U.S. National Arboretum (Metro Friendly): 7.3 Easy, Paved miles (With Shorter 3.5 Mile Option) and 3 Pace Options, Inluding a Photog Pace Option!
J oin us for this sneaker hike and see the area most botanically diverse hiking venue! Another perfect mix-match hike so there is truly something for everyone.
Skip the crowds and enjoy the beauty of spring-blooming flowering cherries at the U. S. National Arboretum. Visitors can see a greater diversity of flowering cherries—over 200 different species, varieties and cultivated forms—and enjoy them for a longer period of time than those at the Tidal Basin. From mid-March through mid-April one or more of over 2,000 ornamental cherry trees will be in peak bloom, some of them spectacular specimens of mature weeping and double-flowered forms.
We break down into groups no larger than 15 hikers per leader/sweep team for a more enjoyable experience for all of us and is better for the environment. Large groups really take away from the hiking experience. This also allows us to offer a variety of hike paces and for this particular hike you have 2 to choose from which allows us to be put together with those of a similar pace. Paces should be not only based on your preference but also ability needs to be taken into consideration.
Pace Option 1: A "walk in the woods" or "social" pace which is great for those who want to soak up the nature and/or transitioning to longer hikes and will be about 2.0mph. This is considered just a little bit faster than a walk.
Pace Option 2: A moderate pace of about 2.5mph (most common pace). Used in most hike books as a rule of thumb for calculating hike time.
Pace Option 3: A special pace for photographers with lots of stops for pics. This includes time to setup tripods etc. Note, all paces stop for pics, but this is for those who want to take time to setup their shots with no rush, change lenses, and/or use tripods. Because of all of the stops this group will most likely finish after the social pace group.
PLEASE put your pace preference in your RSVP so we can plan accordingly as we will ask for additional help from our leadership team if there is enough demand for a particular pace.
What's Blooming While We Visit (We Visit Once Per Season)
Peaking the First Week in April (approximate):
Last Week of March-1st week of April: Daffodils, crocuses, early magnolias, Korean azalea, Japanese-andromeda, forsythias, cornelian-cherries, woodland wildflowers, epimediums, flowering cherries, arisaemas
Asian Valley in the Asian Collections, Friendship Garden, National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, National Boxwood Collection, Gotelli Dwarf and Slow-Growing Conifer Collection, Knot Garden in the National Herb Garden, Morrison Garden in the Azalea Collections, Holly and Magnolia Collections
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Washington
Distance: 7.3 miles with shorter options available so there is something for everyone. There is a loop that is 3.6 and a loop that is 3.7 in a figure eight so we will be right where we park between the two loops for anyone wanting a shorter hike!
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate depending on wether you go on the 3.6 or 7.3 loop only due to distance and one long hill on the second loop.
Scenery: Woodlands, open spaces, exotic plants, and odd structures
Trail Surface: Mostly paved; some dirt, gravel, concrete, grass, mulch
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours (allowing for lingering to take in the sights)
Facilities: Toilets, water at administration building; toilets at Arbor House and (warm weather months only) near National Grove of State Trees and in Asian Collections.
Configuration: Modified Loop
Trail Type: Loop
Local Maps: USGS Washington East
There are 3 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.
VA East Area Carpool (Fairfax Area METRO)
People can also arrange to meet at the Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station. Click here for directions to Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station.
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 the Arboretum and where we meet once you arrive.
Hike Meetup Time is at 10:00 a.m.
Carpool meetup time at Savage Station is 9:00 a.m.
Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station 8:45 a.m.
Carpoool Time for Annapolis Area is 9:00 a.m.
Fido is Welcome on This Hike!
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 so 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.
Special Note Regarding Refunds for This Event:
There are no refunds, exchanges , selling, giving away your space to someone on the wait list, or applying the money toward a future event for this special event. Before you commit, I just want it to be clear so there would not be any possible future confusion. Please keep that in mind before signing up and have a great time. This is non-refundable, period.
Let's have great times and see you there! Be sure to take the hike leader(s) numbers listed below with you just in case you have any trouble locating us at the meetup location.
Let's have good times and see you on the trail!