Hike to Chimney Rock

Photographer capturing fall foliage at Chimney Rock.
Photographer capturing fall foliage at Chimney Rock.

NPS/Anthony DeYoung

Fall Foliage at Chimney Rock.
Fall Foliage at Chimney Rock.

NPS/Anthony DeYoung

Visit Chimney Rock

Along every hill and in every bend in the trail, a new experience, a new beauty, a new connection to Nature, waits for you at Catoctin Mountain Park. This semi-strenuous trail begins and ends at the East Corner of the paved parking area by the Visitor Center. The hike is 3.9 miles round trip and provides stunning views of the mountains from the top of Chimney Rock.

This loop is the most strenuous trail in our park as the trail is steep, narrow and at times can be slippery. The actual trail at times can be hard to identify so follow the map closely. A trail map and compass are advised. This trail features two of the most well known rock formations at Catoctin Mountain Park: Chimney Rock and Wolf Rock. Each of these rock formations are great places to stop and enjoy lunch or just take in the scenery. Chimney Rock reaches a maximum elevation of 1419 ft and Wolf Rock has an elevation of 1401 ft.
Details

From Parking Lot at Park Headquarters (off Md. 77) Est. Time

0.2 M to Trailhead intersection (moderate incline) 10 minutes

1.1 M to Chimney Rock (steep, narrow incline) 35 minutes

0.5 M to Wolf Rock (moderate incline) 15 minutes

0.6 M to Wolf Rock Parking Lot (moderate incline) 25 minutes

1.1 M to Parking lot at HQ (steep downhill) 35 minutes

Total: 3.5 Miles, 2 Hours

If you hike with your pet in Catoctin Mountain Park, it must be on a leash 6 feet or less. This is to protect you, your dog and the wildlife and plants in the park. To be safe, you need to walk, not run, because there are tree roots and rocks on the trails and someone could get hurt if he/she goes too quickly.

Admission to the park is FREE, but for those who qualify, Senior Passes, Military Passes, Access Passes, and Every Kid in a Park passes are available at the visitor center.

Wolf Rock/Chimney Rock Loop - is accessed or started from three different places. Access to this loop is off of Md. 77 from the parking lot in front of the National Park Service Headquarters-also known as Camp Peniel. There is an additional parking lot directly across from the Catoctin Mountain Park Headquarters. When parking at these parking lots, visitors will need to pick up the trailhead 20 ft west on Md. 77 on the right hand side of the road. The trailhead is marked by a sign that reads: Chimney Rock 1.1 M / Wolf Rock 1.5 M. The second place to begin this loop is from the parking lot at the Visitor Center. The trailhead starts at the end of the paved parking lot on the left. The Third place visitors can access this trailhead is 1.1 miles up Park Central Road from the Visitor Center at the Wolf Rock Parking Lot.

This loop is the most strenuous trail in our park as the trail is steep, narrow and at times can be slippery.

The park is open daily from dawn until dusk.

Accessibility Information

Chimney Rock Trail

This trail is not wheelchair accessible. 

Spicebush Trail

This quarter-mile interpretive trail is wheelchair-accessible with a natural-looking specially bonded WoodCarpet® that is firm and stable. The trailhead is in the Chestnut picnic area. Accessible parking and two wheelchair-accessible picnic tables connect to the trail. Restrooms are within 200'. Historic Camp Greentop, known for its tradition of serving children with disabilities, is also very close. Spicebush Trail Map (pdf 71kb)

Last updated: April 26, 2018