Gathland State Park was once the mountain home of George Alfred Townsend, a Civil War journalist. It is the site of a unique collection of buildings and structures that he designed and constructed, some of which have been restored.
A large, stone monument dedicated to war correspondents is an outstanding attraction. The Appalachian Trail traverses the park and passes the monument base. Maryland has 41 miles of the interstate hiking trail. The park includes Crampton's Gap, which was the southern most gap fought over during the battle of South Mountain.
Fought September 14, 1862, it was the first major battle of the Civil War fought in Maryland.There are ongoing Civil War re-enactments throughout the summer. The annual "Living History" weekend annually occurs the first weekend after Labor Day and portrays various aspects of the soldiers' life including infantry, cavalry, and artillery demonstrations.