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Catoctin National Recreation Trail

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Gambrill State Park

Catoctin National Recreation Trail is a 26 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Frederick, Maryland that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as difficult and offers a number of activity options.

Distance: 26.0 miles Elevation Gain: 4,671 feet Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wildlife

backpacking
26 days ago

This trail is hard as fuck, do not do it unless you're packing ultralight, or are an otherwise very experienced backpacker. Also, if you plan on camping at the Manor campgrounds, you have to "self register" by going there in person earlier in the week to grab a laminated piece of paper off of a big clip board with the camp number on it. I didn't find that info out anywhere online, so I got to find out the hard way. Don't let a bunch of glampers ruin your backpacking trip!

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

hiking
Sat May 25 2019

There isn't too much to see on this trail between the north end and Catoctin Hollow Rd other than Bobs Hill overlooks and the falls if you decide to take the short Cliff Trail to see them. There are a couple minor stream crossings and the trails are generally wider/easier part of the whole thing. The White Rock view is much better than either of Bobs Hill overlooks and once you pass that, the trail gets really curvy, thin and rocky. Felt like the further south you go, the more scenic the trail terrain/forest/stream crossings which also include several large ponds...would recommend starting from north end to get the more less-interesting part of trail done with. Not much rain this spring so far so areas that look to normally be pretty muddy were dried enough to walk on, but probably can be troublesome with heavier rain as there are several stream crossings with no bridges (rely on whatever rocks are there and some are pretty slippery). There are several parts where blazes are a bit faded - OR - they display a change in direction but no obvious blazes immediately in the actual correct direction to confirm you turned the right way. Surprised didn't really see any wildlife the whole stretch except for a large rat snake that refused to move off the trail.

backpacking
Thu Jan 17 2019

tough trail in winter, went south bound. would rather have gone northbound. creek near manor area was tricky to cross due to higher water levels. I'd say it was worth it if you want to knock out all the maryland backpacking trails also, I used hiking upward's directions for this map seems to be 27.9 miles according to them

hiking
Sat Aug 25 2018

I did the entire trail in just over 9.5 hours. I parked my car near the Mt Zion Church at the northern end of the trail and started my hike at around 6 am. The AllTrails map help me navigate the entire trail. The trick is to remain on the blue blaze all the way through. The trail is well marked, however due to heavy rain, sections of the trail were full of water and had quite a few stream crossings which weren’t difficult. I did this trail in preparation for the presidential traverse hike.

hiking
Tue May 08 2018

Parked one car at Hamburg rd parking lot, and drove to Gambrill Park Rd and started the blue trail in the parking lot of the Gambrill trails. It was about 6 miles the one way, and it is pretty rocky terrain the whole way. Lots of inclines and declines, and definitely makes you sweat! It was a beautiful hike, will definitely do again!

running
Sun Feb 04 2018

Fun, challenging, remote trail. Was only able to do the southernmost section by Gambrill State Park. Would definitely complete more of this trail, especially when it's not a blizzard.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

running
27 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

recorded Recording - Apr 29, 03:21 PM

hiking
2 months ago

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