Young said he might return to teaching. Another possibility is volunteering as a park guide or historian at various facilities. He said he could work at northern parks in the summer and southern parks in the winter.
Colleagues said they will miss a man who has guided Catoctin since 1991 during a time of tight budgets and a growing number of visitors.
"He leaves a very positive mark," said Chief Park Ranger Roger Steintl, who will be acting superintendent while the Park Service searches for a permanent replacement.
Young said that after nearly three decades of preserving America's natural treasures, he is looking forward to a leisurely trip through the nation's heartland.
"A lot of streams to fish at and a lot of rodeos to see," he said.
Young last year was named superintendent of the year for 1995 for resource management of the National Capital Field Area. Steintl said one of Young's greatest strengths has been getting the most out of increasingly tight budgets.
Steintl said Young has gotten his staff to work as efficiently as possible while successfully justifying budget expenses. He said Young also pushed hard to develop alternative sources of revenue, such as grants and partnerships.
One such grant came from the Environmental Protection Agency in 1996 for a water quality program from the mountains to the Chesapeake Bay.
Young's first permanent assignment was at Glacier National Park in Montana. From there, he made various stops before ending going to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Park in 1974.
In 1991, he was chosen to run Catoctin Mountain Park, which straddles the border between Washington and Frederick counties. The park, a popular camping destination, draws nearly 800,000 people a year.
It also is the site of Camp David, a presidential retreat since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt. At one time, Young also oversaw Greenbelt Park and the Baltimore-Washington Park, but they were reassigned in an administrative reorganization in 1995.