An Easy Side of Strenuous 4.8 Mile Hike: Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock Loop Vistas in Catoctin Mountain Park with Optional Post Hike Meal!
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of west central Maryland is a wonderful place known as Catoctin Mountain Park. Managed by the National Park Service, this area of pristine hardwood forests, wild mountain streams, abundant mountain laurel and rocky vistas lies just 50 miles north of Washington, D.C. The park is arguably best known for its neighbors, Camp David – the presidential retreat – and Cunningham Falls State Park, home to a 78-foot cascading waterfall. While Camp David is obviously off limits, this hike loops through highlights of the best that Catoctin has to offer in a shorter hike than most in this area making it an enjoyable trek for many more hikers than the longer and more strenuous hikes in this area.
This is a somewhat rugged hike to two outstanding vistas and a fascinating rock formation known as Wolf Rock that is simply a must.
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Thurmont
Length: 5 total miles
Elevation Gain: 500 feet and almost all of it is in the first hill at the start of the hike.
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Easy Side of Strenuous due to the one hill at the start of the hike where almost all of the 500 feet of elevation gain is made. Other than that one hill, the rest is a moderate hike.
Season: Year Round but very clear views in winter
Local Contacts: Catoctin Mountain Park
Local Maps: USGS Blue Ridge Summit; Cunningham Falls State Park Map
Special considerations: With two outstanding vistas, add plenty of time to your itinerary for enjoying the views.
Our RSVP Policies and Group Etiquette
Click here to review our policies.
We hike rain or shine. Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
Suggested Carpool Locations below. It is the members responsibility to work with each other to arrange carpools. Please use the comment area beneath this posting. Be sure to exchange contact information, via email, with each other to confirm the details.
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.
Annapolis Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Annapolis area, meetup at the Harbour Center Mall Starbucks. Click here for Annapolis carpool directions for getting to the carpool location.
VA East Area Carpool (Fairfax Area METRO)
People can also arrange to meet at the Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station. Zip Cars are available at this location as well so consider being a zipster to not only save money but help save the environment! Click here for directions to Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for where to meet for this hike!
Hike is at 8:00 a.m.
Carpool time from Savage is 6:15 a.m.
Time for carpooling from Annapolis is 6:00 a.m.
Time for carpooling from Vienna METRO is 6:15 a.m.
Optional Post Hike Lunch Information and Menu
We will have an optional hike lunch at Cozy Restaurant as they welcome hikers and have great post hike food at a great price as well as the infamous Camp David Museum!
Click here for suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
Please note that our holiday and holiday weekend hikes are not refundable for any reason (including switching hikes, not finding the trailhead, or carpools not working out) due to too many people backing out or changing hikes at the last minute. Sorry, but this is the only way to help make sure that there is a good turnout and our leaders not offer to lead a hike on their holiday in vein...or we will be all become burned enough that we will no longer offer them. Since we have made holiday hikes non-refundable it has boosted attendance rate significantly and often have perfect attendance. Thanks so much for your understanding and I look forward to seeing you out on the trail soon.
Fido is Welcome on this Hike
Let's have good times and see you there!