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The Palisades

Let's take a walk and explore the historic Palisades District in Washington, DC!

The route: From the Palisades Park parking lot, we’ll walk along Sherier and Dana Place to MacArthur Blvd NW. From there we’ll follow MacArthur Blvd southeast towards Georgetown Reservoir, with a short excursion up to Dana Place to check out an old 1860s wagon road. Continuing along MacArthur Blvd, we’ll make a second short excursion to get a look at the Castle Gatehouse, return to 47th Place NW, and follow it and Reservoir Road through Foxhall Village and into Foundry Branch Valley Park. After going through a tunnel under Canal Road, we'll enter the C&O Canal towpath and walk to Fletcher’s Cove, cross over onto the Crescent Trail and continue upstream, crossing over the canal and Canal Road. At the end of the bridge we’ll leave Capital Crescent Trail and scramble up an unmarked trail to the intersection of Potomac and Arizona Avenues, to continue upstream along Potomac Ave, Galena Place, and then return on a footpath just past Dorset Street to our starting point.

The total walking distance is 5.75 miles of smiles, including the two sightseeing excursions. It should take a little over 2 hours at a moderate pace, given time for breaks. The surface is a mix of sidewalks and dirt paths. There are many elevation changes throughout, but much of it is graded, making for easier walking.

Google map here: http://tinyurl.com/omufueh

Site photos and descriptions here: http://tinyurl.com/k6xdazl

Print map: http://tinyurl.com/nd8yqwh 

How to get there:

• From the I-495 Beltway west of DC (either direction), take exit 41 onto Clara Barton Parkway, following signs for Glen Echo Park. Continue straight past Chain Bridge onto Canal Road and turn left onto Arizona Ave NW. Follow Arizona Ave to MacArthur Blvd NW, turn right, and take the next right onto Edmunds Place NW. Turn left onto Sherier Place NW, and the park entrance is immediately on your right.

• From Virginia, cross the Potomac on Key Bridge and turn left (west) onto M Street/Canal Road. Follow Canal Road west and turn right onto Arizona Ave NW. Follow Arizona Ave to MacArthur Blvd NW, turn right, and take the next right onto Edmunds Place NW. Turn left onto Sherier Place NW, and the park entrance is immediately on your right.

• From downtown Washington, follow M Street west through Georgetown until it turns into Canal Road. Follow Canal Road west and turn right onto Arizona Ave NW. Follow Arizona Ave to MacArthur Blvd NW, turn right, and take the next right onto Edmunds Place NW. Turn left onto Sherier Place NW, and the park entrance is immediately on your right.

• From north Washington DC, follow Nebraska Ave NW going southwest, through Ward Circle, until it turns into Loughborough Rd NW. Turn left on Arizona Ave NW and follow it to MacArthur Blvd NW, turn left, and take the next right onto Edmunds Place NW. Turn left onto Sherier Place NW, and the park entrance is immediately on your right.

How to find us: We will meet in the Palisades Recreation Center parking lot, 5138 Sherier Pl NW, GPS =[masked],-77.10339. NB: The overall park address is 5200 Sherier, but the entrance to the park is at 5138 Sherier!

What to bring: Water, comfy shoes and your furry friend if desired (leashes, please). Sunscreen is  recommended. As a reminder, this is a kids free zone, no one under 18 is allowed.

Administrative stuff: There are restrooms and drinking fountains at the recreation center, but it does not open until 10:00 am. The restrooms are at the side and back, accessed through the front door. Before 10:00, the park director said the side doors should be propped open, but there is also a Starbucks at 5185 MacArthur Blvd NW if you would like to make a pit stop before the walk. During the walk, there are restrooms and drinking fountains at Fletcher’s Cove.

After the walk: There are many places along MacArthur Blvd in the Palisades District for a bite after. Please have a look at the Google map and/or the print map.

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  • John M

    Thanks to everyone for the great photos! I think I miss as much as I see...

    2 · September 28, 2013

  • Jim

    Thanks for leading another great hike, John. I have hoofed some parts of that route before but you added excellent fresh flourishes - and I had no idea of the Washington Post-related graft in that part of the city.

    2 · September 28, 2013

    • John M

      Thanks Jim! We really couldn't slow for much discussion and still keep a good 3mph pace. There's a great narrative (pdf) of the Palisades development in the National Register of Historic Places listing for Glen Hurst: http://tinyurl.com/kg...­

      2 · September 28, 2013

  • Dianne

    And thanks to John for planning our adventure and looking after us.

    2 · September 28, 2013

  • Dianne

    Perfect day and a fun route. Thanks to all for welcoming Buck so kindly. We both enjoyed it a lot!

    3 · September 28, 2013

  • Dianne

    Beautiful day for an in-city adventure with fun people. Thanks to all for their good cheer!

    3 · September 28, 2013

  • Zula

    Thank you all, great walk...thanks to Dawn all the pictures:)

    3 · September 28, 2013

    • Dawn

      You're very welcome, Altanzul! I try to get shots of things that not everyone takes. :D was great to meet you!

      2 · September 28, 2013

  • Dawn

    Glorious walk with perfect weather, beautiful scenery and wonderful friends. Thanks so much, John!!!

    2 · September 28, 2013

  • Lana

    thank you John, it was great walk with nice people around!!!!

    1 · September 28, 2013

  • Skysusan

    Sorry to miss it... next time.. sky

    September 28, 2013

  • Ana

    Thank you John!

    2 · September 28, 2013

  • Ana

    Beautiful Community!

    2 · September 28, 2013

  • John M

    Nice morning, friendly folks! Thanks!!

    3 · September 28, 2013

  • Dianne

    Really lovely hike! Thanks you so much!

    2 · September 28, 2013

  • Dawn

    It's gorgeous out here!!! The drive was a but tricky though!!! Lots of runners and bicyclists out today, be careful!!

    1 · September 28, 2013

  • Skysusan

    Sorry not to be able to go after all... sky

    September 25, 2013

    • Dawn

      Where's the "dislike" button?! We'll miss you, Sky!!! ;(

      3 · September 26, 2013

  • Dianne

    It's going to be my little dog's first hike. Hope he can do it.

    3 · September 25, 2013

  • Dawn

    Yippppeeeee Skippppppeeeeee!!!! :D

    3 · September 24, 2013

    • Ellen

      :) Hope all was well with your home in CO and enjoy your hike. I will be hiking Harper's Ferry which has been on my radar for the cooler weather season.

      3 · September 24, 2013

    • Edna

      Schedule one that way for the group Ellen!

      September 25, 2013

  • Jim

    One highlight of this route: all the middle-aged guys frenetically biking on the Crescent Trail indulging their Lance Armstrong fantasies.

    5 · September 24, 2013

    • John M

      We'll be on the C&O towpath most of the way.

      2 · September 24, 2013

  • Skysusan

    Anyone driving from King Street Metro station? I'd love a ride... cheers, Sky

    September 24, 2013

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