Rock Creek Park in The Fall Series: Part 3 of 3! A Moderate Hike in The Arboreal Southern Section of Up to 8.9 Mi (Shorter Options Available) With 2 Pace Options and METRO Accessible!
This is the final part, part 3, of our 3 part Rock Creek Park in The Fall Series which will take us pretty much all throughout the park if you complete all three hikes! All are METRO accessible and we will be carpooling from the Baltimore and Annapolis areas as well.
Click Here for Part 1: October 6th: The Wild Northern Section of Rock Creek Park (Metro Accessible): An Easy Side of Moderate 9.3 (Shorter options) Miles!
Click Here for Part 2: October 14th: The Rocky Central Section of Rock Creek Park (Metro Accessible): A Moderate 4.5 Miles
Todays Hike: October 27th: The Arboreal Southern Section of Rock Creek Park (Metro Accessible): A Moderate 8.9 (Shorter Options) Miles
Washington, DC, has long been called the City of Trees. Despite a net tree-cover loss of roughly 60 percent since 1980, the name still applies. The parks remain mostly wooded. Residential streets, yards, and gardens sport canopies of leaves. Vacant lots, rights-of-way, and nooks quickly follow suit if left alone. This hike celebrates the District's arboreal heritage. We pass the zoo and if others are interested we can spend some time there as well! It winds through the well-wooded parklands and residential areas of Northwest Washington. Administratively, the parklands are all part of the National Park Service's Rock Creek Park. However, like the hike, they also include four separate units; Melvin Hazen, Glover-Archbold, Whitehaven, and Dumbarton Oaks Parks. Most of the trees along the hike route are deciduous, such as oaks, hickories, maples, dogwoods, and sycamores. Hikers will also find more exotic varieties along the way, with wildflowers and birds adding further color and interest to the trailside parklands. © Copyright Paul Elliott Published by Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
There are several Metro stops within a short distance of the trail at various points along our route, allowing for a shorter hike if you return to your car via Metro or bus.
Pace Option 1 : A "walk in the woods" or "social" pace which is great for those who want to soak up the nature and will be about 2.0mph and great for people who take tons of pics or just looking for a peacefull walk in the woods but this is not a stroll.
Pace Option 2: A moderate pace of about 2.5mph-3.0mph and the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books. (most common pace).
PLEASE put your pace preference in your RSVP so we can plan accordingly.
Nearby City: Washington, DC
Scenery: Mostly wooded parklands with intervening street scenes
Trail surface: Roughly half pavement; rest mostly dirt; rooty, muddy in places
Length: 8.9 total miles with shorter distance options via Metro
Duration: Up to 5 hours
Exposure: Mostly shady
Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Moderate due to length but otherwise this is an easy hike and take note that there are shorter options on this hike. The elevation changes come in fits and spurts and you can clearly see them coming. Most of the hike is along gently rolling terrain that is easy on the legs and knees.
Local Contacts: National Zoological Park, Melvin Hazen Park, Glover - Archbold Park, Whitehaven Park, Dumbarton Oaks Park, Montrose Park
Local Maps: USGS Washington West; PATC Map N; ADC Metro Washington
Facilities: Toilets, water, phones near Pierce Mill, at eateries on major streets as well
Note Only to Hike Leaders: Use PATC Map N and the hike description from 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of D.C. 1st edition and NOT the new 2nd edition. I have scanned the hike guide/description and it is available upon your request as a .PDF in case you do not have the older book. Please contact Kellie if you do not have the map either, as I will have one ordered and shipped to you right away becuase as a member of the leadership team you should have the PATC maps for where you lead hikes as one of your perks of being part of our team!
We hike rain or shine! Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for the area where we will be hiking.
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, you can arrange to meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.
Annapolis Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Annapolis area , you can arrange to meet at the Harbour Center Mall Starbucks. Click here for Annapolis carpool directions for getting to the carpool location. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with othe members.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. 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 meetup for this hike. Metro directions are included in this link!
Hike Meetup Time is at 10:00 a.m.
Carpool meetup time from Savage is 9:00 a.m.
Annapolis carpool time is 8:45 a.m.
Click here for suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.
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 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 outdoor ethics.
Fido is welcome on this hike!
See ya on the trail and take my number just in case!