoy the Outdoors in Washington County and Experience Nature’s Health Benefits June 6, 2019

Updated 3/12/21The end of the COVID is within our sites in 2021, and you probaly discoverd that spending time in nature is good for your health. Luckily, there are countless ways to enjoy the outdoors in Washington County — walking; hiking; biking; backpacking; camping; kayaking; canoeing; fishing; hunting; rock climbing and even hobbies like birdwatching and nature photography. With five national parks, eight state parks and two resource management areas, Washington County is the perfect destination for your next nature experience in the great outdoors! The health and nature movement has gained momentum in the United States as more and more scientific… Read More

A Driving Tour of African-American History in Washington County, MD November 13, 2018

A DRIVING TOUR OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORYby Dr. Emilie Amt(Updated by Visit Hagerstown Staff 1/31/2022) Washington County is rich in African-American history. Here’s a suggested driving tour of African-American history sites that can be done in a morning or a day, depending on how long you spend at the various sites. Many of these sites have limited indoor visiting hours, but most (though not all) of the grounds are open during daylight hours. As you drive from south to north on this tour, you’ll move gradually from sites of slavery to sites of freedom. (Or of course you can do the tour… Read More

Top 12 Romantic Things to Do in Washington County, Maryland February 10, 2016

Home to historic buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, bustling nightlife, and cozy bed and breakfasts, Hagerstown is one of the best places in the region to escape for a romantic getaway. If you and your partner are history buffs, Hagerstown and Washington County are great destinations for learning about the county’s Civil War history. So many parks in the area are impeccably maintained. In fact, Escape Here named Hagerstown the No. 1 destination for beautiful city parks in the entire country. If you’re planning a trip to the area for a sweet romantic getaway, here are 12 of… Read More