Superintendent's Compendium

Superintendent’s Compendium of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority.

Approved: Rick Slade, Superintendent, June 28, 2022

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Catoctin Mountain Park. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document, identified by italicized print.

In addition to the park website, signed copies of the Superintendent's Compendium for Catoctin Mountain Park are available at the park headquarters, from any Law Enforcement Ranger, email, or via a written request for a physical copy at:

Superintendent
Catoctin Mountain Park
6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
 

Introduction

The Catoctin Mountain Park (CATO) Superintendent's Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under the discretionary authority of the park Superintendent. It serves as public notice, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on those public use and resource protection regulations that pertain to the specific administration of the park. It does not contain those regulations found in Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and other United States Codes (U.S.C.) which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

The regulations contained in Title 36 CFR Parts 1–7 are used to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park, and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1–6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park System. Part 7 contains special regulations, which are specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of the Part 1–7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.
The NPS is granted broad statutory authority in 54 U.S.C. 100101(a) et.seq. (National Park Service Organic Act of 1916, as amended) to, "promote and regulate the use of the National Park System by means and measures that conform to the fundamental purpose of the System units, which purpose is to conserve the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife in the System units and to provide for the enjoyment of the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” (54 U.S.C. 100101(a))

In addition, the Organic Act allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to "prescribe such regulations as the Secretary considers necessary or proper for the use and management of System units." (54 USC 100751(a))

In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS. Through the General Authorities Act of 1970 (54 USC 100101(b)(1) et.seq.), Congress brought all areas administered by the NPS into one National Park System and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1916.

In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted, system wide, the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various System units shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by subsection (a), to the common benefit of all the people of the United States. The authorization of activities shall be construed and the protection, management, and administration of the System units shall be conducted in light of the high public value and integrity of the System." (54 USC 100101(b)(2)) 54 USC 100501 defines the areas included in the National Park System as" ...any area of land and water administered by the Secretary, acting through the Director, for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes."

Title 36 CFR Section 1.7(b) requires the Superintendent to compile, in writing, all the designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority. This compilation, called the Superintendent's Compendium, shall be updated annually and made available to the public upon request. In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is also guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2001). As stated in this document, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national, natural and cultural resources, while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitors and other users, as long as use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience.The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another.

Each park Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, in which the Superintendent has a basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired; then that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.
This Compendium is in compliance with all regulations and delegated authority provided by Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Parts 1–7 authorized by Title 54 United States Code 100751.

As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular NPS area.

The requirements of the Superintendent's Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process for that particular NPS area. The decision criteria used during this process are:

  • Is the use or activity consistent with the National Park Service Organic Act and NPS policy?
  • Is the use or activity consisten and compatible with the park's enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?
  • Will the use or activity damage or impari the park's protected natural/cultural resources/other protected values?
  • Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions/values?
  • Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses or activities?
  • Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?
The regulations contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise within the boundaries of federally owned lands and waters administered by the NPS as part of CATO.
Only NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers or a crossed designated Law Enforcement Officer can enforce the requirements of the U.S.C., CFR Titles, and this Superintendent's Compendium. However, many Federal laws and regulations, have similar statutes found in State and local law. Many of the requirements of this Compendium complement existing State and local law and regulations, which are also in effect within the park and enforced by State and local law enforcement officers.
A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in Title 36 CFR Parts 1–7, along with this compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding three months (36 CFR 1.3(b)), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings.
 

Part 1 General Provisions

(a)(1) The following visiting hours, public use limits, and closures are established:

Visiting Hours:            
  • The Park, or portions of the park, may be closed at any time for emergency or security reasons in order to protect the welfare of staff and visitors.
  • All Park areas are closed between the hours of sunset and sunrise, except for administrative areas, vehicular traffic on park roads, and designated camping areas as a condition of permitted occupancy. Overnight parking without a permit is prohibited.
The above visiting hours are based upon a determination that such hours are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, the protection of natural and cultural resources, and the implementation of management responsibilities.

Public Use Limits:
  • Entering or remaining in the park outside of posted hours is prohibited.
  • The following items are prohibited in sleeping quarters (cabins, dormitories, lodges) at Camp Misty Mount, Camp Greentop, Camp Round Meadow as they pose a danger to the health and safety of others due to exposed flames or heating elements:
  • Hot plates, candles, portable space heaters, grills, griddles, outdoor fryers, toaster ovens.
  • Overnight occupancy is allowed in the following locations, by permit only:
    • Owens Creek Campground
    • Camp Misty Mount
    • Camp Greentop
    • Camp Round Meadow
    • Poplar Grove Youth Camping Area
    • Adirondack Shelters
  • CAMP MISTY MOUNT public use limits
    • Dining Hall- Maximum occupancy of 110 persons
    • Lodges - Maximum occupancy of 8 persons
    • Cabins - 3–6-person occupancy
  • CAMP GREENTOP public use limits
    • Maximum occupancy of 140 persons, with 10 persons/cabin or 12 persons/lodge
  • CAMP ROUND MEADOW public use limits
    • Maximum occupancy of 120 persons, with 30 persons/dorm
    • Gymnasium conference room maximum occupancy is 51 persons
    • Maximum of 135 vehicles - must be parked in gravel parking lot
  • See 36 CFR §2.10 for camping conditions related to Owens Creek Campground, Poplar Grove Youth Camping Area, and the Adirondack Shelters.
The above public use limits are based upon a determination that such limits are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety and the protection of natural and cultural resources.

Closures: 
  • The Park, or portions of the park, may be closed at any time for inclement weather, emergency, or security reasons in order to protect the welfare of staff and visitors.
  • The following areas are closed to the public:
    • Camp 3 and ancillary facilities
      • Areas including NSF Thurmont, as designated
    • Misty Mount Pasture
      • Areas including those used for cellular tower installations
    • Round Meadow Pasture
      • Areas including those used for Park Maintenance operations
    • Foxville Plaza
    • Utility and pipeline corridors and/or facilities, except where designated as a marked trail
    • All areas signed or posted as “Closed”, “Area Closed”, “Restricted Access”, or “Authorized Vehicles/Personnel Only”.
  • All buildings within the park are closed to public use except for regularly scheduled and conducted activities, reservations, or as allowed by a permit.
Seasonal Closures:The following park areas are operated seasonally:
  • The gravel section of Manahan Road, north of Park Central Road to the park boundary closes to vehicular traffic during the winter and spring.
*NOTE: Poplar Grove Youth Campground remains available for use, accessible by foot.
  • The paved section of Park Central Road between Manahan Road and Foxville Deerfield Road closes to vehicular traffic during the winter and spring.
  • The paved section of Park Central Road between the Catoctin Mountain Park Visitor Center and NSF Thurmont closes to vehicular traffic during the winter and spring.
    • Portions of this segment may be open intermittently, weather dependent.
Facility Open Closed
Owens Creek Campground Late April Early Nov
Camp Misty Mount Early May Early Nov
Camp Greentop Early April Early Nov
Camp Round Meadow Mid Feb Mid Dec
Chestnut Picnic Area Weather dependent Weather dependent
Owens Creek Picnic Area Weather dependent Weather dependent
Lewis Property Weather dependent Weather dependent
The above closures are based upon a determination that such closures are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, the protection of environmental values, the protection of natural and cultural resources, and the implementation of management responsibilities.
  • Closures requested by the United States Secret Service (USSS) shall be of a partial and temporary nature to provide security to the President of the United States and/or protectees of the USSS, as specified in 18 USC § 3056. During these periods, the following areas will be closed to the public:
    • Central portion of Catoctin Mountain Park, bounded approximately by MD Route 550 on the North, Park Central Road on the East, Manahan Road on the west, and MD Route 77 on the south.
    • Park Central Road will be closed between the Thurmont Vista Parking Lot and Greentop entrances.
    • Greentop Horse Trailer Parking Lot
    • Blue Ridge Summit Overlook Trail
    • Hog Rock Nature Trail
    • See attached map for details (appendix 1)
The above closures are necessary to provide for the security of the President of the United States and other protectees of the United States Secret Service. The size of the closure is the minimum necessary to provide adequate protection of the President.  Less restrictive measures will not suffice for security.  The temporary and partial closure is not of a nature, magnitude, or duration that will result in a long term "significant alteration in public use pattern.”  Further, the closure will not adversely affect the park’s natural, aesthetic, scenic or cultural value nor require significant modification to the resource management objectives; nor is it of a highly controversial nature. Accordingly, pursuant to 36 CFR § 1.5(b), publication in the Federal Register is unwarranted.

Specific Use/Activity Restrictions:(a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity and/or the following conditions or restrictions are imposed on a specific use or activity:
  • Possession of spray paint containers outside of motor vehicles is prohibited except by park residents at their residences, authorized park employees or contractors.
  • All trails are closed to all motorized vehicles unless their operators have received appropriate authority from the Superintendent or his/her representative.
*NOTE: Handicapped visitors are authorized to use motorized wheelchairs or Segway’s in these areas.
  • Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Catoctin Mountain Park is prohibited except for administrative use, or as approved in writing by the superintendent.
  • The Park is closed to the following activities:
    • Racing (unless authorized by permit)
    • Motorized scooters and similar devices (except for official ADA use)
    • Helium filled balloons (except within building and vehicle interiors)
    • Water balloons
    • Recreational type activities that involve leaving property behind or affixing items to park property for other visitors to discover, unless officially sponsored by the park. Ex- Geo-caches, letterboxing, munzee barcodes, etc. See also 36 CFR §2.22
    • Competitive events are only permitted under a permit issued by the Superintendent in accordance with §2.50(a)
  • ROCK CLIMBING 
Individuals participating in rock climbing within Catoctin Mountain Park must follow the following conditions:
    • Technical, roped rock climbing is allowed only during daylight hours and is limited to the following areas:
      • Wolf Rock
    • Use of rock-climbing gear must not impede travel on established trails or cause damage to any natural feature.
    • Any commercial use and/or use by guiding services must obtain a commercial use authorization.
    • The placement of bolts or permanent anchors is prohibited
  • VEHICLES
    • Motor Homes, Camping Trailers, and off-road vehicles are prohibited in the parking area in Poplar Grove Youth Group Camp.
    • Washing, repair, or maintenance of vehicles belonging to visitors (other than short-term emergency repairs) in public parking areas is prohibited.
    • Parking is limited to:
      • Parking lots and designated pull-outs.
      • Shoulders of Manahan Road in a manner that parked vehicles do not obstruct the flow of traffic, unless otherwise posted.
      • Horse trailer parking locations:
        • Horse Trailer parking lot adjacent to Camp Greentop
        • Round Meadow gravel parking lot
        • Shoulders of Manahan Road
  • FILMING
The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:
  • Outdoor filming activities involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.
The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:
  • maintain public health and safety;
  • protect environmental or scenic values;
  • protect natural or cultural resources;
  • allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.
If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request. The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10-day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit. The following are prohibited:(1) Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required. (2) Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required. (3) Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action. Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent. The above designations are based upon a determination that such conditions are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental values, protection of natural or cultural resources and the equitable allocation and use of facilities.
  • The use of any camera, television, still photography, motion picture, and/or video graphic device and associated communication support apparatus may not capture/record any signage, roads, buildings, structures, facilities, personnel, vehicles, equipment related to NSF Thurmont.  Furthermore, signs are posted as “No Photography” on the entrance road to NSF Thurmont and associated turn around to clearly identify and delineate a security zone.
The above restrictions are necessary to provide for the security of closed park areas in accordance with park security guidelines. CCTV USE POLICY
  • The National Park Service’s use of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) for law enforcement and security purposes will only be to visually monitor public park areas and public activities where no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Such CCTV use - which will have adequate privacy and First Amendment safeguards – will be to help ensure public safety and security; facilitate the detection, investigation, prevention and deterrence of terrorist attack and crime; help ensure the safety of citizens and officers; help assist in the proper allocation and deployment of law enforcement and public safety resources; help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.
  • This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities, revenue collection sites, etc., where the government may record/monitor its facilities. For example, the government may perform unrestricted video/audio recording at revenue collection points (entrance stations, visitor center counters, etc.). This policy does not restrict the use of an Audio/Visual Recording Device (AVRD) in patrol vehicles or officer worn recording devices used by commissioned rangers; that use is addressed in Chapter 44., RM-9, Chapter 26, Section 1.
This information is included as required by NPS RM-9, Chapter 26, Section 4.6

COVID-19 Restrictions:
  • When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.
  • When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.
  • When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in one or more, but not all, of the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.
  • Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.
  • Regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial mask-wearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.
  • Additionally, all individuals must wear masks in or on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs/facilities, to the extent required by current orders or directives issued by the CDC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or other federal agencies with jurisdiction over those conveyances or areas. As of March 4, 2022, CDC and TSA orders or directives require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear masks in indoor areas of all forms of public transportation conveyances, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in the indoor premises of transportation hubs/facilities. Individuals are not required to wear masks while outdoors on conveyances or while outdoors on the premises of transportation hubs/facilities.
This public use limit is in place to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the Superintendent is required:
  • §1.5(d) The following activities related to Public Use Limits:
    • Overnight occupancy of cabin camps
    • Overnight parking
    • Vehicles 40 feet and over traveling westbound on Park Central Road
    • Use of motorized vehicles on trails
    • Use of unmanned aircrafts
  • §2.4(d) Carrying or possessing a weapon, trap, or net
  • §2.5(a) Specimen collecting (plant, fish, wildlife, rocks, or minerals)
  • §2.10(a) Camping activities
    • Refer to General Regulations for further camping conditions
  • §2.12 Audio Disturbances:
    • (a)(2) Operating a power saw in developed areas
    • (a)(3) Operating any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas
    • (a)(4) Operating a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51
  • §2.17 Aircraft & Air Delivery
    • (a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means
    • (c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft or parts
  • §2.23(a) Recreation Fees and Daily Site Use Fee Areas
    • Waiving fees for educational or scientific visits (pursuant to part 71.13(c) and 71.13(d))
  • §2.35 Alcoholic beverage consumption
  • §2.37 Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods, or services (pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued under §2.50, §2.51, or §2.52).
  • §2.38 Explosives
    • Using, possessing, storing, or transporting explosives or blasting agents
    • Using or possessing fireworks
  • §2.50(a) Conduct a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony or similar event
  • §2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views involving more than 25 people
  • §2.52(a) Sale or distribution of printed matter involving more than 25 people
  • §2.60(b) Livestock use
  • §2.61(a) Residing on Federal Lands
  • §2.62 Memorialization:
    • (a) Erection of monuments (requires approval from Regional Director)
    • (b) Scattering of human ashes from cremation
  • §4.11(a) Exceeding established vehicle load, weight, and size limits
  • §5.1 Advertising (displaying, posting or distributing)
  • §5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business
  • §5.5 Still Photography and Audio Recordings (see also 43 CFR 5.1)
  • §5.6(c) Using commercial vehicles on park area roads
  • §5.7 Constructing buildings, facilities, trails, roads, docks, paths, structures, etc.
Applications for permits can be obtained by contacting the Revenue and Fee Manager:

Catoctin Mountain Park
c/o: Permit Office
6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
301-416-0100 
e-mail us

Permits for overnight camping or facility rental can be acquired by visiting www.recreation.gov or calling 1-877-444-6777. (Exception: Camp Greentop reservations and permits- call 301-416-0100)
 

Part 2 General Regulations

(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground may be collected in the following designated areas for use as fuel for campfires:
  • Park Wide
(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions:
  • Blackberries, Raspberries, Wineberries, Dewberries, Blueberries, and edible species of mushroom may be gathered by hand for personal consumption. One half (1/2) gallon per person, per day may be gathered.
(b) Hunting and trapping is prohibited.

(d) Transporting lawfully taken wildlife through the park is prohibited except on Foxville Deerfield Road and Maryland Route 77. The following conditions and procedures are required:
  • Carcass must be tagged in accordance with state and federal law
  • Game must be kept out of sight as much as practical
  • Park residents may transport legally taken wildlife on any park road directly to their residence for processing/ consumption.
(e) Use of artificial light to view wildlife is prohibited except in research studies authorized by the Superintendent.  
(a) Except in designated areas or as provided in this section, fishing shall be in accordance with the laws and regulations of Maryland. Non-conflicting State laws are adopted as a part of these regulations.
  • No exceptions designated
Pursuant to 18 USC § 930, firearms are prohibited in federal facilities. Federal facilities are marked with signs at public entrances.

Pursuant to 54 USC § 104906, park visitors may carry firearms in the park if they are otherwise in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.

(e) Traps and nets are prohibited except as permitted by the Superintendent or his/her designee.
  • Only under a permit issued by the Superintendent
Taking plants, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals is prohibited except in accordance with 36 CFR chapter 1 or the terms and conditions of a specimen collection permit pursuant to § 2.5(a).
Camping is defined as erecting a tent or shelter of natural or synthetic material, preparing a sleeping bag or other material for use, parking a motor vehicle, motorhome or trailer, or mooring a vessel for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy.

(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities noted. A permit system and camping conditions have been established:
  • A permit is required for all camping activities at Catoctin Mountain Park.
  • Camping by permit is allowed in the following designated locations:
    • Owens Creek Campground
    • Adirondack Shelters
    • Poplar Grove Youth Camping Area
  • The following applies to camping at the ADIRONDACK SHELTERS:
    • Permit allows up to 5 persons or the immediate family to occupy one shelter
    • Length of stay is limited to 7 consecutive days or 14 days total during a calendar year.
    • Vehicles must be parked at the location named on the permit
    • Food, garbage, and equipment used to cook or store food must be stored in a manner to prevent access by wildlife.  These items must be kept sealed in a vehicle, or in a camping unit that is constructed of solid, non-pliable material, or suspended at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet horizontally from a post, tree trunk, or other object.
  • The following applies to the POPLAR GROVE YOUTH CAMPING AREA
    • Poplar grove is available for camping by organized youth groups only, whose members are under 18 years of age
    • Permit allows up to 25 persons to occupy one camp site
    • Two vehicles or one vehicle and utility trailer per site is allowed when Manahan Road is open; additional vehicles may park at Camp Round Meadow gravel lot.
    • Off-Road vehicles, camping trailers, and motor homes are prohibited from the Poplar Grove parking area.
    • Groups may only occupy assigned tent sites.
    • Food, garbage, and equipment used to cook or store food must be stored in a manner to prevent access by wildlife.  These items must be kept sealed in a vehicle, or in a camping unit that is constructed of solid, non-pliable material, or suspended at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet horizontally from a post, tree trunk, or other object.
(b) The Superintendent may designate all or a portion of a park area where food, lawfully taken fish or wildlife, garbage, and equipment used to cook or store food must be stored as designated:
  • These items must be kept sealed in a vehicle, or in a camping unit that is constructed of solid, non-pliable material, or suspended at least 10 feet above the ground  and 4 feet horizontally from a post, tree trunk, or other object.

Picnicking is allowed, except in designated areas closed in accordance with §1.5 

  • No closed areas 

The following are prohibited:  

(a)(1) Operating motorized equipment, machinery, audio device, or musical instrument in a manner that makes unreasonable noise. 

(a)(2) Operating a power saw in developed areas is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit. 

(a)(3) Operating any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit. 

(a)(4) Operating a public address system is prohibited, except in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §§ 2.50 or 2.51. 

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is prohibited, except in the following designated areas: 

  • Existing fire rings or grills within designated picnic and camping areas 

  • Misty Mount Lodge, Green top lodge, Round Meadow fire circle. 

(a)(2) The use of stoves or lanterns is prohibited, except under the following conditions: 

  • Grills and petroleum-based fuels are only allowed in designated picnic and camping areas 

(b) Fires shall be extinguished upon termination of use and in accordance with the following conditions:  

  • All fires must be completely extinguished with no visible signs of heat or burning material remaining 

The above designations are based upon a determination that such conditions are necessary for the safety of public health, and the protection of natural and cultural resources. 

(a)(2) Using park refuse receptacles or facilities for dumping household, commercial or industrial refuse is prohibited. 

(b) Conditions for the disposal, containerization, or carryout of human body waste have been established as follows: 

  • All human body waste must be carried out of the park for disposal- no public facilities available.   

(a)(1) Possessing pets in public buildings, swimming areas, and the following structures and/or areas is prohibited:  

  • Camp Misty Mount 

  • Camp Greentop 

  • Camp Round Meadow 

  • Adirondack backcountry shelters 

  • Poplar Grove youth camping area 

  • Wolf Rock Geologic Formation 

  • Chimney Rock Geologic Formation 

  • Hog Rock Geologic Formation 

  • Designated rock climbing areas  

This restriction does not apply to service animals. The NPS will use the same definition of service animal currently found in DOJ regulations 28 CFR 363104 and will not rely on 36 CFR 2.15. Service animals will be allowed wherever visitors or employees are allowed when accompanying a person with a disability.  

(b) Leaving a pet unattended and tied to an object is prohibited. 

(c) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions: 

  • Pet excrement is the responsibility of the owner/handler and must be disposed of in established refuse containers 

(d) Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions: 

  • Pets may be kept by residents of government quarters in accordance with park housing policy. 

The above designations are based upon a determination that such conditions are necessary for the safety of public health, and the protection of natural and cultural resources. 

(a) The following animals are designated as pack animals for purposes of transporting equipment 

  • Horses, mules, burros, llamas, and goats 

(b) The use of horses or pack animals is prohibited outside of the following trails, routes, or areas designated for their use:  

Designated horse or pack animal areas: 

  • Horse Trailer Parking Area (across from Camp Greentop) 

  • Horse Trail  

  • Catoctin National Recreation Trail 

(d) Free-trailing or loose-herding of horses or pack animals on trails is prohibited, except as designated:  

  • No exceptions designated 

(g) Violation of the following conditions established by the superintendent is prohibited:  

  • Horses and pack animals must be tied or picketed more than 100 feet of any natural water source 

  • Groups larger than 10 horses and riders must have a permit 

  • Halter and lead rope must be carried or be on the horse at all times. 

The above designations are based upon a determination that such conditions are necessary for the safety of public health, and the protection of natural and cultural resources 

(c)(1) The removal of a downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is subject to procedures established by the Superintendent through written authorization. 

  • A permit is required for the removal of any downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof. 

(d) The use of aircraft shall be in accordance with regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Such regulations are adopted as a part of these regulations 

  • The airspace above Catoctin Mountain Park is closed to all aircraft except pre-authorized military or emergency flights. Catoctin Mountain Park lies within FAA designated Special Use Airspace P-40 and R-4009. 

(a) Skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, inner tubing, tobogganing, and similar winter sports are prohibited on park roads and in parking areas open to motor vehicle traffic, except as otherwise designated:  

  • No exceptions designated 

The use of roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices is prohibited, except in the following designated areas:  

  • Camp Greentop on the paved athletic courts 

  • Park housing areas and their immediate driveways 

These conditions have been determined to protect park resources, ensure visitor safety, and prevent conflicts among visitor use activities. 

(a) The following areas have been designated as closed to smoking:  

  • Any Park building, bus stop, amphitheater, play area or aquatic facility, or within 20 feet of any building 

  • The use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (Vaping, E-cigarettes, etc.) is prohibited anywhere smoking is prohibited within the park. 

These restrictions are consistent with federal law and have been determined to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, and prevent conflicts among visitor use activities. 

(a) Leaving property unattended for periods longer than 24 hours is prohibited, except with the permission of the Superintendent. 

(a) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:Entrance Fee Areas:     
  • There are no entrance fees for Catoctin Mountain Park.
Daily Site Use Fee Areas:

(a) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses: 

Entrance Fee Areas:  

  • There are no entrance fees for Catoctin Mountain Park. 

Daily Site Use Fee Areas:  

FACILITY 

Mon- Thurs Rate 

Fri-Sun Rate 

CAMP GREENTOP  

Entire Camp 

$600/night 

$1000/night 

Early Check in/out (Requests considered on a case-by-case basis) 

$75/hour 

$75/hour 

CAMP ROUND MEADOW 

Includes: 4 dorms, Gym w/ classrooms, dining hall 

$600/night 

$1000/night 

Early Check in/out (Requests considered on a case-by-case basis) 

$75/hour 

$75/hour 

CAMP MISTY MOUNT 

Cabin 

$50/night/site 

$50/night/site 

Lodge 

$100/night/site 

$100/night/site 

Cabin 16 

$140/night 

$140/night 

Dining Hall 

$110/night 

$360/night 

POPLAR GROVE YOUTH GROUP SITE 

Group Site (3 sites) 

$35/night/site 

$35/night/site 

OWENS CREEK CAMPGROUND 

Camp Site (50 sites, 3 ADA) 

$30/night/site 

$30/night/site 

 

Special Recreation Permit Fee (Such as but not limited to, group activities, recreation events, and the use of motorized recreation vehicles):  

  • Special Use Permit Application Fee - $150 

   
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

Special Recreation Permit Fee (Such as but not limited to, group activities, recreation events, and the use of motorized recreation vehicles):     
  • Special Use Permit Application Fee - $150

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed: 

  • All Park areas administered by Catoctin Mountain Park, unless authorized by a permit issued by the Superintendent 

This closure is implemented following the determination that the consumption and possession of alcohol within Catoctin Mountain Park would be inappropriate considering other uses of the location and the purpose for which the park is maintained and was established. This closure maintains consistency with regulations of the adjacent state park and reduces hazards and incidents relating to the consumption of alcoholic beverages.  

Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods or services is prohibited except pursuant to the terms and conditions or a permit that has been issued under §2.50, §2.51, or §2.52. 

(a) Using, possessing, storing, or transporting explosives, blasting agents or explosive materials is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.   

 (b) Using or possessing fireworks and firecrackers is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit. 

(a) Sports events, pageants, regattas, public spectator attractions, entertainments, ceremonies, and similar events are allowed, provided there is a meaningful association between the park area and the events, and the observance contributes to visitor understanding of the significance of the park area, and a permit therefore has been issued by the superintendent.  

(b) Demonstrations of 25 people or less are allowed within the park areas designated as available under (c)(2). Demonstrations of more than 25 people are allowed within designated park areas when the superintendent has issued a permit for the activity. 

(c)(2) The following locations are designated as available for demonstrations: 

  • Owens Creek Picnic Area 

  • Round Meadow Gravel parking lot 

  • Thurmont Vista upper parking area 

  • Visitor Center gravel parking area 

  • Park Headquarters parking lot outside of gate 

See attached map for details (Appendix 2) 

The above designations are based upon a determination that such locations will not negatively impact park resources, unreasonably interfere with park operations, impair public facility use, create a danger to public health and safety, or unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in natural resource zones.  

(b) The sale or distribution of printer matter by 25 people or less is allowed within the park areas designated as available under § 2.51(c)(2) (see above). The sale or distribution of printed matter by more than 25 persons is allowed within designated park areas when the superintendent has issued a permit.  

Areas designated:  

  • Owens Creek Picnic Area 

  • Round Meadow Gravel parking lot 

  • Thurmont Vista upper parking area 

  • Visitor Center gravel parking area 

  • Park Headquarters gravel parking lot outside of gate 

See attached map for details (Appendix 2) 

The above designations are based upon a determination that such locations will not negatively impact park resources, unreasonably interfere with park operations, impair public facility use, create a danger to public health and safety, or unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in in natural resource zones.  

(a) Residing in park areas, other than on privately owned lands, is prohibited except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit, lease, or contract. 

(b) The scattering of human ashes from cremation is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.  

 

Part 3 Vehicles & Traffic Safety

(a) Unless specifically addressed by regulations in this chapter, traffic and the use of vehicles within a park area are governed by State law. State law is now or may later be in effect is adopted and made a part of the regulations in this part. 

(b) Violating a provision of State law is prohibited. 

(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted: 

  • Maximum load limit on Foxville-Deerfield Road, Park Central, or Manahan Roads is 16,000 pounds per axle, or 60,000 pounds GVW.  

  • Vehicles over 40 feet in length are prohibited, unless given prior authorization from the Superintendent or his/her representative. 

  • Over height (14.6 ft), overweight, oversized vehicles (102 ft) require a permit 

The above designations are based upon a determination that such conditions are necessary to ensure traffic safety and the protection of road surfaces and park resources. 

(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated: 

  • Park Central Road 30 MPH 

  • Foxville-Deerfield Road 30 MPH 

  • Manahan Road (paved) 30 MPH 

  • Manahan Road (gravel) 15 MPH 

(a) The use of a bicycle is prohibited except on park roads, in parking areas and on routes designated for bicycle use.  

  • Bicycles are permitted on the seasonally closed portions of Park Central Road and Manahan Road.  (These closed sections are not maintained during the period of closure and downed limbs and trees, ice, and other hazards may be present). 

  • E-bikes are allowed in Catoctin Mountain Park where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited. 

  • A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5). 

  • Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Catoctin Mountain Park is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited. 

Definition:  The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).
Hitchhiking or soliciting transportation is prohibited.  
 

Part 4 Commercial & Private Operations

Commercial notices or advertisements shall not be displayed, posted, or distributed on federally owned or controlled lands within a park area unless prior written permission has been given by the Superintendent. 
Engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be specifically authorized under special regulations. 
Taking photography of vehicles, models, or other articles of commerce for the purpose of commercial advertising requires a written permit from the Superintendent. 

(b) Using commercial vehicles on government roads within park areas when such use is in no way connected with the operation of the park is generally prohibited, and requires permission or a permit issued by the Superintendent. 

(c) The Superintendent shall issue permits for commercial vehicles used on park area roads when such use is necessary for access to private lands situated within or adjacent to the park area, to which access is otherwise not available 

  • Commercial vehicles are allowed to travel on Foxville-Deerfield Road when use is necessary for access to private lands adjacent to the park or when other access is not available 

  • Commercial vehicles are allowed on Manahan Road from the park southern boundary to Park Central Road and on Park Central Road from Manahan to the access lane of NSF-Thurmont.  

Such activities, including tents, canopies, and other ground penetration, are prohibited, except in accordance with the provisions of a valid permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States.
 
 

Appendices

 
Appendix 1- A map of Catoctin Mountain Park with the middle third marked AREA CLOSED
Appendix 1- USSS Closure Map

NPS

 
A Owens Creek Picnic Area B Round Meadow Gravel Parking Lot C Thurmont Vista Upper Parking Area
Appendix 2- Demonstration Areas A,B,C

NPS

 
two additional demonstration areas, the visitor center gravel parking area and park headquarters parking lot
Appendix 2- Demonstration Areas D,E

NPS

 
 

Last updated: June 29, 2022

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Thurmont , MD 21788

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