• Catoctin Mountain

    Catoctin Mountain

    Park Maryland

Programs on National Public Lands Day September 29, 2012

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Date: September 4, 2012

See official News Release.

Catoctin Mountain Park joins public lands across the nation in celebration of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 29, 2012. As the nation's largest single day volunteer event for public lands, National Public Lands Day educates Americans about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands and encourages citizens to "give back" by volunteering. Catoctin Mountain Park will celebrate the day with park visitors with a Pond Life Interpretive Program and through events showcasing hiking and the park trail system.

Superintendent Mel Poole is pleased to announce a Pond Life Interpretive Program at the newly acquired Lewis Property as part of National Public Lands Day activities. The 18 acre tract became part of Catoctin Mountain Park on April 18, 2012 and includes the pond, the focal part of this program, open fields and wooded land connecting to what was Catoctin Mountain Park's eastern boundary. This gateway property will provide unique educational and recreational opportunities, including a real-time study of forest succession. The September 29 Pond Study will begin at 2:00 p.m. at 317 West Main St., Thurmont, MD. Please enter through the gate and park in the grassy area west of the house.

Other National Public Lands Day activities will focus on trails as an important part of healthy living. Hiking provides the opportunity to exercise, and develop a healthy lifestyle without fees, smelly locker rooms, or waiting to use the equipment. Silence and solitude replace the noise of the "health" club, and provide the opportunity to refresh your mind while building your muscular strength. Trails can be experienced alone or in social groups.

New and returning park visitors are invited to experience park trails on a Ranger-led hike beginning at the Visitor Center at 10 am. Don't worry if you haven't hiked in years, the terrain is moderate overall. The hike will be paced within the abilities of everyone in the group and will take visitors to Cunningham Falls, Hog Rock and Blue Ridge Summit in a 4.6 mile loop.

Catoctin Mountain Park National Public Lands Day activities are part of the park's 2012 Active Trails program sponsored by a grant from the National Park Foundation. Please contact Volunteer Coordinator Debbie Mills at 301-663-9388 or debbie_mills@nps.gov if you would like to learn more about this program. It strives to introduce individuals and groups to the importance of national parks and trails as part of healthy living. Don't despair if your group has other commitments for August 25. Organized groups of all ages are encouraged to schedule ranger-led hikes or trail workdays by special arrangement as part of a day or overnight experience at Catoctin Mountain Park.

Catoctin Mountain Park is one of nearly 400 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The park Visitor Center, located on State Route 77 three miles west of Thurmont, Maryland, is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is www.nps.gov/cato. General information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.

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