Very Easy/Newbie Friendly Bird and Wildlife Hike! Huntley Meadows: A 4.6 Trek!

  • May 24, 2014 · 10:00 AM
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Holiday Weekend 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"

Trail Information

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

Season: Year-round

Elevation Gain: Minimal and pretty much flat

Scenery: Wetlands, woodlands

Facilities: Toilet at the parking lot; toilets (inside), water, and phone at visitor center

Trail Notes for Leaders

Weather Information
We hike rain, snow, or shine! Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.

Carpool Information

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 10:00 a.m.

Carpool Meetup Time at Savage Station is 9:15 a.m.

Carpool Time for Annapolis is 9:00 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 please 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 Not Welcome on This Hike Per Park Rules


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  • Adriana H.

    Had a great time. Really enjoyed the company plus the views.

    1 · May 27

  • Nancy D

    Enjoyed the views and company. The hike off trail was an adventure. Thanks to Seth and compass he figured it out.

    3 · May 25

  • Kathy H.

    Beautiful day and lovely place to walk and enjoy nature. The unmaintained trail was not so great but thankfully Seth did figure it out :)

    2 · May 24

  • Gladys

    Beautiful place to walk and enjoy wild life. ..The wooden walk ways gave us access to gorgeous scenery. I did not enjoy the unmanaged trail so much.

    May 24

  • Sara

    I'm going to have to drop. Unexpected emergency.

    May 24

  • an n.

    i'm sorry I have to cancel my hike to morrow. Hope everyone has fun

    May 23

  • Phia

    Awwww, I live in NW DC. Is anyone going on this hike from my area? I can meet you at a metro station of your choice and pay gas. Anyone?

    May 21

  • Eric O.

    I will be driving from the Baltimore area, anyone meeting at Savage to carpool?

    May 6

13 went

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