View Full Version : 8 Mile Catoctin Mountain Hike

Jimmy Legs and Little d
01-31-2010, 09:57 PM
In preparation for our winter vacation in New Hampshire we headed out to the Catoctin Mountains near Thurmont, Maryland. Catoctin Mountain National Park is home to the Presidents retreat; Camp David.


Our loop hike started at the visitor?s center and would parallel Route 77 for one mile until it reached the junction to the Chimney Rock trailhead. Another 1.1 miles of steep rocky trail and we reached Chimney Rock (1,419 ft.).


As you can see in the photo the skies were cloudy but visibility was several miles; a hint of snow was in the air. After a short stay we proceeded to our next target; Wolf Rock (1,401 ft.).


Here?s a picture of the ?Wolf Rock?.


The trail crosses atop a rocky plateau with many crevices.



Just a half mile past Wolf Rock we encountered this snowy scene. This section has always been one of our favorites.


Next target: Thurmont Vista (1,499 ft.)
No view here today.:(


After 5.3 miles we decided to stop for lunch at the Hog Rock picnic area.


We enjoyed a nice hot lunch of beef vegetable soup and Starbucks instant coffee.


Passing Hog Rock (1,610 ft.) and continuing down towards Route 77 we reached our final leg of our loop.
Along the way we encountered snowy scenes.


We returned once again back to the visitor?s center only this time covered in snow.


This storm was not predicted to come this far north and west, but to our delight we ended up with 6 inches of powdery snow. Today?s temperature remained around 15 degrees.
Only 4 more weeks to go! :)

02-01-2010, 07:19 AM
Great trip report and wonderful pics. Looks like a nice place to hike. Thanks for sharing.

Snow Miser
02-01-2010, 08:03 AM
Nice TR and photos. This place is not too far from where I live. I will have to put it on my list of hikes to do. Thanks for sharing!!!

02-01-2010, 10:29 AM
Very nice. I got out yesterday for a bit of the AT starting near Harpers Ferry and headed north. Was a beautiful hike. Ended up sharing the last mile of a 7 time thru-hiker that was in Vermont a couple months ago and decided to walk home. Since he lives nearby, it was his last mile as well. Pretty cool.

Bob, I didn't realize you were THAT close! Clearly we need to get out for a local hike!

Anna LeBlanc
02-01-2010, 09:04 PM
Thanks for the great TR and Pictures guys.You would have made my husband very happy with the Starbuck's Coffee:p



02-02-2010, 07:39 AM
Nice Donna! Looks like you needed to be south to get a snowy hike this weekend. Great way to prep for heading north. Wish we had another one in our plans. Soon I hope...

KD Talbot
02-03-2010, 01:10 PM
Always nice to start out in a brown and gray world and have it magically transformed as you walk along! Looks like very nice territory. Drop us a line when you come up for vacation. Maybe we can get together!


Jimmy Legs and Little d
02-05-2010, 01:53 PM
Thanks for all your replies:

CHRIS, it is one of our favorite hiking areas not too far from home.

BOB, What city in PA do you live? Are you far from Hawk Mountain?
May plan a hike there in early spring, let us know if you're

ERICH, We were on the AT weekend before you; starting at Raven Rock to Cowell Shelter and back. Real nice area to hike.

ANNA, Nice to hear there are Starbucks Fans in our forum group. It really hit the spot too.

MARK, More snow today and tomorrow. 10 - 20+ inches forecasted with blizzard conditions tomorrow. Should be busy shoveling then time for a good snowshoe on Sunday. Hope you get some of the snow up your way.
Even though we're looking at a record snowfall year in Maryland, still can't wait for our NH trip.

KEVIN, It really was a special treat and more fun this weekend too!
We'll be in touch.


Snow Miser
02-05-2010, 08:06 PM
BOB, What city in PA do you live? Are you far from Hawk Mountain?
May plan a hike there in early spring, let us know if you're

I live about 10 miles north of Philadelphia in Montgomery County. Hawk Mountain is about 50 NW of here. I haven't been there for years, very nice place. I do a lot of hiking along the AT a few miles north of there, all the way up to the Delaware Water Gap on the border of PA and NJ. Two favorites along the mountain chain are Pulpit Rock and The Pinnacle. Very nice views, especially from The Pinnacle. If you do go to Hawk Mountain in the spring, I would certainly like to meet up and do a hike. Let me know when the time comes.:)