Hog Rock is a popular 4.6-mile loop hike in Catoctin Mountain Park. It's a little bit longer than other loops, and the view isn't as expansive as others, such as Chimney Rock, but the scenery is beautiful. In addition, this loop connects to a short detour to Cunningham Falls, one of Maryland's most popular waterfalls. The Hog Rock area of Catoctin Mountain Park is part of the Catoctin Formation and is made up of metabasalt, which is a kind of metamorphic rock, and the stones have a greenish-gray color.
Start this hike at the Catoctin Mountain Park visitor center. Go to the far right of the parking lot to start the loop to Hog Rock. Follow the yellow blazes up the mountain. This part can get a little steep. As an added bonus, there is another lookout on the yellow blazed trail called Blue Ridge Summit Vista. This offers a beautiful view of the valley below.
There is a parking lot on top of Catoctin Mountain that allows you to park closer to Hog Rock summit, but it is closed in the winter. If you take the yellow blazed trail, you will cross this parking lot. From the parking lot, it is only about a half mile to the Hog Rock overlook. The park also provides a nature loop around Hog Rock that gives you a geology and nature lesson of the area. Brochures are available at the start of the trail from the parking lot, and each stop is well marked on the trail.
After reaching the summit, follow the trail left down the mountain to continue on the loop. At the bottom of the trail you have the option to take a short detour to Cunningham Falls. If you have never seen the falls, it is worth the quick detour to experience them. Be warned; they are popular, and unfortunately many people do not adhere to the signs requesting visitors to stay on the boardwalks. In order to avoid this, visit the falls early. After this optional detour, follow the yellow blazes back to the visitor center.