World War II at Catoctin Mountain Park
"All gave some, some gave all." The same can be said for our public lands during the Second World War. The Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area (as it was called then) gave everything it could. It even sacrificed its resources and services: a rare moment in NPS history when a dire cause took precedent over preservation and enjoyment.
While the 10,000-acre recreational area closed to the general public, soldiers, spies, and Allied leaders used it to win the war. One cabin area, intended for scouts and federal employees, became Roosevelt's "Bear's Den." Another cabin area, built as a unique camp for children with disabilities, hosted sailors for rest and rehabilitation. The trees themselves shook and fell while OSS agents detonated the latest in high-tech explosives.
The events of WWII were the defining moment that kept Catoctin Mountain Park as a unit of the National Park Service.
Did You Know?
The brook trout is a very colorful fish native to the streams of Catoctin. It is actually not a trout as its common name implies, but is a charr, a close cousin to the trout in the salmon family. Brown and rainbow trout are also present in Catoctin's streams but are not native to the eastern US.