Catoctin Mountain Park
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. Catoctin Mountain Park is currently in the process of developing a plan to enhance the Park’s trail system and visitor experiences, while balancing recreation with natural and cultural resource protection.
In addition, MAC asks the climbing community to respect the Park’s request that the Warfare/Knifewall and Chief Block/Gateway Fin boulders in the Hog Rock Trail area, the Sudden/Smelted boulders in the Thurmont Vista area, and Chimney Rock be effectively closed to climbing in order to protect sensitive resources. MAC also supported changes to the names of several boulder problems in the Park in order to foster a more inclusive local climbing community.
Based on climbers’ input, the Park has proposed new trails and trail reroutes to increase access to high-quality boulders not currently connected to the trail system. In January of 2022, the Park solicited public comments on its proposed trail plan, and is now considering all of the public input. Then, if a new trail plan is selected, the Park will get to work! It will be crucial for the local climbing community to be supportive and involved in the development, stewardship and maintenance of climbing access trails and bouldering sites. MAC will continue to keep the climbing community informed as we learn next steps.
Mid Atlantic Climbers has submitted comments to the Park on their proposed trail plan.
How Can I Help?
At this time, there is little opportunity for involvement until the Park finalizes its trail plan and starts implementing new trail projects. Please let us know if you’re interested in getting more involved once the trail plan is completed.
Catoctin Climbing Information
Alerts and Closures
- 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)
More information can be found on our news page.