Arboretum Azaleas Ramble

Cherry blossoms? Schmerry blossoms! Although the cherry trees get all the hype (and the crowds), the in-crowd knows that the azaleas at the National Arboretum provide the best springtime display as they blanket the hillside of Mount Hamilton at the National Arboretum each April. Although threatened with destruction a couple of years ago by alleged budget constraints, public outrage (and private philanthropy) saved the azaleas, and they continue their springtime display. On this second of our springtime "blossom trifecta", we will take an easy 5-mile hike around the Arboretum, a 446-acre hidden gem in the middle of Northeast D.C. We will visit not only the azaleas but also other seasonal displays (including dogwood, daffodils, magnolias, forsythias, Japanese quince and andromeda, early crabapples, flowering cherries, camellias, redbuds, and arisaemas). For good measure we'll also take in the Asian Gardens, meadows, forested areas and the famous original National Capitol Columns. All this will be followed by a picnic lunch. Look for the trip leader's orange cap at precisely 9 a.m. (we will not wait--if you need a push, consider the meeting time to be 8:45, and don't forget the usual Metro weekend delays) at the top of the Q Street escalator at Dupont Circle Metro; we'll carpool from there, and should be back by 1:30 or 2:00. Those desiring to meet us at the Arboretum should arrive by 9:15 to assure a parking space, as the lot fills quickly, and gather at the tram ticket booth, Bring water, lunch, sunscreen and about $5 for trip fee and driver reimbursement. (There are food trucks, but their quality is spotty, and they tend to sell out quickly.) Drivers needed. Call Damon at (202)[masked] with any questions.

Join or login to comment.

  • Tom

    Good to see all under stellar leadership of Damon il Magnfico. Only regret that park service discourages grazing.

    2 · April 27, 2013

    • Damon M.

      Tom, you are a hardy chap, doing two hikes this weekend! Much appreciated your presence.

      April 28, 2013

    • Tom

      Thanks. It's always a pleasure. I'm not, however, hardy as hardy Jeff.

      April 29, 2013

  • Jeff H.

    A gorgeous day. The azaleas at their peak. And a large friendly group. Thanks for a great day Damon.

    3 · April 27, 2013

    • Damon M.

      Jeff, you are also a hardy one--thanks for coming to my hike even though you had another on Sunday!

      1 · April 28, 2013

  • Leo

    was a spectacular day in nature with a friendly group...Thanks

    1 · April 28, 2013

  • Damon M.

    A sunny, almost cloudless day greeted 27 Adventurers who attended our annual spring outing to the National Arboretum, a 446-acre green enclave in the middle of Northeast D.C. Despite a late start due to a road closure and massive traffic tie-up on New York Ave., the group finally assembled and headed off to pay homage to the seasonal azalea display on Mount Hamilton, established in the 1940s by the Arboretum's first director, the bachelor Benjamin Y. Morrison. After taking in the view of downtown D.C. from the mountain, the large group trekked to the eastern edge of the park to view the dogwood and other flowering trees, the Asian garden and pagoda, the Fern Valley, and finally the iconic National Capitol columns. A convivial lunch followed at a little-known picnic area behind the gift shop, attended by almost the same number who started. A great day for newcomers and veterans alike to become reacquainted with this Washington treasure.

    2 · April 28, 2013

  • Dave E.

    What a fantastic day! The Arboretum was spectacular and the company was great!

    April 28, 2013

  • Karen

    Good. Thanks!

    April 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful day to be outdoors and see the azaleas. Thanks Damon!

    1 · April 27, 2013

  • Jennifer L.

    Hi, major traffic just letting everyone know the people carpooling will be a little late

    April 27, 2013

  • Beth

    Something came up and I won't be able to make it :-( Have fun everyone!

    April 26, 2013

  • Damon M.

    Hello Adventurers, Part II--If you are carpooling from Dupont Circle, we will leave promptly at 9:00 (check wmata.com for any Metro delays) and hopefully arrive at the Arboretum by 9:20 or 9:25. We will hike until about 1:00 and have lunch on the Visitor Center patio, departing no later than 2. Please bring a lunch, midmorning snack, water, sunscreen and the $2 trip fee; those in carpools should bring an additional $3 for your driver. My cell phone no. is[masked]-4592. Damon Miller (the orange-capped one).

    April 26, 2013

  • Damon M.

    Hello Adventurers--We have a large turnout for Saturday's Arboretum Azaleas Ramble--35 at last count--and we should have a beautiful day. The annual Garden Fair and Plant Sale is also on, so those of you driving directly to the Arboretum should arrive by 9:15 so that you can park in the Visitor Center lot. The address of the Arboretum is 3501 New York Ave. NE; there is also an entrance on R St. NE, off Bladensburg Rd. If you enter from New York Ave., do not park in the lot just inside the gate, where there are white tents--that is the Garden Fair. Instead, continue ahead and slightly to the right, to the Visitor Center lot. The tram ticket booth, where we are meeting, is between the lot and the Visitor Center. If you enter from R St., the Visitor Center lot is directly ahead. (If that lot is full, you may have to go to another lot 1/3 mile south, which you can get to by following signs for "Azalea Parking", then walk back to the Visitor Center.)

    April 26, 2013

  • John

    The big spring plant show(flowers, veggie and herb plants) will be happening from[masked] sat. morning at the arboretum. The Washington revels will be performing and leading a maypole(revelsdc). It will be in the parking lot in a big tent. Would anyone else be interested in going to some of this?

    April 26, 2013

  • Melissa

    I plan to meet you at the Arboretum. Looking forward to it!

    April 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I unfortunately probably won't end up making it, but if I do, I will meet at the arboretum.

    April 25, 2013

  • Robert S.

    I'm excited to come, and I'll be joining y'all as long as there is space in the car pool. Thanks so much for setting this up.

    April 25, 2013

  • Seema

    Hi Damon, I am still down with a cold or something. I will have to cancel.

    April 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Damon I got the answers. Thanks

    April 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Damon- I plan to meet you at the arboretum. At what time? White so we meet? What's the cost?

    Thank you and look forward to Saturday.

    April 24, 2013

  • Mary

    Damon I will meet you at the arboretum

    April 24, 2013

  • Marc F.

    Will meet you at the Arboretum.

    April 23, 2013

  • Ralph F.

    sorry something has come up at work.

    April 23, 2013

  • Amanda

    Is there a cost for this hike?

    April 23, 2013

    • Damon M.

      Hi Amanda--Since you will not be in a carpool, the trip fee will be $2; people in carpools will pay their driver $3. In answer to your other question, as stated in the trip description I am asking people to arrive by 9:15 and park in the lot next to the visitor center--this lot fills by 9:30 during azalea season, and then you have to go to a distant lot about a half mile away. Please rsvp if you want to come--thanks!

      April 23, 2013

  • Amanda

    I live near the arboretum, so can I meet you there at a certain time? :)

    April 23, 2013

  • Brynna

    I'm bummed; I have to work after all.

    April 19, 2013

  • Jim H.

    Sorry forgot I was away :-( Catch you next time!

    March 22, 2013

  • chris m.

    can a host list a phone for latecomers to contact you?

    March 21, 2013

    • Damon M.

      Hi Chris, glad you can come. My cell is[masked]-4592. I see you're biking to the Arboretum; I assume they have bike racks there someplace but you might want to call ahead and find out where they are. The carpoolers will probably get there about 9:20 or 9:25, and start hiking about 9:30.

      March 21, 2013

  • Steve A.

    I'll be out of town :(

    March 21, 2013

27 went

Our Sponsors

  • Team DC

    Linkage with Team DC, made up of Washington, DC-area sporting teams.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more
Katie

I'm surprised by the level of growth I've seen since becoming an organizer, it's given me more confidence in my abilities.

Katie, started NYC ICO

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy