Jones Point Park: A walk to the Awakening

Maybe the third time will be a charm. Our first crossing attempt in January was confounded by ice on the bridge, and a snowstorm derailed a second attempt, but there's still one weekend left in February. Let's cross Wilson Bridge and visit The Awakening Statue in National Harbor!

The route: From the old rudder under the Wilson Bridge, we’ll walk west up the grade towards GW Parkway, turn right and cross the I-495 overpass, and turn right again to enter the Wilson Bridge footpath. From there it’s uninterrupted footpath across the bridge and along the east bank of the Potomac to National Harbor. After a short break for a snack and a little unstructured snooping, we’ll return along the same route. (Since the return is the same route, those wanting to linger longer can stay as long as they wish. There's even a water taxi back to Old Town if you're so inclined!)

The walk is around 3.2 miles each way for a total of 6.4 miles, and should take a little over 2 hours, plus however long we spend at National Harbor. The surface is paved, with graded elevation changes throughout.

A Google map is here: http://tinyurl.com/pnjtp3g

How to get there: The park entrance is at the south end of South Royal Street in Old Town Alexandria. From Highway 1 (either direction), take Franklin Street east to Royal Street, turn right and drive south 3 blocks until the street ends in front of Wilson Bridge. The park entrance is on your left.

What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired. As a reminder, this is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted.

Administrative stuff: There are restrooms and a drinking fountain at Jones Point Park. Parking is free and there is room for around 100 cars. There are public restrooms at several areas in National Harbor; see the Google map or the pdf map below; they are not marked on the interactive map.

Notes:

National Harbor: http://nationalharbor.com/

Interactive map: http://nationalharbor.micromaps.com/

National Harbor directory (pdf): http://tinyurl.com/nggkaw3

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  • John M

    Sunny day, fun peeps! Thanks!!

    1 · February 22, 2014

    • Laura

      Yes, and there is even a picture of the peep mobile! :-)

      1 · February 23, 2014

  • Laura

    I found a gray glove, size Medium, made by Burton. Let me know if it is yours.

    February 23, 2014

    • Ana

      Hi Laura, That glove might belong to Rocky.

      February 23, 2014

    • Laura

      Thanks! I just sent her an email.

      1 · February 23, 2014

  • kerry

    Beautiful day, fun people, what more could you ask for??

    1 · February 23, 2014

  • richard f.

    Hi folks,
    Yep it was a lovely day for a hike. Too bad that everyone dispersed, I walked back across the bridge solo. I had a delicious steak and shrimp burrito at Baja Mexicano deli .Eat your heart out Vegans! With tongue in cheek !
    Richard Ferrara

    February 23, 2014

  • Janis L.

    Thank you John for organizing. It was an absolutely beautiful day for a walk to Nat'l Harbor. It was fun getting to know new friend Ana & Pamala

    2 · February 22, 2014

    • Tonie D.

      Thank you John ...Beautiful day for a walk to the National Harbor.Rocky and Janis thank you for the pictures.

      1 · February 22, 2014

  • Louise

    Perfect break from winter -- outstanding!

    1 · February 22, 2014

  • Rocky

    Thank you John for organizing this walk. It was a beautiful day; love National Harbor and enjoyed meeting some new people.

    2 · February 22, 2014

  • Ana

    A little noisy going across the bridge but nice people to walk with as always! Thank You John!

    1 · February 22, 2014

  • Nadia

    Awesome Day!!

    1 · February 22, 2014

  • Ana

    4 of us are @ the Public House getting a bite.

    February 22, 2014

  • Claire S.

    I forgot about the date changing and can't make it today because of a prior commitment

    February 22, 2014

  • Suzanne D.

    Where is the rudder?

    February 22, 2014

  • Joan B.

    A last minute conflict has come up...I'm very disappointed, but this frees up a spot. Have a wonderful hike!

    February 22, 2014

    • Maria D.

      Sorry you can't make it. I was on the wait list... Thanks

      February 22, 2014

  • Michelle

    Hi John, is the waitlist due to limited parking at the starting point?

    February 21, 2014

    • Margie

      Fairfax County is so civilized.

      February 21, 2014

    • Michelle

      Thanks, John - that answers it nicely!

      February 21, 2014

  • richard f.

    Hi ! This is Richard and I have biked this route several times.So I am looking ahead to hiking it with all the other members

    February 21, 2014

  • Tonie D.

    Yes I will be there.

    February 20, 2014

  • jane S.

    Thank you I am excited!

    February 20, 2014

  • Aaron G.

    John dogs ok? Lincoln gets upset if I don't bring him along!

    1 · February 18, 2014

    • John M

      Absolutely! :)

      February 18, 2014

  • Joanna

    I forgot I have a hair appointment...next time!

    February 17, 2014

  • Jeffrey G.

    I will attend.

    February 16, 2014

  • ML M.

    Oh well I will truly miss enjoying a long walk with the group

    February 14, 2014

  • Tori

    are you sure???? Can you make it after late night at the movies?????

    February 14, 2014

    • John M

      Starting at 7:00, and the two movies' combined runtime is only 1:46 (106 minutes), I'd be surprised if the movies went past 10:00.

      February 14, 2014

  • Skysusan

    Likely a really good call, John... Sadly, my other hike got changed to the 22nd as well... it's a long one... Sorry to miss it... Cheers, sky

    1 · February 14, 2014

  • Edna

    John, great backdrop on the group's title box! Makes me long for warmer hiking days soon. Anyhooo - snow forecast on Thursday. Are we hoping it would "all" be cleared out off the bridge 2 days after?

    1 · February 11, 2014

    • John M

      Well, it's supposed to be sunny and 42 degrees on Friday, so I'm hoping any ice will clear off. Last weekend's forecasts were wildly inaccurate anyway, so who knows?

      1 · February 11, 2014

    • Edna

      John, guys - hope you all are safe and can get out relatively fine from your streets and sidewalks. Driving to work today, I saw that the sidewalks at Old Town (and at the GW area) are not really promising. It's going to be a battle of a walk for tomorrow - just want you to be ready if we push through. On a great note, saw a good number of eagles flying around so close to the parkway; they're having a blast. At least someone's having fun with this weather.

      February 14, 2014

  • Elizabeth

    I'm going to be out of town this weekend but would love to join for the next hike.

    February 14, 2014

  • Claire S.

    Is the walk to the awakening a hard walk?

    February 13, 2014

    • John M

      Not particularly, unless we have to wade through snow!

      1 · February 13, 2014

  • Rick K

    Hey all. The Katsucon (www.katsucon.org) anime convention is at the Gaylord this weekend so we can also walk over there if we want to see lots of uniquely costumed folks.

    February 12, 2014

  • Skysusan

    Good... my long hike just got moved, so I get to come to this one... hope the bridge isn't a sheet of ice again :) sky

    February 12, 2014

  • Bill L.

    John sorry can't make it. The one day I am going out of town and I can't make one of the walks I was looking forward to. Have fun gang.

    1 · February 11, 2014

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