Let's go for a walk in Huntley Meadows, a popular spot to see birds, beavers, and other wildlife. It's an early start, but the summer heat drives the critters into hiding pretty early.
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 walk the length of an informal trail extending towards the west of the park and return. The total walk is between 3 to 4 miles.
The main trail fine gravel and boardwalk and the informal trail is dirt. Because of recent dry weather, we shouldn't have much trouble with mud, although fallen trees from the recent storm may be another matter.
Where to meet: We'll meet right outside the Visitor Center.
How to get there: The park entrance is at 3701 Lockheed Blvd Alexandria, VA 22306, where Harrison Lane meets Lockheed Boulevard.
What to bring: Water and comfy shoes. Sunscreen and especially insect repellent are recommended. Dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk.
Administrative stuff: Entrance to the park is free; however, a voluntary contribution for parking is recommended. Although there are restrooms and drinking fountains in the Visitor Center, it doesn't open until 9:00 am.
Before and/or after the walk: Grounded Coffee is nearby at the corner of Telegraph Road and South King's Highway, 6919 Telegraph Road in Alexandria. It opens at 7:30 on Sundays and has coffees, smoothies, and its own on-site bakery.
Huntley Meadows Park: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/huntley-meadows-park/
Huntley Meadows Trail Map: http://www.restonpaths.com/HuntleyMeadows/ParkMap.htm
Grounded Coffee: http://www.groundedcoffeeshop.com/