Driving Directions

It’s quicker to get here than you may think…unless you are a tortoise!

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is open seasonally each year, with hours changing as warm summer weather allows more and more of our exotic animals to enjoy Maryland’s outdoor environment.

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is only about an hour’s drive or less from such major cities as Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Martinsburg, York, Fairfax, Leesburg, Harrisburg and Hagerstown.

Make the most of your visit in the Frederick area by exploring other fine attractions nearby. The Tourism Council of Frederick County is a great place to start.

From the Washington area:

Take I-270 north to Frederick. I-270 ends and fairly seamlessly becomes US 15 North. Stay on US 15 another 15 minutes. Look for the brown Maryland State Attraction signs 2 miles south of Thurmont, MD. The exit is almost exactly at mile marker 26.

From the Baltimore area:

Take I-70 west to Frederick, then US 15 North another 15 minutes. Look for the brown Maryland State Attraction signs 2 miles south of Thurmont, MD. The exit is almost exactly at mile marker 26.

From Pennsylvania:

Use Gettysburg, PA as a point of reference. Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is 20 minutes south of Gettysburg on US Route 15. Look for the brown Maryland State Attraction signs 2 miles south of Thurmont, MD. The exit is almost exactly at mile marker 26.

Zoo Map

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is divided into distinct habitat areas that represent the many habitats of the world. Here you will find small furry things and large scaly thing as well as everything in between.

We are home to 319 species including amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Among them are bears to boas, llamas to lemurs, macaws to monkeys, pigs to pythons, you’ll meet over 450 exotic animals on your zoo adventure as well as many you’ll find closer to home.

Please note that animals and exhibits do change from time to time which makes it even more of an adventure.