6 Best Activities in Frederick and Harford County This Summer

6 Best Activities in Frederick and Harford County This Summer

6/30/2022 8:00:00 AM

It’s summertime! The temps are up. So are various expenses.

You know this all too well.

But when you live in an apartment or townhouse in Frederick County, Maryland, there are endless ways to save a buck (and much more) while enjoying some frugal outdoor fun.

Here, you’ll never have to spend another warm summer day wondering what to do.

Below are six can’t-beat experiences in Frederick County or Harford County, MD, to pencil into the summer plans that won’t make you break a financial sweat.

See Where the Battle that Saved Washington, D.C., Was Won

Storied American history oozes red, white and blue just down the road from your new apartment or townhouse in Frederick County, Maryland.

The Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick County, Maryland, is where the Confederacy’s plan to seize the nation’s capital and change the trajectory of the Civil War was thwarted.

In July of that year, Federal soldiers outnumbered three to one fought valiantly along the banks of the Monocacy River and helped fend off the Confederacy’s efforts, giving the Union reinforcement time to arrive at the capital city.

What’s the best way to experience this historic battleground? The National Park Service recommends the self-guided auto tour, a six-mile roundtrip that includes stops at all the critical locations related to the extraordinary Battle of Monocacy.

If you’re looking to cut fuel costs, the 1,647-acre frontline offers seven walking trails, many of which provide scenic views of the battlefield and plenty of rural landscapes.

Drive (or Walk) Through Maryland’s Shortest Covered Bridge

There are only six covered bridges remaining in Maryland. Three are a short drive from your apartment or townhouse in Frederick County, Maryland.

All three covered bridges in Frederick County are regional architectural wonders listed on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places.

The most unique of the trio? Roddy Road Bridge.

Because, as always, size matters. Or, in this case, a lack of size.

Roddy Road Bridge is the shortest covered bridge in Maryland. How small? Just under 40 feet in length, spanning one of the area's finest trout streams.

And the single-span crossing off Route 15 just north of Thurmont, Maryland, offers more than just a quick, leisurely hop from one side of the creek to the next.

A picnic pavilion is available right next door at Roddy Road Park. Open from 8 a.m. to sunset year-round, the park offers restrooms, a playground, a short walking trail and plenty of parking to enjoy the peaceful setting.

Oh, and if you want to see the two other covered bridges in Frederick County, Maryland, no problem. They're a quick drive away. The Utica Mills and Loys Station bridges are within 12 miles of Roddy Road Bridge.

Watch the Only High-Wheel Race of Its Kind in Frederick, MD

Have you ever seen a high-wheel bike? In person, not in old-school Charlie Chaplin movies or vintage black-and-white artwork?

There’s a good chance you haven’t.

High-wheel bikes—also called penny-farthing bikes—were standard in the late 1800s. One the earliest bikes ever made, they provided higher speeds with an extra-large front wheel that traveled extensive lengths with every rotation.

You don’t see them anymore today.

That is unless you live in an apartment or townhouse in Frederick County, Maryland.

Residents here are treated annually to the National Clustered Spires High Wheel Race. It’s the only race of its kind nationwide.

Held every summer, penny-farthing bicyclists zip through Frederick's historic downtown streets, riding antique or replica 19th-century bikes for nearly half a mile.

At stake is a championship that attracts competitors worldwide. Case in point: A Swedish bicyclist waving his country’s flag flew back home with the hard-earned title—his second in a row.

This year’s event is "ready, set, go!" for July 16, with some bicyclists promising to don vintage apparel to match their bike’s centuries-old look.

Catoctin Mountain Park: How to Enjoy a Natural Wonder Next to Frederick, MD

You do not have to go too far from your apartment or townhouse in Frederick, Maryland, to see a profusion of wildflowers, breathtaking wildlife and panoramic views from above.

You only need to drive a short distance to Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland.

Part of the Appalachian Mountain range and home to Camp David, the famed presidential retreat, the natural park offers 25 miles of hiking trails. Some trails are kid-friendly and easy to stroll. Others are rugged, ankle-throbbing climbs that will test even the most experienced backpackers.

Other notable attractions include several fishing streams, cabin rentals, camping grounds, horseback riding opportunities and scenic overlooks.

There’s also a visitors’ center that continually gets glowing reviews on trip and tourist review websites.

“Spend an hour or spend a day,” one reviewer remarked after a recent trip to Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland. “Either way, you can’t go wrong.”

As a bonus, you can see the state’s largest waterfall, at 78 feet, at Cunningham Falls State Park, which is also part of the picturesque Catoctin Mountains.

40,000 Harford County Residents Will Attend This Fair. Are You One of Them?

“We’re back!” one webpage headline proudly says. “It’s on!” another reads halfway down.

This time, in person, the county’s tourism website promises.

If you live in an apartment or townhouse in Harford County, Maryland, that’s good news for you. The region’s most prominent summer draw—the Harford County Farm Fair—is back for in-person festivities, good eats, live entertainment, and an assortment of past attractions, including:

  • Pie-eating and watermelon-eating contests.
  • Antique tractor pulls.
  • A horse show.
  • Pony rides.
  • A Mounted Cowboy Shooting association competition.

The last in-person festival, in 2019, drew about 40,000 people. Following a COVID-related cancelation in 2020 and a virtual effort in 2021, attendance this year is expected to exceed 2019 as Aberdeen residents emerge from a two-year hibernation.

This year’s event on North Tollgate Road in Bel Air lasts more than a week and begins July 20.

Experience 40 Acres of Fun Close to Your New Frederick, MD, Apartment

The unofficial fifth season in Maryland—carnival season, as one Frederick, Maryland, newspaper phrased it—is back after a pandemic hiatus.

And it’s a fantastic way to close out the summer season.

Do it at The Great Frederick Fair.

Forty acres of thrill rides, live entertainment, demolition derbies and mouthwatering local foods are just a few steps away from your new apartment or townhouse in Frederick, MD, every September.

Beginning Sept. 17, the Frederick Fairgrounds will fill with thousands of visitors and hundreds of students to celebrate and learn about the region’s rich agricultural heritage over crab dip and funnel cake.

In addition to riding the fair’s iconic, double-decker Ferris wheel, the nine-day event will also have several farm-related events, activities and competitions. According to the town’s tourism website, visitors also “anxiously await the arrival of baby animals” at the fair’s birthing center.

It’s Frederick County’s single-largest event, with more than 18,000 competitive exhibits scheduled.

With plenty of natural beauties, an array of family-friendly festivals and loads of historic tourist sites, it’s not hard to see why Frederick County and Harford County, Maryland, rank among the best places to live in America—and how to make the most of summer on a shoestring budget.