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).