Access Update: Catoctin Mountain Park Bouldering

Since 2016 when Catoctin Mountain Park restored bouldering access, Mid Atlantic Climbers has been working with National Park Service staff to steward climbing areas and develop educational materials for the climbing community. In recent years, Park resource experts have expressed concerns about the impact of climbing on the sensitive natural resources the Park seeks to conserve. 

Following continued dialogue and an on the ground analysis of natural resources, the Park requests that the following boulders be effectively closed to climbing:

Hog Rock trail area: Warfare/Knifewall and Chief Block/Gateway Fin 

Thurmont Vista area: Sudden/Smelted

Chimney Rock (only the Chimney Rock area itself – the Pyramid Boulder is outside the area of concern)

MAC asks that the local climbing community respects this request. Please visit the Park website for more information and climbing guidance.

Green boxes represent the Park’s preferred bouldering areas.
Purple box represents Wolf Rock, the area where roped climbing is permitted.
Red boxes represent sensitive areas, please do not climb in these areas.

Part of MAC’s mission is to preserve access to climbing areas in the region. We believe that by following this new guidance by the Park and helping to conserve sensitive natural resources, the climbing community can protect overall access to bouldering in the Park. MAC appreciates the Park staff for collaborating with the climbing community to find an equitable solution, and thanks them for their commitment to look at natural resource protection conflicts with individual boulders on the ground, rather than issuing a larger blanket closure.

MAC looks forward to continuing our work with the Park to steward climbing areas and natural resources, and we are excited about the potential opportunity to expand boulder access through the Catoctin Comprehensive Trail Plan. Please stay tuned for opportunities to comment and participate in the trail plan discussion at the beginning of 2022.

Thank you to the climbing community for helping to protect access to one of the best spots for bouldering in Maryland!

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