Safety Sign at Chimney Rock
Use caution and think safety while visiting Catoctin Mountain Park

NPS Photos


Catoctin Mountain Park is a fun and exciting place to explore. Rangers would like visitors to know about some of the risks in the park so they can be prepared and enjoy their visit.

If you have any questions or concerns, please ask a park ranger, or call the visitor center at (301) 663-9388.

Before You Go

Pack smart! Wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots and dress for the weather. Wear layers of clothing in cold weather and carry water while hiking in all seasons. Pick up a park map at the visitor center before exploring the trails or download one from this website.

Not every carrier has cell phone service in the park. Let friends and family know where you plan to go and when you plan to be back.

Close encounters with wildlife should be avoided. The speed limit throughout the park is 30 mph. This speed will help you enjoy the scenery and watch wildlife and lessen the chance of a collision with the resident wildlife. Deer in particular often travel in groups so if you see one cross the road, slow down and look for another to soon follow behind.

As You Hike

Use caution while hiking. Many of the trails are rocky and uneven. Watch where you're going to avoid slips, falls, and possible strains and sprains. Be aware that after heavy rains, trees may fall on the trail, making it necessary to navigate over or around them.
Poison Ivy is a common plant in the park and many people suffer an itchy rash after contact. It has 3 shiny dark leaves, and in winter can be found as a thick hairy vine.
There are two venomous snakes found in the park: the copperhead and the timber rattlesnake. Please remember that all wildlife have a role in the ecosystem and give them plenty of space. In general, if hikers leave snakes alone, snakes leave hikers alone.

Ticks are also found in the park: the small deer tick which can carry Lyme Disease, and the dog tick which can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks, and a hat offer good protection. Check your entire body after a visit to make sure you didn't take home any unwanted travelers!

At The Overlooks

Chimney Rock is one of the most popular hiking destinations with spectacular views of the valley below. However, please be advised that jumping across the rocks is extremely dangerous. People are seriously injured at Chimney Rock on a frequent basis. The size of the gaps between rocks is very deceptive, so please do not attempt to jump these hazard areas!

In case of emergency call Emergency Dispatch at:
1-866-677-6677 or dial 911

Do not rely on cellular phones as not all carriers work in the park. If you encounter an emergency in the park, most phones are able to dial 911 even when showing “no reception.”

Last updated: June 30, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788


301 663-9388

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