Let’s face it. Pool memberships can be expensive, and maintaining a pool at home can be a pain. Yet the summer months in Frederick County are quite hot—reaching the upper 90s and triple digits on certain days—so sometimes a cool dip in the water is needed.
Frederick’s Child Magazine has put together a list of places where you can do a cannonball for free or cheap. Be sure to put on some sunscreen, grab a fuzzy towel and prepare to get splashed at these fun area water locations.
Catoctin Creek Park
Pebble Beach is a fun water spot tucked into this Middletown destination that’s not really known by the masses. Follow a trail to make your way to the creek. Hopefully, while splashing in the water, you’ll get to see some fish and other wildlife. After drying off, be sure to check out the park’s nature center, featuring a variety of native amphibians and reptiles such as snakes, turtles and salamanders. The best part about this spot is that there is no fee to get in!
Greenbrier State Park
If you want to take a dip in the man-made 42-acre freshwater lake at this Boonsboro location, come early because the park hits capacity quite often, especially during summer weekends. For a small fee to enter the park, guests can swim in the water, tan on the small beach or rent paddle boats to meander around the lake. Before leaving, check out their nearly 11 miles of hiking trails.
Emmitsburg Community Pool
For those in the northern part of the county, head to Emmitsburg Community Pool, which is open daily from noon to 7 p.m. from now through Labor Day. A daily admission fee gets you access to the main pool area, ranging in depth from a foot and a half to 10 feet. A diving board is in the deep end, while a splash pad is nestled beside the main pool area. Seasonal membership is also available.
Cunningham Falls State Park
This Thurmont spot, which also charges a small entry fee, is another one where the earlier you get there, the better. Capacity is often reached during the summer months, most notably on weekends. Head to Hunting Creek Lake to feel the sand in between your toes and cool water on your skin. As the area’s Snack Bar is still under construction, food trucks will be on site on some weekends and holidays. Cell phone service is spotty in the park, so bring a book if you are looking for something to read while sunbathing.
Edward P. Thomas Memorial Pool
This Baker Park gem located in Downtown Frederick features shallow areas as well as a deep end so daredevils can jump off the diving board. The pool is open daily from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. now through August 16. Once Frederick County Public Schools students return to the classroom on Aug. 17, the pool is open on weekends and Labor Day from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. If your kids still need to burn energy afterward, head to the nearby playground, which can be seen from the pool. Folks can pay daily admission or grab seasonal memberships.
William R. Diggs Memorial Swimming Pool
Another fun location in the City of Frederick, in Mullinix Park, this pool also features shallow parts for younger children and a deep end for the older ones. Following a similar schedule to the Edward P. Thomas Memorial Pool, this location is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday now through Aug. 16. After that date, the pool is open on weekends and Labor Day on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Daily and seasonal passes are available for visitors.
Brunswick Municipal Swimming Pool
Those in the southern part of the county should make their way to Brunswick to cool off on a hot day. Offering daily and seasonal memberships, the pool also offers swimming lessons for folks who need to learn or get a refresher on the basics. The pool is open now through Labor Day, Monday through Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from noon to 5:30 p.m. Hours will be modified when FCPS students go back to school in mid-August.