Hiker with leashed dog on trail
Many people enjoy traveling with their pets.  Bringing your pet to a unit of the National Park System requires advance planning and special care.

Please make your visit to Catoctin Mountain Park enjoyable and memorable for both you and your pets by following our guidelines. Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations section 2.15, refers to pets in National Park units. Closures and special regulations are found in the Superintendent's Compendium.

A summary of these regulations follows:

  • Pets are allowed in Catoctin Mountain Park as long as they are physically restrained on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length at all times or are otherwise physically confined.
  • Pets are permitted in Owens Creek Campground and on park trails.
  • Pets may not be left unattended and tied to an object.
  • Pets may not make noise that is unreasonable considering location, time of day or night, impact on park users, and other relevant factors, or that frightens wildlife by barking, howling, or making other noise.
  • Pets are not allowed on the rock formations. They must stay on established trails.

Pets, except for guide dogs or service animals, are prohibited inside all buildings and following areas:

  • Camp 1 - Misty Mount
  • Camp 2 - Greentop
  • Camp 4 - Round Meadow
  • Poplar Grove Youth Group Tenting Area
  • Adirondack Backcountry Shelters
  • Poplar Grove Youth Camping Area
  • Wolf Rock Geologic Formation
  • Chimney Rock Geologic Formation
  • Pets are prohibited in rock climbing areas

To report a LOST PET in the park call the National Capital Region Communication Center at 1-866-677-6677.

PLEASE NOTE that Hunting Creek Lake and Cunningham Falls are located in Cunningham Falls State Park. Pets are permitted in certain areas of the state park. Please contact Cunningham Falls for questions about where pets can and cannot visit. The state park can be reached at, (301) 271-7574. Remember pets may not be left in a car.

The American Dog Owners Association lists several reasons to keep your dog on a leash:

  • Leashes protect dogs from becoming lost and from outdoor hazards.
  • Unleashed dogs intimidate other hikers and their dogs depriving them of the peace wilderness provides.
  • Unleashed dogs harass, injure and sometimes kill wildlife.
  • A leashed dog's keen senses can enhance your awareness of nearby wildlife or other visitors.
  • Failure to leash your dog may result in a fine.

Cats Indoors! The Campaign for Safer Birds and Cats also suggests several reasons to keep your cat indoors (or in your camper) or leashed.

  • Millions of cats are run over by cars each year.
  • Encounters with wild animals leave torn ears, scratched eyes, internal injuries, and diseases.
  • Cats kill birds and small mammals.

Unidentified lost pets are turned in to the Frederick County Division of Animal Control at 301-600-1546.


Last updated: June 20, 2023

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