Catoctin Mountain Park recently opened new visitor center exhibits that are a must-see for area residents.

 For decades, the rustic 1940s-era visitor center has served as a contact point for hikers, campers, and individuals exploring the wooded hills and creeks around Thurmont.

The new exhibits provide a broad overview of the area’s history, including sharing how American Indians collected rhyolite from the mountain to create tools and projectile points, as well as how later settlers made a living from farming, timbering, and manufacturing charcoal for the Catoctin Iron Furnace.

The exhibits highlight the park’s beginnings during the Depression as a Recreational Demonstration Area, and the evolution of the park by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.

Also included are uses of the park by the Job Corps, youth groups, the Frederick County Outdoor School, and many others seeking opportunities for personal renewal and recreation.

The exhibits have engaging interactive elements for children and the young at heart to learn about the animals, plants, and the people who have current or historical connections to the park and surrounding area. 

 The Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  It is located at 14707 Park Central Road, Thurmont, MD, 21788.

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