Hiking

hiker
Hiking can be enjoyed during all 4 seasons at Catoctin Mountain Park.

NPS Photo

 
Healthy Parks - Healthy People
National Park Centennial Challenge

The park is a great untapped resource for fostering health and wellness.

As part of the NPS 100th anniversary, the park aims to increase awareness of its resources as a place for exercise and rejuvenation. Exposure to nature and outdoor exercise have significant health benefits, including improved physical and mental health, reduced stress and lower blood pressure.

We challenge you to enjoy the park and improve your health by hiking the many scenic and interpretive trails.

Stop by the visitor center to pick up your pamphlet and track your progress. After you complete each hike, stamp your pamphlet at the visitor center.

Have fun and stay healthy!

 
HPHP Centennial Challenge Pamphlet
Healthy Parks Healthy People - Centennial Challenge

NPS

Pick up your Healthy Parks Healthy People Centennial Challenge pamphlet at the visitor center and start hiking!

 

East Side Trails

The east side of the park features stunning vistas, challenging terrain, and access to Cunningham Falls. Most trailheads begin at the visitor center. Parking and trailheads are also available by the park headquarters and at three points along Park Central Road.

Click the map on the right for trail lengths or download guides of some more common trails:

Shorter in Length - 1 mile or less round trip

Moderate in Length - 2.5 miles to 5 miles round trip

Longer in Length




 

West side trails

The west side of the park is the wilder side. Adventurous hikers are more likely to see wildlife, wetlands, and an up-close view of nature. Remnants of former farms dot the land. The park's picnic areas, campgrounds, and back-country shelters connect with the trails.

The Catoctin National Recreation Trail and the Horse Trail dominate the west side. Hikers may use the Catoctin National Recreation Trail to access Cunningham Falls (~2 miles from the Chestnut Picnic Area).

Click on the map to the right for trail lengths and contours, or download the trail guides below:

 
Westside Trail of CATO
Westside Trails of Catoctin Park
 

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Brochures for Nature Trails

Brown's Farm Trail Brochure (pdf 206kb)

Deerfield Nature Trail Brochure (pdf 1.05MB)

Hog Rock Nature Trail Brochure (pdf 551kb)

 

Tips for Planning Your Trip
  1. Bring a daypack with food and water. No matter what season, visitors should always bring water when hiking.
  2. Hike with a friend (buddy system). Dogs need to be on leashes at all times.
  3. Wear sturdy hiking shoes. Sandals are not recommended.
  4. Be aware of the weather! Check the weather forecast before you leave your house and plan accordingly (i.e. rain gear if possibility of rain). Wear layers of clothing to add or take off as the weather and your body temperature change.
  5. Be aware of the trail and fauna (such as snakes and bees) on the trails. Avoid deviating from the trail and getting lost. This helps us protect the resources by limiting our impact on the forest. If wildlife is encountered do not taunt, touch or feed, and enjoy watching from a safe distance.
  6. Be very careful at overlooks and rock formations to avoid slips and falls as the rocks can be slippery and the formations have long, deep crevices that can cause injury or death. Rock climbing at Wolf Rock is allowed by permit only (issued at Visitor Center).
  7. Leave No Trace. We are a trash free park. Everything brought in needs to leave with you.
  8. Leave wildflowers and other flora for all to enjoy.
  9. Be aware that cell phones may not work in all areas of the park and many service providers do not work at all. Test your phone for coverage.
  10. If you or someone you are with is injured report it to the first Park Ranger you encounter. (Emergency dispatch phone number: 1-866-677-6677).

Remember, walking/hiking estimated time varies on hiking ability and pace. Finally, have fun, be safe and have an adventure!

 

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788

Phone:

(301) 663-9388
This phone number is for the visitor center and is answered during regular operating hours. An outgoing voicemail message provides information when the visitor center is closed.

Contact Us