We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Needs some work”

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo
Ranked #5 of 14 things to do in Thurmont
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: From macaws to monkeys, boas to bears, this zoo offers visitors a chance to get up-close-and-personal with many different animals.
Binghamton, New York
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
“Needs some work”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We took our 3 year old grand-daughter to this zoo while we were in Gettysburg for a week. Some areas were very nice and others.....well not so much. The enclosures for the larger animals are on the small side and the Monkeys seemed to be a bit crowded as well as the bears. (One bear had nails so long they looked painful for him to walk on.)

The petting zoo and the ponds were very nice. My grand-daughter had a ball feeding the goats and the koi fish.

The price was very high ($17.00 per person) but I have a zoo membership from my hometown so I got a discount. We skipped the safari ride as I thought paying an additional amount is kind of nuts, it should have been offered in the price.

I can see that that are trying to make improvements and it must be hard to get support. I hope they can continue to work on getting things fixed up for the animals. It has a lot of potential.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank joenronnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

205 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Penn Yan, New York
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Happy to support an animal preservation!”
Reviewed May 27, 2013

This place is a bit rough around the edges, but I feel they truly care for the animals they have with the resources available to them. I considered our admission & extras to be donations to an organization that is continually improving conditions for its animal inhabitants & human visitors. We did everything - the safari ride to feeding parakeets, fish & livestock to camel rides. The kids had an absolute BALL! I was thankful that my children are no longer in a stroller, because that looked to be a bit of a challenge. Definitely not easily handicapped accessible.

Visited May 2013
Thank sciencejenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Confusing and dated.”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

The parking isnt good,there is no paved lot. The cashiers in the gift shop have limited knowledge and barely knew the price of any gofts that werent listed(and there were many). I should have known something was off about this place when there wasnt enough people who offered to pay for a safari ride, which in turn made it impossible for me to ride. The enclosures, foot paths, and exhibits are small and prison like. Thr sun bears are depressing and at one point were licking their feces for "water" smh. All animals seem sedated except for the petting zoo and koi pond. There is a goat missing a eye and an der goat knocks all the younger ones out the way when trying to feed them. The glass enclosures are dirty and you cant see through them. The snakes have no room to move around, the food sucks, and there are bees and spider webs everywhere. I drove 72 miles from baltimore to get there thinking id find a nice alternative to the maryland and sc zoos but this just seems like a prison. Not worthbthe drive or money for admission.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Nurmuh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Intimate small zoo”
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Our kids loved this place. Caught their first fish at "Boo in the Zoo." It's small enough to really see the animals, and is more like walking through a park than a zoo. We liked to bring a picnic lunch and eat at a picnic table under the trees.

1 Thank Claire M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Bad Zoo”
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Bad zoo!!! Dirty, all food was closed on a SATURDAY, Animals all looked SAD, no food or water for over half of them. Poor enclosures. An animal got out of the exhibit. Animals with matted hair. Funny their gift shop was nice but nothing else. DO NOT GO, DO NOT SUPPORT THEM. They need to be closed down!!!!

Visited April 2013
6 Thank dan h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo also viewed


Been to Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing