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Less than an hour's drive of Washington, D.C. hides this fabulous wilderness hike.

From the NPS administration's parking lot, take the unmarked trail that begins left of the bulletin board coming to the marked trailhead in approximately 10 yards. From the trailhead, you'll make a steady ascent along a rock-strewn path draped by towering oaks and maples. In about a half mile, the trail eases. As it travels around the mountainous ridgeline, you come upon a T-junction. Head left to reach the panoramas provided on Chimney Rock (1,419 feet). The southeastern peak is Cat Rock, also accessible from the administration's parking lot.

Either retrace your steps back to the parking lot or continue north to Wolf Rock reached at 2.7 miles round-trip and 1,401 feet, a well-known rock-climbing locale. Some hikers press on further reaching Thurmont Vista at 3.6 miles round-trip and 1,499 feet. Intersecting trails wind back to the NPS visitor center (different from administration parking lot) and several other parking lots.

Directions: From Thurmont, MD, Travel MD State Route 77 west approximately 1.5 miles turning right at the park adminstration center. You may park in this lot.

Elevation: 1,419 feet

Elevation Gain: 580 feet

Usage: Moderate

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland

Visitor Information

The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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