Hike Catoctin Mountain
Maryland › Chimney Rock Trail, MD
Added by Zinnia Xu
Great views at multiple outlooks (Chimney Rock, Wolf Rock, Blue Ridge Summit Overlook, Thurmont Vista, Hog Rock), and rock scrambling over rocks and around deep crevices near the overlooks. Only a 1 hour drive from Baltimore, with a detour to Cunningham Falls.
Park at Catoctin Mountain Visitor Center. The hike starts at the end of the gravel parking lot across from the visitor center. This is definitely a popular hiking location, so come early on the weekends to guarantee a parking spot and to avoid the crowds. To start, take the right trail towards the Park Headquarters and Chimney Rock. Hike uphill towards the Crows Nest Campground loop. In 2 miles, you will arrive at the trail for the Chimney Rock lookout point.
At Chimney Rock, there is a caution sign for deep crevices. When you get to the lookout point, there is an area with a 3-4 foot jump over a deep crevice to get a closer look. Some people attempt to jump this gap. If you choose to try this, exercise extreme caution as the fall is very far. If you are too chicken, there is also a difficult but alternative way of climbing down instead of jumping the gap. Whether or not you choose to get a closer view, the area is very scenic. Many people hang out here just to enjoy the views.
From Chimney Rock, hike 0.4 miles to get to Wolf Rock. Once you get close to Wolf Rock, you will have to walk and rock scramble a little bit to get a better view of the rock formation. The wolf rock formation actually looks like the profile of a wolf! Sometimes birds like to perch on top of the rock.
Hike ~0.9 miles from Wolf Rock to Thurmont Vista. From Thurmont Vista, it is about a mile rock to Blue Ridge Summit. All of these outlooks are good places to stop and enjoy some snacks while taking in the view. From here, hike 1.4 miles to Hog Rock Vista. Unlike the name suggests, there is not a rock formation that looks like a hog here, contrary to Wolf Rock. It is however a great resting point.
From Hog Rock, hike downhill towards Cunningham Falls. To take the detour to see Cunningham Falls, cross over MD77 to reach the wooden walkway towards the falls. Here you get a great view of the falls from the bottom. You can't, however, access the waterfalls from the Catoctin Mountain Park. There is an alternative trail on the Cunningham Falls State Park side that does allow access to the falls. When you are done enjoying the falls, cross back of MD77 and take the Falls Nature Trail the rest of the 1.4 miles back to the visitor center. Enjoy!
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