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Daily Fun

Get Close at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve

The best learning and the strongest memories are achieved through doing, not just looking.

Animal Programs and Encounters at various exhibits throughout the preserve allow you to learn more about the animals from the staff members who care for them.

Park admission is required. Animal interactions may vary. All activities and tours are subject to availability.

The Preserve is closed for the 2023 season.

  • Safari Rides  Requires ticket upgrade.
  • Feathered Friends Encounter   
  • Tortoise Feeding Encounter
  • Keeper Talks Available May-September

All activities are weather permitting. Prices listed are per person and are subject to change without notice. 

Bison feeding during a Safari Ride
Global Wildlife Safari Ride

The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is the only park in the mid-Atlantic area with a guided, ride-through Safari Ride. Bounce along in an army surplus troop carrier called a “deuce and a half.” Your adventure ride winds through four different paddocks of exotic animals, encompassing twenty-five wooded acres.

Safari Rides are an optional upgrade to your General Admission ticket.

LEARN MORE about this upgraded adventure, including height restrictions, availability and featured animals.

Keeper Talks (Various Exhibits)

Available May-September

Curious about these animals and how we care for them? Then get answers, straight from the Keeper Team!

A short overview of each animal is shared, sometimes while the animals get a special snack, enrichment exercise, or health check-up. There’s a Q&A period at the end for anything still on your mind.

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The following experiences require Encounter Tokens.

Tokens cost $5 each and are sold only at the Admission Booth, the Safari Outpost, and the Giftshop.

All Encounters require a token for each participant, regardless of age. This includes:
– General Omnivore Zoofood
– Tortoise Feeding Encounter
– Feathered Friends Encounter
– Koi Pond Fish Food
– Additional food for Safari Ride.

Feathered Friends Encounter
One Encounter Token per person ($5 each). Includes seed sticks for feeding.

CLOSED for the 2023 season.

Our Feathered Friends Encounter is a unique and interactive experience where you will be surrounded by colorful parakeets, cockatiels, and other beautiful birds. It is a walk-through aviary where the birds may land on or fly around you.

It is very important to obey all posted guidelines and instructions. Use extra caution not to step on the birds while on the walkways during your visit to the Feathered Friends Encounter.

Tortoise Feeding Encounter

CLOSED for the 2023 Season.

One Encounter Token per person ($5 each). Includes greens or fruit for feeding.

Have you ever seen a dinosaur eat in slow motion? At the Tortoise Feeding Encounter, you might feel like you have.

These tiny tanks will surprise you with personality and persistence as they patiently pursue the treats you can offer them.

It is very important to obey all posted guidelines and instructions. 

Japanese Koi Pond

Japanese Koi Pond is one of the most admired exhibits at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve. Home to dozens of beautiful fish, the exhibit is designed so the fish are eye level, even for children.

A naturalized waterfall and a staggering variety of Asian trees, shrubs, grasses and water plants impress most horticulturists.

Feed the fish by hand with the special koi food provided nearby in vending machines. It’s a very special personal experience for the young and the young at heart.

Remember to pre-purchase your Encounter Tokens.

Tokens cost $5 each and are sold only at the Admission Booth, the Safari Outpost, and the Giftshop.

All Encounters require a token for each participant, regardless of age. This includes:
– General Omnivore Zoofood
– Tortoise Feeding Encounter
– Feathered Friends Encounter
– Koi Pond Fish Food
– Additional food for Safari Ride