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Hike GT Potomac Heritage Trail, Chain Bridge, C&O Canal, Cafe La Ruche, 9 Miles

Where to Meet: We will meet at the Georgetown C & O Canal Visitors Center at 10 AM, hike Georgetown to Key Bridge to Potomac Heritage Trail to Chain Bridge to Fletcher's Boat House along the C & O Canal then back to Cafe La Ruche which is a 9.1 mile round trip circuit. Hike should take about three hours to complete. Afterwards we will eat lunch in Cafe La Ruche near the GT Visitor's Center. They have a great outdoor seating area. See for details. Cafe La Ruche is known for sumptuous deserts made on location with decent wine selection and basic French food. It is the oldest operating French Bistro in GT. 

Trail Notes: Hike starts along the C & O Canal then crosses the Key Bridge into VA. We will pick up the Potomac Heritage Trail, cross Chain Bridge then pick up the C & O Canal Trail back to GT via Fletcher's Boat House. We will pass through the GT Water Front Park at end of hike. Trail is typical wooded dirt trail once in VA to Chain Bridge. A few easy inclines and a bit of easy scrambling should be expected. Return trail is compacted gravel and dirt. The views along the Potomac are spectacular. A nippy breeze is likely to blow off the Potomac. Dress warmly. Hike can be a sneaker hike unless snow and ice greet us but, a portion is better with hiking shoes. Organizer has used both dockers and hiking shoes on these trails.

Directions: From Northern Virginia: Head north across Francis Scott Key Bridge into Georgetown. At the end of the bridge, turn right (east) onto M street. Follow M street to 30th street and turn right (south). The visitor center is halfway down the block on the right. Parking is available in parking garage just south of the canal on 30th street. Buses may park on K Street.

By Metro: There are no metro stops in Georgetown. Georgetown shuttle buses are available from Foggy Bottom, Rosslyn, and Du Pont Circle.

For Pedestrians, the closest metro stop is Foggy Bottom. From Foggy Bottom metro stop, make u-turn on pedestrian walkway to 24th street and turn right. Take 24th street to Pennsylvania Avenue and turn left. Take Pennsylvania Avenue to 30th Street and turn left. Park is half way down the block on the right. Allow 10-15 minutes for walking. (Approximately 10 blocks).

From Maryland and Beltway: Take Route 355 (Wisconsin Avenue) south approximately 6 miles to K Street and Potomac River. Wisconsin Avenue will end at K Street. Turn left onto K Street and follow to Thomas Jefferson Avenue. Turn left onto Thomas Jefferson and the park is half way up the block on the right. Parking is available in parking garages on K Street and 30th street.

Parking: If one is willing to walk 3 to 6 blocks in DC which is not far then parking is always available in the residential section of upper Georgetown. Parking restrictions on Sunday are very few and far between in DC. Paid parking lots and parking garages are scattered throughout GT. Residential areas is the key point for parking!

What to Bring: Bottle of water and other desired gear depending on personal needs. Take plenty of pictures. Pay attention to the weather which could be chilly.

Disclaimer: As usual this is a kid-free zone. All participants assume total risk for their personal and property safety. Robert's textable cell number is [masked].

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a great time. It was a strenuous hike, yet it gave me a big sense of accomplishment. Also, I enjoyed the company very much :) Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

    March 4, 2014

  • Veronique

    9.5 miles - great performance from all of us!!

    March 2, 2014

  • Uma

    Loved the pace and the weather was just right!! Of course cafe Le Ruche...yum

    March 2, 2014

  • Robert Q.

    Strenuous hike, great trails and view, charming and engaging conversations, delicious food.... Did I mention super hikers!?

    1 · March 2, 2014

    • Robert Q.

      We actually completed about 9.5 miles. The mapmyhike software was turned on a bit late so picture says 8.5 but, the pedometer clocked us at 9.5 miles in 4.3 hours including several 10 minute brakes. Great result!

      1 · March 2, 2014

  • Kevin D.

    Great group of people.

    March 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Another excellently planed and excellently lead trip!

    March 2, 2014

  • Shannon

    I've had something come up this weekend that's going to prevent me from joining you. Hope to catch up with you next week. Enjoy today's beautiful weather!

    March 2, 2014

    • Robert Q.

      We'll miss you but, good luck! See you next week.

      March 2, 2014

  • Lynne F.

    Bringing my husband John Finnerty

    February 26, 2014

    • Robert Q.

      Great! Look forward to meeting you folks.

      February 26, 2014

  • Jennifer

    If anyone wants a ride from South Arlington/Shirlington, let me know.

    February 17, 2014

  • Rozanne

    I saw there was someone w/knee injury on today's hike. I also have knee/back injury & would love to have someone who walks slightly snowier to walk with safely....

    February 16, 2014

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