Sweeping views, fly fishing, and quant campsites await you at Catoctin Mountain Park.
Catoctin Mountain Park is a national park located in northcentral Maryland. Situated on a former coal mine, the eight-square-mile park is named for a Native American tribe.
During the Great Depression, the park was developed into a recreation area in an effort to create jobs and provide recreation areas for federal employees. One section of the park became Camp David, the presidential retreat. Catoctin Mountain Park features scenic mountain hiking trails, camping, fishing and more.
Hiking and Rock Climbing
Located in Northern Frederick County, the Catoctin Mountains have great views of Monocacy Valley. There are four main scenic vistas that can be accessed from hiking trails within the park, including Chimney Rock, Hog Rock, Thurmont Vista, and the Blue Ridge Summit Overlook. The visitor center can provide maps for the more than 15 trails that range from easy to strenuous. The greenstone rock formation of Wolf Rock provides a challenging course for rock climbers.
Wolf Rock, courtesy NPS.gov
Catoctin Mountain has a variety of lodging options, ranging from hike-in campsites to rustic cabins. Cabins start at $50 per night, and campsites start at $5 per night. The park also has two dormitory camps that can accommodate up to 140 people, perfect for large group outings. These camps have dining halls, multi-purpose rooms, and the all-important electricity and hot water.
Big Hunting Creek at Catoctin Mountain was Maryland’s first fly-fishing-only stream. The creek is stocked annually with rainbow and brook trout and is now a catch-and-release stream. Fishermen can catch and keep fish in nearby Owens Creek. Fishing licenses and stamps are required in both locations and you must comply with bait, equipment, and Maryland fishing regulations.
Catoctin Mountain Park is open year-round, and entry is free from dawn to dusk. Check the NPS.gov website ahead of your visit for closures. But be advised: the public is barred from accessing Camp David.
Have you been to Catoctin Mountain Park before? What's your favorite way to enjoy Mother Nature? Tell us in the comments!