Friday, May 20, 2011

Catoctin Mountain Park

Hike Date:  April 14th, 2011

A short drive away from the Frederick county water shed is Catoctin Mountain and Cunningham Falls State Park.  Today we only visited Catoctin since we had a limited amount of time in the afternoon.  That is one great thing about the trails here.  Most are easily accessible by road and if you want to keep it short and sweet you totally can!  With our limited time we hiked up to Cat Rock and let me tell you this is one heck of a leg work out, especially if you are trying to shake the wintertime blues and haven't been hiking for a while! 

The trek is up hill all the way to Cat Rock and if you are still in the mood to earn the rewarding view, you have to climb up the rock pile here to earn it!  After hiking up to Cat Rock we stayed for a while to enjoy the view and admire the geology and after that we headed back down the mountain.  Another note is that during the summer this trail is quite dry but when we visited this spring some of the mountain springs were seeping onto the trail making things a bit muddy, so, as usual with the springtime hiking here in MD you might be dodging puddles on the trail.   Not as popular on the weekdays but you might run into a few people along the way. 

Also watch your step here because there may be a venomous copperhead or timber rattlesnake sharing the trail with you!  Your best defense is to just keep your eyes open and don't touch any of the critters along the trail because if you respect the wildlife it generally will respect you in return! 

This trail also connects to a variety of other trails with a lot of varying terrain and if you are feeling up to the challenge, the Old Misery Trail will take you over towards Cunningham Falls.  I strongly recommend packing extra water and be prepared for an intense leg workout if you choose to get to Cunningham this way!  Overall this is a great place to spend a day, maybe two, ok probably a week or so but it is nice to be only an hours drive away!

At Cat Rock
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