Deerfield Nature Trail is 1.5-mile loop with numbered posts accompanied by an interpretive brochure. Be aware of loose stones along the path.
White-tailed deer roamed this land in Indian times but English settlers brought change to Catoctin Mountain. They cleared the land, built houses, and began to farm. Later the mountain was clear-cut for lumber and for charcoal to feed the iron furnaces in the area. When the federal government bought the land in the early 1930's, no deer remained in the region. In the 1940s, the National Park Service captured a few white-tails and released them on the mountain. Today, without predators to keep them in check, the white-tail population has grown far beyond what the forest can support. Damage to the environment by hungry deer is under study in the park. On this trail, signs of deer are plentiful.
Directions: From Thurmont, MD, Travel to Owens Creek Campground. Take MD State Route 77 west approximately 3.5 miles turning right onto Park Central Road. Travel Park Central Road several miles until it dead ends at Foxville-Deerfield Road. Turn right and travel past Owens Creek Picnic Area. Owens Creek Campground is your second left. Signage is excellent. The trail begins just beyond campsite #30. Non-campers should park at amphitheater near campsite #1.
Elevation: 1,300 feet
Elevation Gain: 260 feet
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Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland
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