Say, looking over where we’ve hiked over the past year, we didn't ever go to Potomac Overlook Regional Park, so let’s go enjoy a walk along the Potomac Heritage Trail!
The route: From the parking lot of the Potomac Overlook Regional Park, we’ll walk through the park aling Donaldson Run to the Potomac and follow the Potomac Heritage Trail downstream to Windy Run. At Windy Run we'll ascend the river bank into Windy Run Park and return to Potomac Overlook Regional Park along Lorcom Lane, N. Nelly Custis Drive and Military Road.
The walk is a loop of around 4.5 miles and should take about 2 hours at a moderate pace, given stops and broken ground. The surface is a mix of pavement, gravel and dirt, very rocky in places, with some elevation changes.
- The ascent from the Potomac at Windy Run is marked with warning signs cautioning visitors about missing guardrails. I didn't find the climb overly difficult and the guardrails seemed intact, but those who have any misgivings whatsoever should retrace the route to the start point rather than finishing the loop. We want you to be safe!
- Be aware of traffic during our brief transit of Military Road, N. Custis Drive and Lorcom Lane.
A Google map of the walk is located at http://tinyurl.com/aocwgsy
Where to meet: We'll meet in the parking lot at 2872 N Marcey Rd, Arlington, VA 22207. GPS =[masked], [masked]
How to get there: The park entrance is between Chain Bridge Road (VA-120) and Spout Run Parkway (VA-124) at the intersection of N. Marcey and Military Roads, 2633 Military Road, Arlington, VA. At the intersection, turn northeast onto N. Marcey Road and follow it to the parking lot at 2872 N Marcey Rd. (It's past the Donaldson Run Recreation Assn parking lot.) Detailed directions are available here: http://www.nvrpa.org/park/potomac_overlook/content/hours_and_directions
What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired. (Leashes are required.) The forecast is partly sunny and 41 degrees, so consider wearing the layered look. There are stream crossings and the trail may be muddy in spots, so a spare pair of shoes and socks for after the hike is a good idea. For liability legal purposes, please remember this is a kid-free zone, no one under 18 is allowed.
Administrative stuff: There are restrooms and water fountains at the parking lot. (See link to the park map below.)
After the walk: For those who would like to grab a bite or a beverage afterwards, there are several places within 2-3 miles of the park entrance:
- Cassatt's (Kiwi food), 4536 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207, http://www.cassattscafe.com/
- The Liberty Tavern, 3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201, http://www.thelibertytavern.com/home.php
- Rocklands Barbeque & Grilling Company, 3471 Washington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201, http://www.rocklands.com/locations/arlington-va/
Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 N Marcey Rd Arlington, VA 22207