Catoctin Mountain Park

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Catoctin Mountain Park
Map showing the location of Catoctin Mountain Park
Map showing the location of Catoctin Mountain Park
Map showing the location of Catoctin Mountain Park
Map showing the location of Catoctin Mountain Park
LocationFrederick County, Maryland, USA
Nearest cityThurmont, Maryland
Coordinates39°38′04″N 77°27′00″W / 39.63444°N 77.45000°W / 39.63444; -77.45000Coordinates: 39°38′04″N 77°27′00″W / 39.63444°N 77.45000°W / 39.63444; -77.45000
Area6,154 acres (24.90 km2)[1]
EstablishedJuly 12, 1954
Visitors264,460 (in 2011)[2]
Governing bodyNational Park Service
WebsiteCatoctin 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 5120 acres or 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.

Catoctin Mountain vista
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.

In popular culture[edit]

This park is shown, with its link to Camp David, in the 1973 thriller The President's Plane Is Missing, the 2006 film The Sentinel, and the 2013 film Olympus Has Fallen.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011" (PDF). Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  2. ^ "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-26.

External links[edit]