gathland

Gathland State Park Quest

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Becoming a History Detective at Gathland State Park

Correspondents Arch at Gathland State ParkGrag your teammates and let's search the grounds of Gathland State Park to find out more about the history of George alfred Townsend and the Battle of South Mountain. This quest is largely self-guided, so Be On The Lookout (BOLO) for clues that will help you answer questions.

Quest Information

Start at the Gathland Hall museum located on top of the hill, travel in a counter-clockwise direction around the park, making stops at buildings, markers and several other important locations. Make sure to bring a clipboard, something to write with, water and snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent and comfortable sturdy footwear. The quest should take between one and two hours to complete. After your team has answered all the questions, you can return to Gathland Hall museum to have your passport stamped.

The quest is available Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Gathland State Park is located on the ridge-top of South Mountain. The roads that intersect on top of this ridge go through the park. Because of the terrain, drivers may have a difficult time seeing pedestrians crossing the road, or vehicles pulling in and out of the park driveway. Likewise, pedestrians and cars leaving the park may not see oncoming vehicles. Please use caution when driving in and out of the park. The quest activities require teams to cross the road (walk) to access the whole park. Please watch small children closely, stay together and look twice before crossing the road.

The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to Monday during the Park Quest season. The quest needs to be compled during museum open hours. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Park Information

The War Correspondents Arch is a National historic monument. Constructed in 1896, the monument stands 50 feet high and 40 feet broad. Gathland State Park is located in Crampton's Gap, which witnessed a portion of the Battle of South Mountain, the first major battle of the Civil War fought in Maryland. Two buildings from Townsend's estate survive, and now serve as Gathland State Park's museum. The museum features many artifacts from Townsend's life, career and estate, as well as artifacts from the battle of South Mountain. The museum is open on weekends in April and October, and Thursday through Monday from May through September. It is closed during the winter.

Gathland State Park
900 Arnoldstown Road
Jefferson, MD 21755
N 39 24.279'
W077 38.401'
301-791-4767 (managed by Greenbrier State Park)

Directions to Gathland State Park

From points east: Interstate 70 westbound to exit 52, US 340 West towards Charlestown/Leesburg. Take US 340 West to MD-17N/Burkittsville Road towards Burkittsville. Make a right off of the exit onto Burkittsville Road. At the crossroads in Burkittsville (the four-way stop in town) turn left onto Gapland Road. Use caution on this road. At the top of the ridge, turn left into Gathland State Park.

From points west: Interstate 70 eastbound to exit 35, MD-66. Go south on Route 66 (turn right) and travel approximately 6 miles to MD Alternate 40/Main Street in the town of Boonsboro. Go east on Alternate 40/Main Street (turn left) and travel approximately 1.5 miles to MD-67. Turn right onto MD-67 and travel for approximately 7 miles. Turn left onto Gapland Road. Use caution on this road. At the top of the ridge, turn right into Gathland State Park.

From points south: I-270 North to exit 32, Internet 70 West towards Hagerstown. Interstate 70 westbound to exit 52, US 340 West towards Charlestown/Leesburg. Take US 340 West to MD-17 N/Burkittsville Road towards Burkittsville. Make a right off of the exit onto Burkittsville Road. At the crossroads in Burkittsville (the four-way stop in town) turn left onto Gapland Road. Use caution on this road. At the top of the ridge, turn left into Gathland State Park.​​​