If you are experienced in orienteering and wish to practice your skills, the park maintains the two courses that are available for public use from November 1st through April 15th. The courses are closed the rest of the year in order to lessen the impact on forest vegetation and wildlife. The courses are used on a first-come, first-served basis if no advance reservations are made.
Basic orienteering classes are offered at the park visitor center in the fall and spring. Check the park's Calendar of Events for class dates. To sign up, stop by or call the visitor center at (301) 663-9388. Class size is limited to 30, and reservations are required. Group reservation size in limited to 10 people per call per person.
The basic orienteering course is located near the Park visitor center and consists of 10 points, the first six points constitute a loop of approximately 1.5 miles which was designed for the beginner. An additional 4 points designated on the map with letters are to challenge the orienteerer as their skill level increases.
The second course, known as the west side course, is located within the area bounded by Park Central Road, Manahan Road, and Foxville-Deerfield Road. This course consists of nine numbered points, which when successfully completed form a walk of approximately 1.5 miles.
Groups may use the courses independently between November 1st and April 15th. a written request prior to the group's arrival should be directed to:
Catoctin Mountain Park
c/o Chief Ranger
6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788-1598
This assures that multiple groups will not be using the course at the same time.