Bird Hike! Metro Friendly Huntley Meadows Park: A 4.6 Very Easy/Newbie Friendly Hike!
Covering 1,424 acres just south of Alexandria, Huntley Meadows Park ranks as one of the metro area’s largest close-in parks.
Whether you come to hike, wildlife watch or simply to relax, Huntley Meadows Park will provide you with a premiere nature experience so come on out for good times with the group!
This Fairfax County Park’s key attraction is a beaver-created wetland with excellent viewing stations. Also, the visitor center has excellent exhibits at this park! Huntley Meadows lies in a wet lowland that was carved out by an ancient meander of the Potomac River. The resulting freshwater wetland is one of the rarest habitats left in Fairfax County. Acre for acre, a healthy wetland supports more life than almost any other habitat. Wetlands also purify polluted waters and control the destructive power of floods and storms
Its centerpiece is a 500-acre freshwater marsh—the area’s largest—surrounded by mostly deciduous woodlands. The result is a protected natural habitat with a remarkable array of plants and animals. Huntley is an attractive year-round hiking venue, especially for people keen on natural history.
Some of the best wildlife watching in the Washington metropolitan area is enjoyed here. From the ½ mile wetland boardwalk trail and observation tower, people have excellent views of beavers, frogs, dragonflies and herons. Huntley Meadows is well known as a prime birding spot, with over 200 species identified in the park. Parts taken from the book "50 Amazing Things You Must See and Do in the Great D.C. Area"
Nearby City: Alexandria
Length: 4.6 total miles
Trail Type: Out-and-Back
Skill Level: Very easy and newbie friendly
Exposure: Mostly shady; much less so in winter
Trail Surface: Mostly fine gravel on main land trails; boardwalk across marsh; dirt on side trail—muddy when wet
Duration: 2-4 hours including stops to enjoy nature and take pics
Elevation Gain: Mimimal and pretty much flat
Scenery: Wetlands, woodlands
Facilities: Toilet at the parking lot; toilets (inside), water, and phone at visitor center
Note: This hike necessitates us to hike quietly so if you are not in the mood for a hushed, relaxing hike, then please sign up for one of our other hikes. We really strive to have something for everyone and this one is for our birders and a lot of noise scares off the birds, as does large groups, and even well behaved leashed dogs so no dogs today.
Trail Notes for Leaders
We hike rain or shine! Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.
Annapolis Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Annapolis area, meetup at the Harbour Center Mall Starbucks. Click here for Annapolis carpool directions for getting to the carpool location.
If you can drive or want to carpool from any locations such as the DC area, please post your location and needs in the comment section below. Click here for suggested carpool locations complete with directions. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click here for directions to where we meet for this hike.
Hike Meetup Time is at 9:00 a.m.
Carpool Meetup Time at Savage Station is 8:15 a.m.
Carpoool Time for Annapolis is 8:00 a.m.
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace.
Fido is Welcome on This Hike
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