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Catoctin Mountain Park
Catoctin Mountain Park is located in Maryland
Catoctin Mountain Park
Catoctin Mountain Park
Location in Maryland
Catoctin Mountain Park is located in the United States
Catoctin Mountain Park
Catoctin Mountain Park
Location in the United States
Location Frederick County, Maryland, USA
Nearest city Thurmont, Maryland
Area 6,154 acres (24.90 km2)
Established July 12, 1954
Visitors 264,460 (in 2011)
Governing body National Park Service
Website Catoctin Mountain Park

Catoctin Mountain Park, located in north-central Maryland, is part of the forested Catoctin Mountain ridge−range that forms the northeastern rampart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the Appalachian Mountains System.

Approximately 8 square miles (21 km2) in area, the park features sparkling streams and panoramic vistas of the Monocacy Valley.

Catoctin Mountain Park is managed by the National Park Service, and lies north of and directly adjacent to the similarly-sized Cunningham Falls State Park.


In the 1930s, after years of making charcoal to fuel nearby iron furnaces, mountain farming, and harvesting of trees for timber, land was purchased to be transformed into a productive recreation area, helping to put people back to work during the Great Depression. Beginning in 1935, the Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area was under construction by both the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps. The northern portion of the park was transferred to the National Park Service on November 14, 1936, and renamed and reorganized on July 12, 1954, with the southern 5,000 acres (20 km2) transferred to Maryland as Cunningham Falls State Park.

Chimney rock catoctin
Catoctin Mountain vista
Catoctin - Cunningham Falls
Cunningham Falls at Catoctin Mountain Park

Bills were introduced in the United States Senate in 2003 and 2005 to re-designate the park as Catoctin Mountain National Recreation Area. The bills passed the Senate, but were not taken up by the House, and therefore did not become law. The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

Originally planned to provide recreational camps for federal employees, one of the camps eventually became the home of the Presidential retreat, Camp David. The Presidential retreat is not open or accessible to the public; however, the eastern hardwood forest of Catoctin Mountain Park does have many other attractions for visitors, some of which include camping, picnicking, fishing, 25 miles (40 km) of hiking trails, and scenic mountain vistas.

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