Catoctin Trail is a 20.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sabillasville, Maryland that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
Directions from Frederick, MD: Travel north about 5 miles along U.S. Highway 41 turning right onto Gambrill State Park Road. Follow the road for a little over 1 mile to reach the designated Trailhead Lot on the right.
I started this trail at Manor Visitor Center, went up to Bobs Hill, continued over the hill and down to Catoctin Hollow Road. Stopped at the Big Hunting Creek just beyond the road before taking the same trail back up the hill and back to Manor VC. It was a 10-mile round trip, and 2,300 ft in elevation gain. I would say the trail up from Manor VC is steeper than the trail on the west side of the hill. The trail is less traveled beyond the two overlooks on the east side of the hill.
Started at the Gambrill park lot and went north to Hamburg. Out and back. Trail is marked pretty well. Any points where I had to make a choice in the watershed was pretty obvious because of the big red marks painted on the tree that are not the blue trail. I will definitely do again sometime. Hopefully all the way to the manor area of Cunningham park. The only problem I have is the all trails app would not let me check in to this trail at the souther end. That should be fixed.
Me again. I continued my hike of the Catoctin Trail where it crosses the Hamburg Road and turned around about a 1/2 mile past Creek Road (gravel road). There are a couple of pretty ponds along the route and since I was hiking in late fall the falling leaves added to the beauty of them. Trail wasn't too bad but some sections where a little tricky with the leaves hiding the rocks on the path. There were a couple of mountain bikers on the trail.
The southern end of the Catoctin Trail starts in Gambrill State Park. There is a trailhead at the start which can fill up on a busy weekend day. There are several over park trails so you want to take the blue blaze trail on the right (east) side of the parking lot. If you hike to the Hamburg road (which also has parking) and back you will have gone almost 11 miles. I rate this portion of the trail as moderate. Hills are not too steep but there are a lot of rocks on the trail. Trail was active in the park and near Hamburg road (some bikes and runners) but pretty empty in between. Next hike will start at Hamburg Road and head north.