Catoctin Mountain Park Announces Fall Activities Schedule and Road Closures

Deer Closure Map 2014
Deer Management Closures

Park Staff

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News Release Date: October 15, 2014

Contact: Debra Mills, 301-663-9399


Fall Color Walks –Saturdays, October 18 and 25, and Sundays, October 19 and 26 at 1:30p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the Hog Rock Parking Area

How will this year's growing season affect the fall colors in Catoctin Mountain Park? Meet a ranger at the Hog Rock Parking Lot at 1:30 or 3:00 p.m. on any of the above dates for a short walk to learn why the leaves change in the fall and how weather affects fall color. Is there a scientific reason or does mysterious Jack Frost deserve the credit?

Orienteering (Map and Compass Reading) - Saturdays, November 15 and 22, and Sundays, November 9 and 16, at the Visitor Center at 1:00 p.m.

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 class size is limited so reservations are required. Please make your reservation by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.

Firewood Collection Permits

Catoctin Mountain Park is piloting a Firewood Policy permitting removal of downed trees that have fallen to produce an unnatural concentration of hazardous fuels.The downed wood exceeds park needs and is being recycled through Firewood Collection Permits.

Permits costing $50, will allow the permit holder to collect up to 3 cords of downed wood from November 25 through December 16, 2014.Specific permit terms are listed under "News" atwww. nps.gov\cato.A total of 25 permits will be issued for the pilot period. Permit applications will be accepted beginning November 10 through U.S. Mail only and will be processed in the order received. Permit applications must contain a check payable to the National Park Service. Permits sent by email, hand-carried or delivered by any method other than U.S. Mail will be returned to the sender with no further processing.

Camp Misty Mount –Cabin rentals available through October 31

Cabins may be rented in historic Camp Misty Mount through the October 31. Rustic chestnut cabins constructed by the Works Progress Administration are available to individuals, families and groups. Please call the Misty Mount office at (301) 271-3140 to make your reservation or for further information.

Owens Creek Campground –Open for family camping through November 1

Owens Creek Campground is open for family camping through November 1, 2014. The campground will close for the season at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 2, 2012. Sites are available by reservation only. Reservations can be made by calling 877-444-6777 or at www.recreation.gov.

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 $25.00 per night.

Deer Spotlight Surveys

National Park Service personnel will be conducting deer spotlight surveys from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. during the week of October 20, 2014.The purpose of the surveys is to obtain a current deer population density estimate for the park.All roads that are within or along the boundary of the Park will be included in the survey.These roads include Park Central, Manahan, Foxville Deerfield, and Quirauk School Roads as well as Route 77.Spotlighting will only take place on park property and will be conducted from a marked NPS vehicle.

Road Closures:

Manahan and Park Central Roads to Close for Deer Reduction Activities and the Winter Season

Park Central and Manahan Roads, located in Catoctin Mountain Park, Thurmont, Maryland, will close intermittently to vehicle traffic beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday November 3, through December 10, 2014 for deer reduction.During this time, CATO staff will conduct white-tailed deer herd reduction activities in accordance with the Catoctin White-tailed Deer Management Plan / Final Environmental Impact Statement. Please see the attached chart and map for exact times and locations.

Manahan Road

The gravel section of Manahan Road, north of the intersection with Park Central Road will close intermittently on weekdays November 3 -22, 2014 to insure visitor safety during white-tailed deer herd reduction. These activities, conducted in accordance with the Catoctin White-tailed Deer Management Plan / Final Environmental Impact Statement, will occur after sunset, when the Park is closed to visitors.

Manahan Road will close for the winter season beginning Tuesday, November 22, 2014. Traditional winter closures substantially reduce the need for gravel replacement on the historic roadway and preserve the adjacent native plant environment. At an average elevation of 1500 feet, the Manahan Road area usually receives more freezing precipitation than any other area of the park. Closing the road enhances visitor safety while allowing opportunities for cross-country skiing and sledding.

Poplar Grove

The Poplar Grove Tenting Area on Manahan Road remains open on weekends during the closure period, providing youth groups with the opportunity to test their fitness by backpacking supplies in and out of camp. Day hikers benefit as the absence of vehicle traffic increases the likelihood of observing wildlife.The Poplar Grove and the immediate area will be closed to all park visitors during deer management operations.

Park Central Road

Portions of Park Central Road will close for the Winter Season at noon, December 22, 2014. Closed sections are the 2½ mile section of road on the east side of the park beginning at the Visitor Center and ending at the 1800' elevation and from Manahan Road to Foxville-Deerfield Road. Closing roads when visitation is low and freezing precipitation often occurs increases visitor safety and reduces maintenance costs. Precipitation that falls as rain at the Visitor Center often changes to ice or snow in less than 1 mile driving distance.

The availability of the road for winter recreation is a positive result of this closure. Many casual hikers who would not otherwise use park trails find the road to be an ideal place to hike and enjoy nature.When there is sufficient snow, Park Central Road provides the beginner with an excellent location to learn cross-country skiing, providing a large area devoid of trees and other obstacles.

Park Central and Manahan Roads will reopen to vehicle traffic in March, 2014 as weather conditions permit.

Deer Reduction Activities

Deer herd reduction is being carried out by qualified federal employees, since public hunting is not permitted in Catoctin Mountain Park.Meat from culled deer will be donated to the Maryland Food Bank, including pantries in Frederick and Washington Counties.The purpose of the herd reduction is to support forest regeneration and provide for the long-term protection, conservation and restoration of native species and cultural landscapes.The consumption of vegetation by the overpopulated deer herd has negatively impacted other wildlife species habitat, and park neighbors. The health of the deer population continues to decline.Reduction activities will occur after sunset, when the Park is closed to visitors.All closed areas will be clearly posted and closures will remain in effect for short periods of time.The closure areas are as follows:

CATOCTIN MOUNTAIN PARK

AREA CLOSURES FOR DEER REDUCTION

Nov 3-6, 2014

Closed Daily

Except 6:00 am to 10:00 am

Nov 17-20, 2014

Closed Daily

Except 6:00 am to 10:00 am

Dec 1-4, 2014

Closed Daily

Except 6:00 am to 10:00 am

Dec. 15-18, 2014

Closed Daily

Except 6:00 am to 10:00 am

Area A

The western portion of the Park, west of Foxville-Deerfield Road to the Park boundary including the Adirondack Shelter and Horse Trail and Owens Creek Campground.

X

X

X

X

Area B

East of Foxville-Deerfield Road, including Poplar Grove, to the north boundary, excluding Camp Greentop and Chestnut Picnic Area. Park Central Road west of Manahan Road will remain open until 5:00 pm and reopen at 3:00 am each day until November 22, when it will close for the winter.

X

X

X

X

Area C

Camp Misty Mount, the area east of the Hog Rock Nature Trail, west of Park Central Road and North of Falls Nature Trail, excluding Blue Blazes Whiskey Still Trail.Park Central Road will remain open until 5:00 and reopen at 3:00 am each day until December 22, when it will close for the winter

X

X

X

X

Area D

Park Central Road north to the Park boundary between Hog Rock parking area and Thurmont Vista Trail.

X

X

X

X

Area E

The northern portion of the Park just south of Buck Lantz Road

X

X

X

X

Area F

The eastern portion of the Park including Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock

X

Catoctin Mountain Park is one of over 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 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The Visitor Center will be closed on Federal Holidays November through February. 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

-NPS-


 



Last updated: April 10, 2015

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6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788

Phone:

(301) 663-9388

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