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Post by GaliWalker on Sept 18, 2022 11:36:53 GMT -8
Catoctin Mountain Park - Cunningham Falls State Park loop hike
Catoctin Mountain Park's claim to fame is that it is the area in which Camp David is located. It also has some numerous interesting features, accessible by the lowly hiker, so I seem to keep returning. This would be my 4th trip there.
I reached the trailhead for Chimney Rock at 6:45am, 30min later than I should have. I was going to miss the sunrise. I hurried up the 1.2mi to Chimney Rock and was pleased to see that the light was still really nice.
From Chimney Rock, I head over the short 0.5mi through beautiful hardwood forest to Wolf Rock, to admire the 250yrs old quartzite ledge.
After Wolf Rock, the next features were the Thurmont Vista, which I didn't linger at, and the Blue Mountain Summit Overlook, at which I did.Blue Ridge Overlook
Hog Rock had another hiker already there, enjoying the vista, so I didn't stop to set up a selfie, or even to take a photo, and dropped down off Catoctin Mountain to Cunningham Falls. Cunningham Falls was pretty dry, so yet again I didn't take any photos there.
Now in Cunningham Falls State Park, I picked up the Cliff Trail and headed uphill for a short stretch, and then turned right onto the Catoctin Trail. Initially, this stayed level for the most part, with the occasional ascent, usually followed by a descent. Then, I started a long climb on a long series of moderately graded switchbacks, through a beautiful forest.
At the ridge crest I took a left and followed the ridge to Cat Rock. After a quick exploration of this final feature, I continued downhill to my waiting car.Stats: 11.5mi, 2820ft elevation gain, 6.75hrs