Hemlock Overlook and Paradise Winery

Hemlock Overlook is not only a great spot for a hike, it’s conveniently located by Paradise Springs Winery, the closest winery to Washington DC. Wouldn’t you know they’re having their annual holiday sparkling wine tasting? Yep - Blancs de Blanc, Sparkling Viognier, 1991 Vintage Virginia Sparkling Cuvee, and a Sparkling Pineapple wine from Maui. Let’s go for a hike and sample a little bubbly afterwards!

The route: From the trailhead we’ll head south and west to pick up the blue-blazed Bull Run Occoquan Trail, turn right, and head north along the bank of Bull Run. After crossing Pope’s Head Creek on stepping stones, we’ll continue north along the stream bank with the Southern Railroad line on our right. After crossing under the railroad bridge, we’ll cross Johnny Moore Creek on another set of stepping stones before reaching our turnaround point at about 2.36 miles. From there we’ll turn back and retrace our steps to the trailhead.

The hike is an easy-to-moderate 4.72 miles of smiles, out-and-back, and should take about 2 hours to complete. The surface is dirt paths with some rocks and steps, interspersed hills and flat stretches, two stream crossings over stepping stones, and probably some mud here and there due to the recent rain.

A Google map of our route is here: http://tinyurl.com/nzzxpgg

How to get there:  

• From the Beltway, take I-66 to Route 123, drive south on 123 to Clifton Road, turn right on Clifton Road and drive 3.7 miles, turn left on Yates Ford Road and follow it to the park entrance.

• From the Fairfax County Parkway, go west on Burke Lake Road. In one mile, Burke Lake Road becomes Clifton Road at Route 123. Continue straight ahead for 3.7 more miles, turn left on Yates Ford Road and follow it to the park entrance.

Click here for Google directions from your address to the park

What to bring: Water, and comfy shoes and your furry friend if desired (leashes please). A change of shoes and socks is a good idea if you're going to the wine tasting afterward, so we don't track mud into the place. A camera is a handy accessory.

Cost: None for the hike. Optional $16 per person per tasting. Please bring exact change in cash, payable to the organizer at the trailhead. In return you will get a ticket good for one tasting at our separate reserved private tasting. Still wines are available; please let the organizer know if you want to taste still wines instead of sparkling.

NB: I'll be phoning the winery at the start of the hike to ensure they have our tasting room set up when we arrive. The winery is projecting a busy day, so a reserved ticket is recommended.

Administrative stuff: As a reminder, this is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted. If you're attending the wine tasting, please drive responsibly.

Notes:

• Hemlock Overlook Regional Park: http://tinyurl.com/p678pkp

• PATC Bull Run trail maps: http://tinyurl.com/qzg39tf

• Paradise Springs Winery: http://tinyurl.com/246vfbd

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  • ML M.

    Sorry I had to miss this because was't feeling not well. Not scared off by the rain. Hope to catch the next hike

    December 30, 2013

  • John M

    Steady rain and hardy hikers! Thanks!

    2 · December 29, 2013

    • Quinn

      Thank you for the hike John!!

      2 · December 29, 2013

    • John M

      Thanks for spotting the cool stone point and describing it to us!

      December 30, 2013

  • Karen

    Great

    1 · December 30, 2013

  • Anne-Marie

    John, thank you for another great day. Enjoyed chatting with you. Sorry to have missed the hike, rain and all. Glad we caught up with you at the winery. Had a lot of fun with Quinn,Bill, and Ryan. Hoping my back is better in time for our next adventure. :)

    1 · December 30, 2013

  • Quinn

    Lots of fun hiking with the soggy troopers! Wine tasting a blast thanks to Ann Marie and Bill!!

    3 · December 29, 2013

  • Susie

    Felt like a kid playing in the rain - great hike. Thanks, John.

    1 · December 29, 2013

  • Errol S.

    I will meet you at the winery, but can't make the hike

    December 29, 2013

  • TD

    Darn it. On the way back from tubing at Bryce yesterday my car sounded off. Sure enough engine trouble today. And I was geared up for the rain and wine! I'll meet y'all another day instead happy new year!

    December 29, 2013

  • Ellen C

    Due to the rain I won't be coming today.

    December 29, 2013

  • Ian B.

    We still meeting up?

    December 29, 2013

    • Edna

      Guys, it's really looking rather nasty out there. Please be careful! It'll be quite an adventure for sure.

      December 29, 2013

    • Ian B.

      Ok. Inside park. Says the parking is for Adventure Links.

      December 29, 2013

  • Ana

    One of my favorite hikes but not today. Thank You John for being an awesome host and look forward to some more hikes and smiles in 2014! Happy New Year!

    December 29, 2013

  • Christina

    Between the rain and my dog being sick I won't make it (he'll recover)

    December 29, 2013

  • ML M.

    Sorry I am feeling very ill. Cannot come to either hike or winery

    December 29, 2013

  • Karen A

    Won't make the hike but will be going to the winery.

    December 29, 2013

  • Chang

    Looking forward to hiking with this group for the first time.

    December 29, 2013

  • Chang

    Due to the weather I will not be able to come today. Looking forward to joining you another time. Happy New Year!

    December 29, 2013

  • Chang

    Looking forward to hiking with this group for the first time.

    December 29, 2013

  • Lana

    I do no feel good to make a hike, but I would like to wish everyone HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let your dreams come true!!!!

    1 · December 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Feel better soon and Happy New Year!

      December 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I 'd like to join your group BUT is there any one driving from army navy drive or Fairlington who I may ride with.

    December 28, 2013

    • Ian B.

      Can you make it to Pentagon City metro?

      December 28, 2013

  • Serindipit

    NVHC cancelled their hike for tomorrow due to rain.. Do you think it will be a issue?

    December 28, 2013

    • John M

      No lightning, no worries! :)

      1 · December 28, 2013

  • Ian B.

    We shall overcome.

    1 · December 28, 2013

  • John M

    Hey folks,

    Yeah I know, they're predicting rain tomorrow; between three quarters and one inch is possible. But this is not a difficult trail and we're not going to melt, so let's go! Bring your raincoat/poncho and a spare pair of shoes and socks for after the hike in case it's muddy. My cell number is[masked]; give me a call if you need anything. (No texts, please.)

    See you at Hemlock Overlook!

    PS: Even if it's too rainy for your tastes, feel free to come for the wine tasting at 12:00. I will give Paradise a confirmed headcount at 10:00 am based on the count then, but I'm sure they'll be happy to see more folks!

    1 · December 28, 2013

  • Ellen C

    Weather.com is predicting a 90% chance of rain tomorrow morning. Since I'm not signed up for the wine tasting, I'll make a "game time" decision about whether to come on the hike.

    December 28, 2013

  • Anne-Marie

    Hi John,
    Somehow wrenched my lower back, may miss the hike. I remain optimistic and hope it unkinks by tomorrow morning. However, I can still raise my arms and lift a glass. My +1 and I will honor our commitment and attend the wine tasting either way.

    1 · December 28, 2013

  • Chang

    Looking forward to hiking with this group for the first time.

    1 · December 28, 2013

  • Ellen

    Hey John, I changed my RSVP and will not be attending this hike. Enjoy!

    1 · December 27, 2013

    • John M

      Thanks for the heads-up.

      December 27, 2013

  • John M

    Hey folks, I posted a 2-page description (pdf) of the wines available for tasting or purchase here: http://tinyurl.com/pm4ywxx

    December 26, 2013

  • Tori

    Merry Xmas from MV Explorer !

    2 · December 25, 2013

  • Robyn

    Is there a level for this or is it just a walk? Robyn

    December 24, 2013

    • John M

      Easy to moderate. There are undulating hills, rocks and roots and muddy spots, but no scrambles.

      December 24, 2013

  • ML M.

    I am hoping to be back from New England for this hike. Should know for sure by later this week. If so would love to do the wine tasting

    1 · December 24, 2013

  • Skysusan

    Still with my brother - enjoy :) sky

    December 24, 2013

  • Ellen

    I am interested in the wine tasting. Sparkling Viognier? Who would have thought

    1 · December 24, 2013

  • John M

    Don't forget - please indicate in your RSVP or comments if you plan to attend the wine tasting afterwards! I'm going out there today to recon and haggle...

    3 · December 24, 2013

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