Manown said the new fees are necessary to help maintain the park, which is about a mile east of exit 12 off Interstate 70. She said the public has grown accustomed to fees over the last several years as federal and state governments search for new revenue sources.
Park Manager Ralph Young said he has not heard any complaints about the fees so far. He said people who want to drive through the park but not go inside the fort or barracks do not have to pay.
Young said people recognize that entrance fees are needed to pay for general park upkeep and special programs. Two park interpreters work part time to demonstrate life in the 18th century and answer visitors' questions, he said.
"We had a lot of people come in (before) who were surprised that we didn't charge some sort of fee," he said.
Young said the park expects the fees to bring in about $10,000 a year. The money will be deposited in the state Forest and Park Resource Fund, he said. The annual budget for the park, not including salaries for full-time employees, is $92,000, he said.
In addition to regular programs, Fort Frederick sponsors some events that involve special charges. Young said the entrance fee will be waived during those events.
For instance, a French and Indian War re-enactment scheduled for May 31 and June 1 will cost $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 6 through 12, Young said.
Manown said many of the state's 54 parks and forests charge fees. Usually, fees are charged only at parks that have programs and activities, she said.
Greenbrier State Park in Washington County charges $3 per person for admission, Manown said. The county's other two parks, South Mountain State Park and Washington Monument State Park, are free.
Fort Frederick State Park, which opened in 1922, was the first state park designated by Maryland, Young said. Built in 1756 by the colony of Maryland, the fort served as a supply base during the French and Indian War.
During the Revolutionary War, up to 1,500 British prisoners of war were held at the fort, Young said. The fort also served as a Union outpost during the Civil War, he said.