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Daybreak at Huntley Meadows

The forecast for Sunday literally isn’t looking so hot (cloudy, high temperature in the low 40s and 50% chance of rain and snow mix), so let’s double down on Saturday’s nature hiking by adding an early morning hike at Huntley Meadows. Sunrise is at 7:20am, so we’ll get started just as the critters are out having breakfast.

The route: From the Visitor Center, we’ll walk the main trail through the woods, out along the boardwalk past the observation tower, and then circle back counterclockwise along Deer and Cedar trails for another lap on the boardwalk. The total walk is around 3.5 miles, but our goal is to finish up by around 9am, so those attending the Dyke Marsh event at 10am can get there on time.

The main trails are flat, fine gravel and boardwalk, and informal trails are dirt.

How to get there: The park entrance is at 3701 Lockheed Blvd, Alexandria, VA 22306, where Harrison Lane meets Lockheed Boulevard. Drive all the way to the end of the park road to get to the parking lot.

What to bring: Water and comfy shoes. Sorry, dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk. As a reminder, this is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted.

Administrative stuff: Entrance to the park is free, but the park staff requests a voluntary contribution for parking. The Visitor Center does not open until 9am, so plan a pit stop before the hike.

After the hike: If you are also signed up for the Dyke Marsh Nature Walk at 10am, Dyke Marsh is only 10 minutes’ drive from Huntley Meadows, and there is a Panera and a Starbucks along the way in Beacon Hill shopping center to stop for a coffee and/or a snack along your way. To get there, exit Huntley Meadows park, turn right onto Lockheed Blvd and follow it for 0.6 miles. Turn left on US-1/Richmond Hwy and drive north almost a mile. Turn right onto Beacon Hill Rd and drive east for 0.7 miles, and continue straight on Belle View Blvd for another mile. Turn left onto George Washington Pkwy, and after driving 0.2 miles, take the first right to enter Belle Haven Marina area. Take an immediate left to enter the parking lot.

Google map of directions: http://tinyurl.com/md2hjjw

Notes:

Huntley Meadows trail map: http://tinyurl.com/mk8gbc3

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  • Cat

    ...and Laura! (memory returns!) :-)

    1 · March 17, 2014

  • Cat

    Was nice meeting you, John and ____ (fellow Californian Gal whose name is in my passive memory...typical of me). Sorry I showed up one hour late..and didn't have time to RSVP, but better late than never! I've loved Huntley Meadows these past 8 years.

    1 · March 17, 2014

  • John M

    Nice morning stroll - thanks!

    1 · March 15, 2014

  • Kristen

    Great walk with great people. Thank you so much for hosting this. Huntley Meadows is one of my favorite parks :)

    March 15, 2014

  • Edna

    Thanks for a great perk up in the morning!

    March 15, 2014

  • Cindy

    Nice morning walk through Huntley Meadows, haven't been there in years. Thanks, John.

    March 15, 2014

  • Cindy

    Jce mornin

    March 15, 2014

  • Gregg

    I think it was too early for the Beavers!

    March 15, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks John

    March 15, 2014

  • howard

    Great walk;

    March 15, 2014

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