With all the rain we've had this week, maybe we should avoid splashing around in muddy streambeds and do a little urban walking!
The route: From the parking lot of Bluemont Park, near the intersection of Wilson Blvd. and N. Manchester Street, we’ll walk southeast to enter Bluemont Junction Trail, follow it northeast up the long railroad grade to enter the Custis Trail near Ballston Beaver Pond. From the pond we’ll follow the Custis Trail west to Madison Manor Park, crossing over I-66 along the way, and then turn back southeast to follow Four Mile Run and the W&OD Trail back to our starting point.
The walk is 4.5 miles and should take about an hour and a half, plus time for breaks. The path is entirely paved, so no worries about mud puddles.
Where to meet: We'll meet in the parking lot of Bluemont Park, 601 North Manchester Street, Arlington, VA. (GPS =[masked],[masked])
How to get there: From Seven Corners (the intersection of Arlington Blvd/Rte 50 and Lee Highway/Rte 7), take Wilson Blvd east for 1.2 miles to N Manchester Street and turn right at the Historic Marker for the Confederate Outpost. The entrance to the parking lot is immediately to your left. (Not even 50 feet! The street address is deceptive and may lead you to drive further south.) For Metro riders, connector bus 1A departs Ballston Metro Station on the half hours and stops 7 minutes later at Wilson Blvd & N Arlington Mill Dr, across the street from the Bluemont Park parking lot.
What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired (leashes please). Please remember, this is a kid-free zone, no one under 18 please.
Administrative stuff: Bluemont Park has restrooms, as does Madison Manor and Fields Parks, along our way. There are drinking fountains at these and a number of other spots. Should there be no parking at the first Bluemont Park parking lot, there's an overflow lot further south near the tennis courts.
After the walk: If you aren’t headed directly to Mom’s, there’s a couple of likely eateries nearby in Ballston:
- Big Buns, 4401 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22203, http://www.eatbigbuns.com/. Opens at noon on Sunday; highly rated burgers, etc.
- Ted’s Montana Grill, 4300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203, http://www.tedsmontanagrill.com/. Opens at 11:00 am; bison, etc.
- Several others and a food court in Ballston Commons Mall, 4238 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203. Take a look in advance at http://www.ballston-common.com/.