Catoctin Mountain Park Announces Road Openings and Spring Activities Schedule
Contact: Debra Mills, 301-663-9388
Park Central and Manahan Roads Reopen After Seasonal Closures
The closed portions of Park Central and Manahan Roads in Catoctin Mountain Park will reopen on March 25. These roads were closed to vehicle traffic in December making them available for winter recreation.
Park Central Road and Manahan Road will remain open after these dates until mid-December as weather conditions permit. Please direct questions regarding the status of park roads to the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388, or visit our website at www.nps.gov/cato.
Blacksmith Shop Demonstration – Sunday, March 20, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Blacksmith Shop at Camp Round Meadow
If you are not prepared for hiking, a Blacksmith Shop Demonstration could be the perfect solution for your family’s cabin fever. Come enjoy the warmth from our forge as volunteers demonstrate the age-old craft of blacksmithing from 11:00 am through 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 14 at the Catoctin Mountain Park Blacksmith Shop, located in Camp Round Meadow. The smithies will explain how the craft of blacksmithing evolved and the role of blacksmiths in the community while demonstrating some of the fundamentals of the trade.
Orienteering (Map and Compass Reading) - Saturday, March 19 and 26, and Sunday, March 20 and 28 at 1:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center
Orienteering classes consist of an indoor slide program that introduces maps and their components as well as the orienteering compass that allows the user to determine the direction of travel. After learning how to use the compass in conjunction with the map, participants are given the opportunity to complete a short outdoor course. The outdoor course requires going off-trail in varied terrain so wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. Maps and compasses are provided for the day. The program is free but is recommended for ages 10 and older. Class size is limited so reservations are required. Please make your reservation by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.
Bell and History Day – Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Camp Greentop
Catoctin Mountain Park joins the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium in celebration of Bell and History Day at Camp Greentop on Satuday, April 2. Visitors are invited to learn how Office of Strategic Service (OSS) agents were trained in secret operations at Camp Greentop. Stamp your Passport to History and assume a new identity while participating in a hands-on activity.
Spring Wildflower walks – Sundays, April 24 and, May1 and 8 at 1:00 p.m. at the Owens Creek Picnic Area
Join a ranger at the Brown’s Farm Trail in Owens Creek Picnic Area at 1:00 p.m. on Sundays, April 25 or May 9 for an interpretive wildflower walk. Together, you will explore an easy ½ mile trail that meanders through several types of habitat. The ranger will acquaint you with the flowers that are blooming, and will tell you why they are so particular about where they grow and when they flower.
Owens Creek Campground – Opens for family camping beginning May 2
Owens Creek Campground will open on a first-come, first-served basis at 12 noon on May 2. Each site is limited to one camping unit (tent or trailer) and a maximum of 5 people. Maximum tent size is 9’x12’. Trailers up to 22’ in length are accepted but there are no hookups. The fee is $20.00 per night.
Camp Misty Mount – Cabin rentals available April 30 through October 31
Cabins may be rented in historic Camp Misty Mount from April 30 through the end of October. Rustic chestnut cabins constructed by the Works Progress Administration are available to individuals, families and groups. Reservations are now accepted on-line at recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. The camp office can be reached by phone at 301-271-3140.
Catoctin Mountain Park is one of 394 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.
Did You Know?
Visitors in Catoctin Mountain Park may gather morel mushrooms for personal consumption. Morels are found in a variety of habitats but generally they seem to be found in wet soil that is high in organic matter and shaded by trees, especially hardwoods. Favorite locations are closely guarded secrets!