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Fort Tonoloway State Park


Fort Tonoloway was built in 1755 in modern-day Washington County by Lieutenant Thomas Stoddert and men of the Maryland militia. It was protected by 15 men under the command of Lieutenant Stoddert. Soldiers reported gruesome massacres on the road to Fort Tonoloway – houses were burned, livestock was slaughtered, and men were killed. Garrisoned for only a year, the Fort was abandoned in 1756 when nearby Fort Frederick was established.

After months of exhaustive research, Preservation Maryland completed the effort to trace the history, context, and potential location of the long-missing French and Indian War-era Fort Tonoloway on Maryland’s Western Frontier. As part of the organization’s Six-to-Fix preservation priority program, Preservation Maryland’s efforts are in conjunction with the Maryland Park Service and made possible by a grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. The state park is awaiting archaeological investigation before its use as a recreational facility can be assessed.

In the meantime, the park is open for hiking and biking opportunities. The Western Maryland Rail Trail from Cohill to Hancock is a 20.9 mile lightly-trafficked out and back trail located near the park that is good for all skill levels. The paved trail is primarily used for hiking and road biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are allowed on this trail.

There is a beautiful picnic area at the Little Tonoloway Day Use Area. There are seven picnic tables and six grills situated on a shaded plot of land that flanks the Potomac River. An indoor chemical toilet (i. e. a fancy outhouse) is available for guests. Next to the picnic area is a boat ramp. There is a small parking lot off Berm Road, near Little Tonoloway Recreation Area and Hancock.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Fort Tonoloway State Park

Following the closure of Fort Tonoloway in 1756, its precise location had been lost for 263 years.

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