Park Quest 2021 Gathland State Park

Walking In the Footsteps of Civil War Soldiers

old post card of the War Correspondent’s Memorial

Quest Information

Gathland State Park’s 2021 Park Quest will have you walking the same ground that the Civil War soldiers walked while fighting in the Battle of Crampton’s Gap! Learn about important people and events from the Civil War battle fought here on September 14, 1862. A Union force of nearly 10,000 men attacked a much smaller Confederate force that was left at the mountain gap to protect, as long as possible, the divided Confederate Army operating on the west side of the mountain. Late in the day, after heavy fighting, the Confederates were pushed out of the gap. Three days later, the Battle of Antietam would occur, forever overshadowing what had happened at South Mountain.

Gathland cannon firing demo

In the early 1880’s Crampton’s Gap became the mountain-top estate of war correspondent and novelist George Alfred Townsend, who used the pen name “Gath”. Though most of the buildings are no longer standing, Gath’s estate once consisted of 22 buildings. In 1896 the impressive War Correspondent’s Memorial was constructed, a unique national monument standing 50 feet high and 40 feet wide. Today, the Appalachian Trail runs through the middle of the park.

  • May 1 – October 31, any day of the week
  • Start at the National War Correspondents Memorial
  • One to two hours to complete
  • Length of hike for quest is about 1 mile
  • This quest is not wheelchair or stroller accessible
  • Pets are permitted but must be on a leash