If you are interested in volunteering at Catoctin Mountain Park, please call the Park Volunteer Coordinator at the visitor center at (301) 663-9388, or e-mail us. Please remember that service project requests need to be in writing and planned well in advance.


Current Volunteer Opportunities


Types of Volunteer Positions

There are many ways to volunteer at Catoctin Mountain Park! Here are some of the types of volunteer jobs you can do:

Visitor Center Volunteers

One of the first stops in any National Park is the Visitor Center. Welcome our visitors and provide basic information on how to enjoy the park. Weekend positions are offered.

Campground Hosts

Volunteer hosts help visitors at Owens Creek Campground, assist rangers in fee collection, and provide minor maintenance and clean up of campsites. The Campground Host site has hook-ups. A one month commitment is required. Camp Misty Mount Hosts assist with cabin check ins and check outs, provide minor maintenance, and assist in staffing the camp office. A cabin is provided for hosts. A one month commitment is required.

Trail Stewards

The park staff always needs extra 'eyes and ears' looking for fallen trees, erosion problems, pets off leash, and answering visitors questions. Turn your hike into a park patrol! Sign up at the visitor center and set your own schedule.

BARK Ranger Trail Stewards

Friendly canines and their human companions help monitor and maintain the many miles of park trails. Learn more about the BARK Ranger program.

Equestrian Trail Stewards

Horseback riders are welcome to join Catoctin Mountain Park's "Hoof Ranger" program. Volunteers monitor and report trail conditions on our many miles of equestrian trails! Volunteers must provide their own horse and riding equipment.

Service Projects

If you are part of an organized group or an Eagle Scout candidate and wish to provide a service to Catoctin Mountain Park, please contact the volunteer coordinator with your interests. We will need to know the size of your group, age level, proposed date of the project and number of participants. Each group project required direct coordination with a member of our staff so please plan well in advance. Project ideas include: exotic plant removal, trail/trash cleanup, and painting projects.

Unique Skills

On occasion we have very specialized projects and are looking for a unique skill. Volunteers have helped us with fly-tying demonstrations, blacksmith shop demonstrations, digital photography of artifacts, oral history tape transcribing, just to name a few. If you think you might have a special skill we could use, let us know and we'll work together if possible.

Artist in Residence

Are you an artist who would like to spend two weeks immersed in the natural and cultural resources of the Catoctin Mountains? Consider applying for our Artist In Residence program.

Community Volunteer Ambassador (CVA)

The CVA program combines the strength of a national leader in conservation service with the National Park Service in order to train a diverse group of emerging leaders to assist park units in building last connections to local communities.

BArk Ranger Logo. Cartoon Dog wearing ranger hat. Text above image reads Catoctin Mountain Park Volunteer Bark Ranger
Catoctin Mountain Park BARK Ranger Logo


BARK Ranger Trail Steward Program

NOTE: The park is not currently accepting BARK Ranger applications. This page will be updated when applications re-open.

Catoctin Mountain Park’s trail system is one of its most valued and used resources. Park staff continually work to ensure that visitors have an enjoyable, safe trail experience. “Bark Rangers” and their owners volunteer to hike and monitor the trails as a key part of our trail maintenance efforts. We count on our Trail Stewards and their Bark Ranger friends to observe trail conditions and report any changes to Visitor Center (VC) staff. Just as importantly, dogs and their owners help ensure that visitors understand park rules and engage in only safe trail activities. Bark Rangers will be equipped with Volunteer Bark Ranger bandana.


  • Walk multiple miles of Park trails during each rove

  • Make contact with visitors to address any concerns

  • Demonstrate and remind visitors of proper park dog etiquette.

  • Inform the VC staff of any major trail problems or concerns, and/or fill out a Trail Condition Report form

  • Use a Park radio to report any emergencies to the Duty Ranger


  • Pet and Owner comfortable hiking for extended time periods (2+ hours), often on uneven ground

  • Ability to own and use adequate hiking/pet equipment

  • Provide own dog, water bowl, leash and all other related pet gear

  • Willingness to engage with Park visitors and VC staff


E-mail us


Last updated: July 14, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788


301 663-9388

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