Hike Off Those Holiday Pounds at Catoctin Mountain Park

Fall is my favorite time of year. The weather’s crisp, the leaves change, and you don’t have to worry about 90-degree weather and only rarely about sub-freezing weather (at least during the day).

In fact, a nice fall day in the mid-60s might be optimal hiking weather. And I think I’ve found a great place to take a hike this fall (and the rest of the year): Catoctin Mountain Park.

[ Related: Bike, Walk, Jog – Even Rollerblade – the Capital Crescent Trail ]

Catoctin Mountain Park is famous for one of its camps, and that would be David, as in Camp David, where presidents have gone to get away from it all for quite a while now. But that camp of course is off-limits to those of unpresidential timber (except for one weekend a month).

The park is a bit out of the way in tiny Thurmont, Md., about 17 miles north of Frederick, but close enough for anyone in the metro area with outdoor recreation on the brain. We’re not talking the Catskills or the Rockies here. And hey, if you rent an apartment in Frederick, the park will be close by.

As you’ll see, there’s plenty to do in Catoctin Mountain Park.

With 25 miles of hiking trails winding through both Catoctin Mountain Park and [neighboring] Cunningham Falls State Park[,] a variety of experiences are available ranging from easy to strenuous, many leading to outstanding scenic vistas.

There are more than 10 hiking trails listed, short ones (a mile or less round-trip), those of moderate length (2.5-5 miles round-trip), and even one 8.5-mile loop where hikers get to see Cunningham Falls and beautiful vistas. The west side of the park is wilder, and here hikers will have a better chance of seeing wildlife and wetlands.

[ Related: Walk This Way: 4 Fall Hikes for the D.C.-Area Renter ]

Other than blazing a trail, you can also camp, lodge, go rock climbing, picnic, or if you have kids, take part in a Ranger Program.

In fact, if you’re an ambitious sort, and we know some of you undoubtedly are, you can try and do as many things as you can here. Go wild. Bring the Frisbee and football. If you like hiking in the cool fall air, make the trip and stay awhile.

Find your next apartment in the area with Apartment Showcase.

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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