50 Acre Wooded Park
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve sits on 50 acres just outside of Thurmont, Maryland. It is a nice and pretty drive on Route 70 to 15 North. From where I live, an easy distance for a day trip.
The cost for adults is $22.50. Children are $16.50, Seniors $21.50, Military $21.50 and for little ones under two years old admission is free.
They do offer annual memberships, ranging in price from $60 for a single adult, to $174 for a family of two adults and two children. It seems to me if you go and enjoy yourself, and think you would like to stop back throughout the year, an annual membership would definitely be worth it.
A ride on a safari truck is an optional upgrade to your admission price. It allows you to view all kinds of animals. Things like zebra, camels, buffalo, antelope, deer, yak and much more.
We arrived in the mid-afternoon, by the time we got there, the Safari trucks were not doing any more rides that day. If you think that is something you want to do, get there earlier in the day.
Petting Animal Area
They have a super cute petting animal area. Of course, if you’d like you can buy food to feed the animals in this area. The animals here are things like, goats, llamas, alpaca, sheep, and some deer.
It is a nice safe set up, with hand sanitizer available for after your time with the animals.
Feeding Koy Fish
The highlight of my trip with my nephews last week was feeding the Koy fish in the pond. They had a dispenser there where you could buy food to feed the fish. It was super cool because the fish would literally come up and take the fish food right from their hands. They got a kick out of that!
There were no camels giving rides while we were there. We saw the steps to the loading area where you would get on the camel. As well as the circle area the ride is on. I’m sure on a busy day that is a popular attraction.
The Feathered Encounter
This is offered seasonally. It allows you to walk through an aviary where you will be visited by hundreds of parakeets. Evidently, they will even land on you!
You can purchase feeding sticks and the parakeets will supposedly eat right out of your hand.
Daily there are educational encounters with the zookeepers at different exhibits around the park. Some of the educational programs are things like alligator encounter, keeper talk at the sun bear exhibit as well as the tiger exhibit.
The educational encounters may change or vary, and they are weather dependent. They do not do them on bad weather days.
They do have a concession with food and drinks available. We saw many nice shaded areas with picnic tables.
There are restrooms conveniently located around the park.
My nephews were on their best behavior since they went through the gift shop when we bought tickets. They really wanted to be able to pick something out at the end of the day!
They have super cute gifts for kids. As well as nice things for adults. They also have the typical gift shop stuff, magnets, key chains, bumper stickers… There are gifts in many price ranges.
There is also drinks and candy for sale in the gift shop.
What Did We Think?
We had a great time and thought it was a really nice place. The animal enclosures were nice and made so you can easily view the animals. Even when they are in their little hiding spaces.
The paths were mostly paved, so easy to walk on for someone like me with a walker, or parents pushing a stroller. There are some gravel paths(not many) that are up and downhills. I was not able to negotiate these paths, but still able to see the animal exhibits from the paved path.
Super Friendly Staff
All the employees we encountered were super nice and helpful. From the ticket sales and gift shop workers to the keepers out taking care of the animals.
More than one of the workers who drove by in a golf cart stopped to let me know they would be happy to give me a ride if I got tired of walking. I thought that was awesome and proof that they would go above and beyond to accommodate visitors.
Parties And Group Visits
According to their brochure aside from regular everyday visits, they also offer birthday parties and group events. I’m sure that would be a really fun option for some groups and families.
Definitely A Fun Place!
We really enjoyed ourselves. I would recommend it to anyone, it was a nice place, a fun experience at a reasonable price. Not to mention you could not have asked for a friendlier staff!
Go check it out!