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Fall Activities Schedule

Catoctin Mountain Park

National Park News

Catoctin Mountain Park Announces Fall Activities Schedule

The following interpretive programs are scheduled for the fall season at Catoctin Mountain Park.:

Whiskey Still Talks – Sundays, September 3, 10, 17, and 24, from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Blue Blazes Still

Alcohol played an important role in the early settler’s lives, not as a beverage but as a form of currency, an efficient way to get crops to market and for medicine and fuel. Meet a ranger at the site of the original Blue Blazes Still for an informal talk that explains how an excise tax took whiskey stills from the family farm to moonshine operations tucked in mountain coves and hollows.

Thurmont/Emmitsburg Community Show – Friday, September 8 from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., Saturday, September 9, from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 10, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Catoctin High School, Thurmont, Maryland

The staff of Catoctin Mountain Park is proud to be part of the Thurmont Community. Join us at the Community Show to interact with park personnel and view our exhibit outlining strategies designed to protect our natural and cultural resources. Displays featuring NPS jobs, and the “Chapters” of Catoctin’s 70 year history are highlights of this year’s exhibit. Smokey Bear will make a special appearance on Saturday from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. Enter your name to win a free stay at Camp Misty Mount and other special prizes!

Volunteer Trail Work Day – Saturday, September 16 at 9:00 a.m. at Camp Round Meadow

Join us for the last Trail Work Day of the year. Help repair and maintain trails to make them safe for hikers and to prevent erosion. The work is physical and involves activities ranging from clearing of debris to the installation of waterbars and trail surface material. Learn about National Park Service trail maintenance standards while contributing to resource and visitor protection goals. For more information or to sign up as a member of the trail crew contact Park Ranger Don Stanley at (301) 663-9388.

National Public Lands Day – Saturday, September 30 at 9:00 a.m. at Camp Round Meadow

Alien plants are threatening the Catoctin Mountain Park forest composition as the animal population consumes native plants leaving the aliens to set seed and expand their range. The National Public Lands Day project, to be held Saturday, September 30 is just one of a series of activities designed to give native plants a better growing position. After learning how to identify the target plants, volunteers will seek them out and rip them from the soil. The project requires more enthusiasm than skill. There is no minimum time commitment. Groups and individuals are invited to work any length of time or time period. Please contact Debbie Mills at (301) 663-9388 for further information. Wayside Exhibit Dedication – Saturday, September 30 at 12:00 noon at the Visitor Center

Outdoor wayside exhibits introduce park visitors to significant events and natural features at Catoctin Mountain Park. A three year cooperative effort between the Catoctin Interpretive Staff, the Harpers Ferry Center and Ion Design has produced a series of 29 dramatic panels utilizing modern graphic technology. The Wayside Exhibit Dedication officially opens this park-wide showing of interpretive art.

Blacksmith Shop Demonstration – Saturday, September 23, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., at the Blacksmith Shop in Camp Round Meadow

Before the days of mass production, every community needed a skilled blacksmith. The smithy forged nails, and hardware, sweated wagon rims, shod horses and repaired broken metal implements. The Blacksmith Shop played a vital role in the Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area. Hardware and tools needed to build the cabin camps were manufactured on this forge, actively used by the National Park Service for over 40 years. Now the forge is fired to show visitors this vanishing art. Our volunteer blacksmith will demonstrate and explain how metal is heated and shaped into useful and decorative objects. The Blacksmith Shop is located in Camp Round Meadow on Manahan Road. Please call the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388 for further information and specific directions.

Fall Color Walks – Saturdays, October 21 and 28, and Sundays, October 22 and 29 at 1:30p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the Hog Rock Parking Area

How will this season’s extreme heat and dry periods affect the fall colors in Catoctin Mountain Park? Meet a ranger at the Hog Rock Parking Lot at 1:30 or 3:00 p.m. on any of the above dates for a short walk to learn why the leaves change in the fall and how weather affects fall color. Is there a scientific reason or does mysterious Jack Frost deserve the credit?

Orienteering (Map and Compass Reading) - Sundays, November 12 and 19 and Saturday, November 18, at the Visitor Center at 1:00 p.m.

Orienteering classes consist of an indoor slide program that introduces maps and their components as well as the orienteering compass that allows the user to determine the direction of travel. After learning how to use the compass in conjunction with the map, participants are given the opportunity to complete a short outdoor course. The outdoor course requires going off-trail in varied terrain so wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. Maps and compasses are provided for the day. The program is free but class size is limited so reservations are required. Please make your reservation by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.

Catoctin Mountain Park 70h Anniversary Celebration –Tuesday, November 14 at 11:00 a.m. at the Visitor Center

Join the staff of Catoctin Mountain Park at the Visitor Center at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 14 to celebrate the park’s 70th anniversary. A special one-day postal cancellation, art display by Catoctin High School and Birthday Cake will be available from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Don’t miss this special opportunity to share your special memories of Catoctin.

Owens Creek Campground – Open for family camping through November 19

Owens Creek Campground is open on a first-come, first-served basis though November19. Each site is limited to one camping unit (tent or trailer) and a maximum of 5 people. Maximum tent size is 9’x12’. Trailers up to 22’ in length are accepted but there are no hookups. The fee is $20.00 per night.

Camp Misty Mount – Cabin rentals available through October 31

Cabins may be rented in historic Camp Misty Mount through the end of October. Rustic chestnut cabins constructed by the Works Progress Administration are available to individuals, families and groups. Please call the Misty Mount office at (301) 271-3140 to make your reservation or for further information.

Catoctin Mountain Park is one of 391 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The Visitor Center, located on State Route 77 three miles west of Thurmont, Maryland, is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is General information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.



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