Gathland State Park

Western Maryland

This tiny park is a fascinating tribute to a profession that doesn't lend itself to many memorials: that of war correspondents. Civil War correspondent and man of letters George Alfred Townsend fell in love with these mountains and built an impressive arch decorated with classical Greek mythological features and quotes that emphasize the qualities of a good war correspondent.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Western Maryland attractions

1. Brunswick Visitor Center & Rail Museum

6.41 MILES

The C&O Canal's little Brunswick Visitor Center doubles as the Brunswick Rail Museum. As quiet as this town is, it was once home to the largest rail yard …

2. Antietam National Battlefield

7.35 MILES

The site of the bloodiest day in American history is now, ironically, supremely peaceful, quiet and haunting – and uncluttered, save for plaques and…

3. The Point


At the southern end of Potomac St, just a few steps from the lower town, take in a view of three states – Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia – from the…

4. John Brown Museum

7.44 MILES

Across from Arsenal Sq and one of the park's museums, this three-room gallery gives a fine overview (through videos and period relics) of the events…

5. John Brown Wax Museum

7.45 MILES

Not to be confused with the National Park–run museum, this private wax museum is a kitschy (and rather overpriced) attraction that pays tribute to the man…

6. Storer College & Niagara Movement

7.45 MILES

Part of the national park, this small exhibit gives an overview of the groundbreaking educational center at Storer College and the Niagara movement that…

7. African American History Museum

7.46 MILES

Part of the national park, this worthwhile, interactive exhibit has narrated stories of hardships and hard-won victories by African Americans from the…

8. Master Armorer’s House

7.48 MILES

Among the free sites in the historic district, this 1858 house explains how rifle technology developed here went on to revolutionize the firearms industry…