Location:

​Washington County

Woodmont NRMA
c/o Fort Frederick State Park
11100 Fort Frederick Road
Big Pool MD 21711​


Contact:

​301-842-2155​


Driving Directions:

​Woodmont is located 15 minutes south from I-68 off of Woodmont Road. From Interstate 68, take exit 77. Turn left onto U.S. 40, then turn right onto Woodmont Rd. Follow for approximately 6 miles. Signs mark the entrance to the lodge.


Hours of Operation:


Pet Policy:

Woodmont NRMA

Situated seven miles southwest of Hancock, MD, the Woodmont Lodgeformer Woodmont Rod & Gun Club comprises approximately 3,425 acres. In 1995, Woodmont was acquired by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and DNR entered into a unique partnership and lease agreement with the Izaak Walton League of America. The league formed a local Woodmont Chapter to manage the leased 1400 acres that includes the lodge, Camp Cleveland, lakes, and game farm. From October 1st to March 31st each year, the Chapter has exclusive use of the 1,400 acres and funds generated from their activities proved for the maintenance and operation of Woodmont and its conservation activities and programs. From April 1st to September 30th, DNR manages the public use of the 1,400 acres. The remaining 2,000 acres of the Woodmont property are open for public use on a year round basis. Hunting at the Woodmont NRMA is permitted. Please follow the laws and regulations in the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping. Contact Fort Frederick State Park for more information at 301-842-2155.

Organized in 1870 as a premiere hunting club, Woodmont was in continuous operation for almost 125 years. The original owners of the property were wealthy and influential businessmen from Washington who enjoyed the abundant opportunities to pursue wild game. Woodmont Rod and Gun Club was formed shortly after the purchase of the land. Woodmont continued to be a retreat for the powerful men of Washington, DC for many years until the clubhouse and all its records burned in 1903. Following this incident, the original club dissolved and they decided to sell the land.

In 1908, Henry Bridges, a lawyer and successful businessman from Hancock, organized a group of wealthy friends who were sportsmen, and purchased the land. The club became “The Woodmont Rod and Gun Club of Baltimore City,” and Henry Bridges became the secretary-treasurer. In its first year, a clubhouse was built under Bridge’s direction. In 1930, this building was replaced by a massive three-story fieldstone structure still in use today. Massive beams, wood paneling and floors, and huge stone fireplaces formed an appropriate background for more that six-hundred game trophies around the building. The upstairs held numerous bedrooms for members to use during their visits. Great leather chairs, bear skin rugs, and photographs of special guests did and still do fill the rooms today.

Henry Bridges created a wildlife haven at Woodmont. Bridges started a wild turkey breeding program, using the old clubhouse as the center of operations. In addition to turkeys, Bridges imported large white-tailed deer from Michigan to breed with the smaller, resident deer. This produced a larger, Woodmont variety, which stayed primarily within the confines of the Woodmont preserve because of a nine foot high fence erected around the preserve.

Scenic view near Woodmont Lodge

Henry Bridges died in 1957. The responsibility of managing the Club fell to E.T. Andrews, a major shareholder in the non-profit corporation. Since that time, the breeding programs have been continued and expanded to include several varieties of pheasant. Forest management plans also were placed under effect. In 1986, Henry Roemer became the resident manager until 1995, when the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Izzak Walton League of America purchased Woodmont.Currently, Woodmont is managed as a cooperative effort under the Fort Frederick State Park Complex and the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service. Several special events are held at the Lodge and on the property April through September. For more information, contact Fort Frederick State Park at (301) 842-2155.

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Completed in 2013, the Wildlife Heritage Trail is a four mile trail system in a figure eight design. The North loop traverses the rolling Woodmont landscape and includes a peaceful stream crossing. On the South loop users can amble through a mature oak forest before crossing into a successful growth area great for berry picking. The Wildlife Heritage Trail is open to hikers, mountain bikers, birders and hunters. This trail is not open for equestrian traffic.

In addition to the Wildlife Heritage Trail, miles of unmarked fire roads span nearly the entire Woodmont property. These roads allow nature enthusiasts the opportunity to explore the various natural, scenic and historical features that Woodmont NRMA has to offer.

Birding

The habitat diversity at Woodmont provides bird watchers with opportunities to spot numerous species. The mix of mature and young growth forests and fields are home to the Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Wood Thrush, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, various owls, and neotropical migrant songbirds such as the Scarlet Tanager. In addition, with the Potomac River in close proximity, Bald Eagles can often be seen around Woodmont.

Horseback Riding

While the Wildlife Heritage Trail is not accessible for equestrian travel, the remainder of the fire roads on the property are open for horseback riding. Riders can traverse the open expanse of the former Woodmont airfield, ride over rolling oak ridges, or climb to the top of Sideling Hill. With multiple routes, Woodmont provides opportunities for short excursions or longer expeditions.

Hunting

Of the 3,425 acres, 2,000 acres are open to the public year round, making Woodmont one of the area's popular hunting destinations. The open meadows, thick successional areas, and old growth timber provide habitat for numerous game species including: whitetailed deer, eastern wild turkey, gray squirrel, eastern fox squirrel and ruffed grouse. Woodmont NRMA is in management region A. Hunting seasons and regulations can be found in the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping. There is no Sunday hunting at Woodmont NRMA.

Limited Use Parcel

No trespassing sign

The 1,400 acres leased by the Woodmont Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America is open to the public from April 1st to September 30th. During this time, this area is open for hiking, biking, birding and other recreational activities. However, hunting is not permitted on this parcel during these dates. From October 1st to March 31st, the Woodmont chapter has exclusive rights to this area with the exception of deer firearms season. Public hunting is permitted during the two week general deer firearm season and deer Junior Hunt. This is the only time hunting is permitted in this area and only white tail deer may be hunted. Yellow signs mark the boundaries of the limited use parcel and is outlined by the dashed line (Woodmont RSA Boundary) on the property map. For safety, several areas around buildings and game pens have no public access, and are marked with green signs.

Interesting Facts

Six U.S. Presidents, various senators and congressmen, Babe Ruth, Gene Tunney, Amos & Andy, and Richard Mellon, are among the many famous and influential guests of the lodge.

Several of the stream valleys on the property are underlain with the rock type which forms shale barrens, a unique habitat often harboring rare plant or insect life.

Several of the stones used in the fireplaces came from historical sites and people. One of the stones came from the stone walls of Fort Frederick while another was a surveyor’s stone used by George Washington.

The lodge itself encloses 18, 785 square feet and offers a panoramic view of West Virginia and the Potomac River.

Directions

Woodmont is located 15 minutes south from I-68 off of Woodmont Road. From Interstate 68, take exit 77. Turn left onto U.S. 40, then turn right onto Woodmont Rd. Follow for approximately 6 miles. Signs mark the entrance to the lodge.

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Contact the Park Service

  • To Report Violations of Park Rules: 1-800-825-7275 (Park Watch) or 1-410-260-8888 (Communications Center)
  • General Information: 1-800-830-3974 (Annapolis Office)
  • Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
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