Do you feel like a bear coming out of hibernation? You may feel this way every year—but maybe more so this year due to the pandemic and spending even more time indoors than normal.
Studies show that spending time outdoors, especially while exercising, boosts your health—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If you’re craving outdoor recreation, then LiveWell Frederick partner Frederick County Division of Parks & Recreation has you covered. We hope you’re inspired to explore Frederick County’s park system this spring—and beyond—for fun, healthy exercise and enjoyment.
Check out our Q&A with Kayla Brannen, personnel and public relations assistant with Frederick County Parks & Recreation, below.
What is the full scope and size of Frederick County Parks & Rec? How many parks are there, and how many acres do they cover? And how many rec centers are available?
Frederick County Parks & Recreation is responsible for 2,435 acres. This includes 23 active parks and a number of undeveloped properties. The Division also operates eight Park Schools throughout the County. A ninth Park School at Rock Creek is currently under construction and is estimated to be completed by early summer.
Tell us about some of the parks’ fun features, such as dog parks, trails, playgrounds, etc.
Frederick County operates and maintains five Monocacy River access areas. The park system also operates two nature centers and one historical property. There are two dog parks!
All of our active parks host one or more playgrounds. We recently completed the last section of the Ballenger Creek Trail, a 4.2-mile linear trail that connects Ballenger Creek Park to a number of residential communities, schools, places of business, and entertainment.
Describe a few of the “hidden gems” of Frederick County’s parks—some of the most scenic or peaceful aspects.
Half of the existing covered bridges in Maryland are located in Frederick County! Two of the three covered bridges, Loy’s Station and Roddy Road, are located within our parks. Utica Mills Covered Bridge is just a few minutes away from Utica District Park.
Rose Hill Manor Park is home to both a Carriage and Farm Museum. Both museums include displays. The Farm Museum focuses on Frederick County’s rich agriculture history, and the Carriage Museum displays a restored carriage collection.
There’s even an Equestrian Trail at Othello Regional Park.
What is something surprising that people don’t know about Frederick County’s parks?
Over 3 million visitors used our parks in 2020!
Why is being outdoors so important to our overall health and wellness?
We would consider parks and recreational services as an essential public service. They have the power to transform lives, strengthen communities, and protect the future.
Parks provide a safe place for people to get healthy and stay fit. Physical activity opportunities in parks allow for open access to fitness and a chance to connect with nature. Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep both an individual’s mind and body healthy and has recently become a respite from stress.
Exposure to nature and other natural experiences can help decrease stress and other anxieties. Physical activity can boost mood, reduce stress, sharpen an individual’s focus, and during this stressful time, improve sleeping habits.
For more adventure-planning, check out Frederick County Division of Parks and Recreation!