Catoctin Mountain Park

Thurmont, Maryland

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1 Review
3 out of 5
This national park north of Frederick in Maryland’s Blue Ridge region is endowed with a touch of wilderness, a sense of history, and exceptional vistas. Located scarcely 60 miles northwest of Washington, Catoctin Mountain Park lets arriving visitors know immediately that they are far removed from the urban plains. The air is fresher and cooler, the sky is bigger, trees are ever ywhere, and the endless ridges rolling softly to the horizon evoke a sense of being in a mountain fastness. This 6.7-mile hike has a cumulative elevation change of about 1,355 feet. Try the hike in any season, but note that Catoctin’s Park Central Road is closed December–March. That road is also closed at times because the park contains the out-of-sight presidential retreat known as Camp David (which began as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Shangri-La). You’ll find that the trails are generally kept in good working order and are well signed.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Washington, DC

DESCRIPTION FROM:

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Washington, DC

by Renee Sklarew and Rachel Cooper (Menasha Ridge Press)

This national park north of Frederick in Maryland’s Blue Ridge region is endowed with a touch of wilderness, a sense of history, and exceptional vistas. Located scarcely 60 miles northwest of Washington, Catoctin Mountain Park lets arriving visitors know immediately that they are far removed from the urban plains. The air is fresher and cooler, the sky is bigger, trees are ever ywhere, and the endless ridges rolling softly to the horizon evoke a sense of being in a mountain fastness.

This 6.7-mile hike has a cumulative elevation change of about 1,355 feet. Try the hike in any season, but note that Catoctin’s Park Central Road is closed December–March. That road is also closed at times because the park contains the out-of-sight presidential retreat known as Camp David (which began as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Shangri-La). You’ll find that the trails are generally kept in good working order and are well signed.

© 2017 Renee Sklarew and Rachel Cooper /Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Thurmont
Distance: 6.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,355 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 4.5-5 hours
Season: Year-round but best in spring and fall on a clear day so you can appreciate the views
Features: Views
Local Contacts: 301-663-9388, nps.gov/cato
Local Maps: National Park Service, tinyurl.com/cmptrailmap
Driving Directions: Directions to Catoctin Mountain Park

Recent Trail Reviews

5/6/2007
0

We finished this trail in 4h 10m at a fairly brisk pace and having stopped only for about 20m for a quick lunch. The day we went the weather was in the low to mid-60's and very sunny so it was perfect. I would recommend this trail for a spring or fall hike. I'd rate it a 3.5 and would have given it a 4 if it had more views. About half the hike is along a nice stream with a few beaver dams. There are a few small hills and some parts fo the trail are very narrow. It's also not crowded, we only passed about eight people over the 4hrs.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

Apr 2018