When it comes to animal lovers, either native or exotic species, Frederick County offers plenty of zoos, farms and petting zoos to satisfy almost any interest.
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve
Located in the northern end of the county, the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve at 13019 Catoctin Furnace Rd. in Thurmont is the largest privately owned zoo in the region, home to more than 600 animals within the preserve's 50-acre lot.
The zoo also bills itself as the only park in the mid-Atlantic area with a guided safari tour featuring a drive through 25 wooded acres of the park to have close-up interactions with some of the animals. Other interactive activities include daily camel rides from Memorial Day to Labor Day, parakeet feedings and other close encounter opportunities that rotate and change on a seasonal basis.
With a rich history of farming and agriculture, Frederick County is also an ideal place to bring the family to meet farm animals and even get the chance to pet some of the more cuddle-friendly critters.
Visit https://catoctinwildlifepreserve.com for more information.
Green Meadows Petting Farm
The Green Meadows Petting Farm at 10102 Fingerboard Rd. in Ijamsville offers close-up interaction with farm animals of all kinds, including feathered fowl like chickens and ducks, to more traditional livestock like pigs, sheep, goats and cows.
Kids and adults can also watch and participate in different events at the farm, including pig and duck races, dairy cow milking demonstrations, animal feeding opportunities, slides, play areas and wagon rides.
Find out more at https://greenmeadowsevents.com.