National Capital Region Parks - Catoctin Mountain Park title graphic

Contact: Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Call (301) 663-9388 or visit our website at:

Written requests for reservations are required for visits by school groups. Call (301) 663-9388 for information or visit Catoctin's web page for more information on education programs.


Catoctin Critters(1st Grade, Ages 5-7) Theme: Habitats

Many animals call Catoctin Mountain Park their home. Students can discover the variety of habitats available in the forest, and learn where to look for animals. Offered as either an indoor or outdoor program, pre-visit and post-visit materials are available.

White-tailed deer.

Catoctin Forest with

White-tailed Deer

Growing Up (2nd Grade, Ages 6-8) Theme: Life Cycles

Not everything grows up the same way. A variety of life cycles are explored to show how plants and animals go through the cycles of life. Offered as either an indoor or outdoor program. Pre-visit and post-visit materials available.

Everybody Eats (3rd Grade, Ages 7-9) Theme: Predator/Prey Relationships

Focusing on familiar forest plants and animals, students examine the ties between predators and their prey. Offered as either an indoor or outdoor program. Pre-visit and post-visit materials available.

Seasonal Signals (4th Grade, Ages 8-10) Theme: Seasonal Changes

Plants and animals adapt in a variety of ways to the different seasons. Learn how they cope with the cold or blossom with the spring. Program focuses on the particular season your group visits. Offered as either an indoor or outdoor program. Pre-visit and post-visit materials available.

Autumn Leaves (Grades 1st-4th, Ages 5-10) Themes: Seasonal Changes Tree Identification Each fall Catoctin displays an artist's pallet of color for all to enjoy. We have a number of different activities for many age levels to help understand why leaves change color, how a tree grows, and tree identification by leaf shapes. Offered as an indoor, outdoor, or combination program.


Deer Discovery (6th Grade, Ages 10-12) Themes: Habitat, Predator/Prey relationships, Carrying Capacity

An interactive computer program providing an overview of white-tailed deer ecology. Habitat, digestion, life cycle, antler growth are all explored. Students 'Design A Forest" by selecting habitat components, deer population, and both predator and competitor species. Management options for deer population management are explored in this real life issue. A report is produced defining student results of their 'forest.'

National Park Links to the Chesapeake Bay (7th Grade, Ages 11-13) Themes: Ecosystem, Watershed, Sources of Pollution, Wetlands.

An interactive computer program to help students realize the impact of their everyday decisions on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Koala-T, a waterdroplet character, leads students on a journey from a National Park to the Chesapeake Bay. At the end of the journey, a graph is displayed showing students the impact of their decisions on water quality. Educator'' Guide provided.

These 2 loan programs are available through the mail at no cost. Deer Discovery is IBM/PC compatible. National ParkLinks to the Chesapeake Bay is IBM/PC and Mac compatible.

Close Encounters of the Catoctin Kind (Traveling Trunk) (5TH Grade, Ages 9-11) Theme: Cultural Heritage Units: Native American Indians, African Americans, Charcoal/Iron Industry, Sawmill and Whiskey Still Industries. An educational traveling trunk filled with treasures, pieces of our past, linking the local school curriculum with our park's heritage. Five discovery units, objects, artifacts, teacher background information, and suggested student activities included. Teachers are responsible for trunk pick up and return to Park. No cost.

The Blacksmith in Society (Grades 4th - 8th, Ages 1-14) Themes: African American History, Environmental Awareness, Economics, Geography. The blacksmith played an integral role in our developing nation. Their services were essential to individuals and industry. Townspeople gathered at the blacksmith shop to exchange ideas, gossip, and argue politics. The blacksmith is the central figure in the package consisting of an informational site bulletin and 5 lesson plans addressing Maryland learning outcomes for social studies grades 4-8.

Lesson Plan #1 Economic Incentives for Industrial Development

Lesson Plan #2 Mapping Your Community

Lesson Plan #3 The Cost of Wages

Lesson Plan #4 The Price of Freedom

Lesson Plan #5 Revitalizing the Spirit

Lesson Plan Supplement - Suggested Additional Activities