The Adirondack Shelters, located near the northern most point of Catoctin Mountain Park, provide a destination for true nature immersion and an alternative to drive-up camping. A moderate three-mile uphill hike over rocky but generally gently rolling terrain leads to the three-sided shelters similar to those found on the Appalachian Trail. At Catoctin Mountain Park, the beauty and solitude of nearly 6,000 acres of mature Eastern Hardwood Forest beckon visitors in need of an escape. Natural Features: Located about 60 miles from Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland, Catoctin Mountain Park lies within the mountainous Blue Ridge Province of north-central Maryland. Scenic overlooks extend across the Monocacy Valley. Recreation: The shelters are for backcountry hikers looking for a remote getaway. Birding and wildlife watching are some favorite activities. Catoctin offers a 25-mile hiking trail system, picnic areas, cabin camps and a traditional campground. Facilities: This is a rustic camp area with no water and a pit toilet shared between the two shelters. Campers must carry adequate drinking water and supplies and pack trash out at the conclusion of their stay. The two shelters are several hundred feet apart, making them close enough for groups to use both, but far enough away to offer privacy. The sites are available year-round and each fit five campers. Campfire rings are provided. Nearby Attractions: Head to Wolf Rack for scenic vistas and thrilling rock climbing and rappelling. Or tour the Historic Camp Misty Mount, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. ACTIVITIES Day Use Area: Adirondack Shelter
As I've heard of many shelters on the nearby Appalachian Trail, there is a problem with mice at these shelters. Proper food hanging is an easy way to alleviate this issue, and I experienced no problem with mice in or around my tent (Although I saw many scurrying around the shelter). Despite the sound of gunshots (Even at 11pm!) from nearby private property, We slept well and were shielded from the downpour outside. I reserved the shelters on a stormy weekend, and was very glad that I could hike regardless of the conditions with untested gear, knowing that if all else failed, I had a dry home base. The surrounding trails are a bit mundane however, and better suited for horseback riding. If you're looking for great hiking trails, check out the eastern half of Catoctin Mountain Park, Cunningham Falls State park, Frederick Municipal Forest, and Gambrill State Park.