nature trips


dogs on leash

kid friendly


Catoctin's diverse cultural resources provide several vignettes of our nation's history in one small location. Native Americans quarried rhyolite for the production of lithic tools. A charcoal and iron industry is still visible today, along with smaller industries including farms, sawmills, and an old moonshine still. Historic structures and products of the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, along with the site of our nation's first Job Corps Center, are tangible reminders of the capability of vigorous youth programs to strengthen the nation's economic and social fabric. The totality of resources found in Catoctin Mountain Park reflects much of the early fabric of our country. An Historic Resource Study was conducted in March 2000 by Dr. Edmund Werlhe and is available on line for your reference. Catoctin Mountain Park, An Administrative History by Barbara Kirkconnell, February 1988. 578KB, word document. For more information about archeology in Catoctin Mountain Park see http://www.nps.gov/rap/archeology/spotlight_CATO.htm and in the Washington, D.C. area see http://www.nps.gov/rap/.

Lots of great lookouts along this trail. I would say hiking it normal and save Chimney Rock for last!

24 days ago

Great little hike around 1.1 miles. Great overlook. Gravel surface but groomed well. Little bit of Traffic as it is an easy one for the kiddos. 4 year old had a blast.

Loved this hike! It was bitterly cold but the views were worth it.

1 month ago

Great hike. The waterfall was frozen.

nice easy trail. waterfall is completely frozen right now. still pretty but it doesn't really look like a waterfall.

2 months ago

I definitely would not consider this a “moderate” hike. I extended it and went over to Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock and I still didn’t think this was moderate. The hike itself is easy. With the leaves covering the trail and some of the rocks, it could be considered lightly moderate in winter/fall. Otherwise, it was a lovely easy hike and I would definitely do it again! The views were nice and it was good to be in nature.

2 months ago

somehow it was about 9.5 miles, but great fall trail!

Challenging hike, especially with rocky trail covered with leaves. Especially beautiful view from Chimney Rock. View from Wolf Rock is not as impressive after the leaves have fallen, but probably more spectacular in early fall or spring.

Great hike!!! I hike trail counter clockwise. Great are views from Chimney Rock, Wolf Rock, Thurmont Vista, Blue Ridge Summit, and Hog Rock. Also, great views of Cunningham Falls.

Great hike.

Family hike on a rainy, cold day. Really enjoyed the views although it was overcast. Only complaint is the slippery leaves and rocks that I should have expected. I think the hard rating must be due to the elevation changes. If we did it again, I would cut out the section to the ranger station. It follows the road and is not very scenic. It was well marked with opportunities to bail back to the parking lot.

2 months ago

A steep hill from Charcoal parking lot and a rocky climb down to a joining trail. Beautiful view of Thurmont and a must hike. It is a fairly rocky trail so beware.

Had the trail to myself on a cool November day. Nice trail, little Rocky in places with a section of really big trees that must have blown down recently.

Great hike, nice views, pretty quiet on a bad weather day.

Enjoyed the hike and especially loved the view from Chimney Rock.

beautiful hike, especially in fall. Chimney Rock is wonderful and everytime I've been it's not very crowded. Great trail for dogs.

Dog friendly, moderate. Would do again!

Short hike with some great views -- definitely recommend! Be careful near Chimney/Wolf Rocks, as there are a lot of crevasses. Easy to follow, trail is well-blazed (orange)

Awesome trail with great views and cool geologic history. Plenty of spots for some scrambling too! Great confidence builder for new hikers like myself, with lots of crevices to jump over and rocks to climb. The trail is a challenge but the views are worth it. Only downfall is the trail is poorly marked/designated in some places.

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