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Upcoming events (5+)
This fast hike/trail run on Old Rag in central Shenandoah National Park this coming Sunday is for those who want an early start to beat the crowds. We plan to leave the Metro area by 6 a.m. so we can arrive around 8. We'll snap on our running vests and see how fast we can run (or hike) the 9-mile loop (clockwise, for an uphill rock scramble). Since we're leaving before Metro opens, you'll have to walk/ride share to a preset meeting point (such as Dupont Circle, or wherever is most convenient for all participants). Contact the trip leader ASAP to coordinate all this. We'll plan to be back in town noon-ish.
We'll meet at Fletcher's Cove Boathouse, 4940 Canal Road NW in D.C. at 3:30 pm. We'll go out for about 1 and 1/2 hours. We'll go down river. We'll go by lots of motor boats tied together for hanging out. But we'll see wilderness on the shores, complete with some ducks and birds. Standup paddleboarders welcome. Cost: based on 1 and 1/2 hours, single kayak $24, double $33. paddle board $30. Don't sign up until you are pretty sure you are going, as your leader needs to know how many boats to reserve. We will walk up to a restaurant for food and drink afterward if there is interest.
Sky Meadows State Park is beautifully situated on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge north of Shenandoah National Park in Delaplane, VA. It also has the advantage of being only about an hour's drive from our meeting place at East Falls Church Metro station. This moderate, 7-mile long circuit hike will take us through a mix of meadows and forest. There will be about 1300 feet of elevation gain. Our efforts will be rewarded with several dramatic overlooks. The Park also features several historic buildings and ruins from the days when this was a thriving farm. Meet at 8 AM at the East Falls Church Metro station (turn right toward the Kiss 'n Ride parking lot as you exit the station). Bring beverages, lunch, and about $15 for park admission, transportation, and trip fees (park admission is $10 per car).
Hopefully, extreme heat won't be a problem this time as we visit one of the more scenic stretches of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The Canal segment at Synders Landing overlooks horseshoe bends in the Potomac River on the border of Maryland and West Virginia outside of Sharpsburg, MD and also features several caves where terrified residents took refuge during the nearby Battle of Antietam in September 1862. Our moderate 10-mile hike starts on the Canal near Sharpsburg and follows the Canal south to Lock 38. We will then leave the Canal and enter Shepherdstown, WV, located a short jump across the Potomac, for an exploration tour of the city. Shepherdstown's quaint architecture and small-town feel make it a distinctive destination. We’ll be sure to visit the “Little House” located here. This Little House is not the one of Laura Ingalls Wilder, nor any tiny house fame, but an actual miniature house built by Shepherd University, dating back to the late 1920s for child development and learning purposes. Afterwards, we can amble along the charming streets of Shepherdstown and eat a light afternoon snack/early dinner/frozen delight before retracing our steps along the C&O Canal. Meet at the Forest Glen Metro at 9 a.m. to form carpools. Bring water, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, spending money, and a change of clothes/shoes/socks (optional). Transportation and trip costs should be less than $15. We will make our usual Sheetz stop to pick up a lunch or last-minute snacks.