Wye Oak State Park is a public recreation area located on Catoctin Mountain in Frederick County, Maryland. The state park has scenic views of the city of Frederick and the surrounding areas from its perch atop 2,100-foot (640m) Wye Oak Ridge. It offers hiking trails for all skill levels and interests as well as camping facilities. The state park features two loop trails around the summit with varying degrees of difficulty. One trail follows along the ridge line while the other traverses across the peak in several locations. The latter path leads past the remains of a building foundation, stone walls, and a paved road. At the far end of the parking lot there is a separate access road off of Maryhill Road which provides additional parking for hikers.
There are also four small ponds situated throughout the park. These were originally constructed by the CCC using native stone to build reservoirs for drinking water and irrigation. Some of these ponds have been stocked with fish and some are currently being restored to their natural states after having been drained for years due to drought conditions. Camping is available at Wye Oak State Park in three different areas. Two sites are accessible via Route 4021 and another site is accessed via a spur road off of Gambrill Road.
All three sites provide electric hookups and modern restroom facilities but do not contain water or trash receptacles. The main campsite is closest to the ranger contact station and contains the most amenities. Additional space is provided by a second group tenting area. Backcountry camping is allowed in the Monocacy Natural Area and requires reservations made online through the Recreation Reservation System.
The park was developed by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Their efforts left behind parks that are still used today. Wye Oak State Park officially opened to the public on June 5, 1938. Its name stems from an ancient oak tree which stood near a spring until it was chopped down in 1791. An exact duplicate of the original tree was planted in 1939; the original tree now stands in front of the campground entrance. A CCC sign commemorating their work can be found at the top of the hill east of the picnic area.
In 1943, the National Park Service designated the site as a national historic landmark because of its significance. On December 14, 2016, President Barack Obama announced his intent to create the new national monument through an executive order.Designated as the Frederick Douglas White Oak State Monument, this new unit will protect 8 acres (3.2ha) of land adjoining the existing Monocacy Battlefield Site. This addition brings the total acreage under protection since designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1993 to 12 acres (4.9ha).