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Contact: Jeff Filosa, 301-663-9552
THURMONT, MD –After being closed to bouldering for several years, Catoctin Mountain Park will open bouldering access in all areas of the park.As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary, the park is pleased to allow the local climbing community a chance to discover one of the national parks in their own backyard.
Located approximately an hour from both the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metro areas, Catoctin Mountain Park is the perfect place for the diverse community of urban climbers to escape from the city and enjoy their public lands. Catoctin Mountain Park is home to high quality bouldering opportunities—located within corridors of the Gateway Trail east of the Catoctin Mountain Park Headquarters and along the Hog Rock Trail west of the Visitor Center—at a variety of difficulty levels. Bouldering is defined as a form of rock climbing that is performed without the use of ropes or harnesses. The park also contains opportunities for technical roped climbing at Wolf Rock.Permits must be obtained from Recreation.gov prior to engaging in technical roped climbing.
Park managers worked with two non-profit climbing groups, Access Fund and Mid Atlantic Climbers, to evaluate the possibility of allowing expanded climbing and bouldering opportunities. The ongoing partnership will not only result in increased climbing access but will engage a wider range of visitors in the preservation and protection of park resources.
"It's gratifying to be able to make additional recreational opportunities available to visitors, thanks to the diligent work of park staff and the dedicated professionals at the Access Fund," says Rick Slade, superintendent at Catoctin Mountain Park."We would like to welcome the climbing and bouldering community to experience everything the park has to offer during the Centennial celebration of the National Park Service.In that spirit, we encourage everyone to look for ways to get outdoors and "Find Your Park."
"Last year, I asked Mid Atlantic Climbers which regional access issue was most important to resolve," says Access Fund policy director Erik Murdock. "They said they wanted bouldering access at Catoctin Mountain Park, and we set to work developing common sense solutions that would work for the park. To say that I am excited about this outcome would be an understatement."
"Catoctin Mountain Park contains some of the most sought after bouldering and climbing opportunities in northern Maryland, and our members are excited to take advantage of this restored climbing access," says Chris Irwin, President of Mid Atlantic Climbers. "They are also eager to participate in Adopt-a-Crag events this fall and in the future to help minimize climber impacts and otherwise assist the Park."
In 2016 the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary, which kicks off a second century of stewardship of America's national parks by engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.For additional information, go to https://www.nps.gov/centennial.
Catoctin Mountain Park is one of 411 national parks cared for by the National Park Service.For more information on the park and its programs, please check the website at www.nps.gov/cato or call the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.The visitor center is open daily 10-5 with extended seasonal hours and closed Thanksgiving, December 25 and January 1.