Past Meetup

U.S. National Arboretum! Metro Friendly 3.5 or 7.3 Easy Miles Optional

This Meetup is past

26 people went

Price: $5.00 /per person

U.S. National Arboretum with Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group! An Easy 3.5 or Easy-Side-of-Moderate 7.3 Mile Sneaker Hike

Directions: Click the link under “Directions to the Trailhead” located near the end of the event listing. The linked page has location/direction details, driving/parking info, including where to Meetup after you arrive. · , DC

How to find us

Use the link provided under the paragraph heading “Directions to the Trailhead” located near the bottom of the event posting. It provides important information such as directions to the event, where we Meetup after you arrive, and other helpful info.

Location image of event venue


Early Spring Hike at the U.S. National Arboretum: Hiker's Choice of Either An Easy Sneaker Hike of 3.5 Miles OR a Moderate 7.3 Total Miles (Metro Friendly)

Join Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group for this sneaker hike and see the area's most botanically diverse hiking venue! Both distance options offer all provided pace options for everyone to be able to enjoy the magnificent biodiversity that this fantastic location offers.

Our route consists of two rather wiggly loops totaling 7.3 miles. We will begin with the flatter of the two, the 3.7-mile loop, and finish with a 3.6-mile loop (the second loop is only more challenging due to one rather long albeit not steep hill). Neither of the two loops is very hilly, and the pace will be one meant for us to take our time enjoying the sights and is not about speed. Because this varies significantly, we will offer both a social and a moderate hike pace. Please note that there will not be a fast, or "Justin pace" option for this hike (wouldn't have time to stop and smell the -- well any of it-grin.) After the first loop, we visit the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. It just so happens that the intersection of the "figure 8" is very near where we park and also near the Bonsai exhibit, making this a fantastic hike for having the two distance options.

Year-Round Interest
Asian Valley in the Asian Collections, Friendship Garden, National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, National Boxwood Collection, Gotelli Dwarf and Slow-Growing Conifer Collection, Knot Garden in the National Herb Garden, Morrison Garden in the Azalea Collections, Holly and Magnolia Collections.

Trail Information

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Washington
Distance: 7.3 total miles broken up into two loops to form a large figure 8 so that there is something for everyone. The first loop is 3.6 miles and the second loop is 3.7 miles. Both loops start from the middle (intersecting parts) of the large figure 8, so it is as convenient as it gets because both loops start right where we park! Also, we are sure to visit the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the halfway point which is between the two loops. No matter which distance you join us for, you will get to experience the magnificent Bonsai display.
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate depending on whether you go on the 3.6-mile or the entire 7.3-mile loop only due to distance with one long hill on the second loop.
Scenery: Woodlands, open spaces, exotic plants, and odd structures
Trail Surface: Mostly paved; some dirt, gravel, concrete, grass, mulch
Hiking Time: Varies by the pace you hike with but about 4-6 hours (allowing for lingering to take in the sights)
Facilities: Toilets, water at administration building; toilets at Arbor House and (warm weather months only) near National Grove of State Trees and in Asian Collections.
Configuration: Modified Loop
Trail Type: Loop
Season: Year-round
Local Maps: USGS Washington East

Park Entry Fee
There is no park entrance fee.

Gear Suggestions
Click Here ( for suggestions regarding what to wear and what not to wear for hiking the trails.

Weather Information
We hike rain or shine. Click Here to view the forecast for the area where we will be hiking.

Hike Pace Options

We break down into groups based on pace. We allow for larger groups than normal for particular hike due to the venue being built for larger capacity by design. The way it is laid out lends itself to larger groups without the feeling of "mob" hiking. Additionally, we offer an option of hike paces which allows you to be put together with those of a similar pace and hike which one is most comfortable for you. ALL paces stop to enjoy the sights as they are the main reason for the timing of this special fall event.

Pace Option 1: A "walk in the woods" or "social" pace which is ideal for those who want to soak up nature and transitioning to longer hikes and will be about[masked]mph. This speed is considered just a little bit faster than a walk but not be a stroll. We will be wandering around the gardens as a group and taking in what nature has to offer. If you do not like stopping to take in the sights, then this might not be the hike for you.

Pace Option 2: A moderate pace of about[masked] mph (most standard hiker pace). Used in most hike books as a rule of thumb for calculating hike time.

Our RSVP and Group Etiquette
Click Here ( to review our RSVP policies and group etiquette.

Carpool Suggestions and Information

Note that you are responsible for knowing how to get from carpool locations to the venue. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is not responsible for transportation to and from events or carpools. Suggested carpool times and places are provided as a courtesy because many members are either new to the area or unfamiliar with a particular hike or venues location. Please use the 'Comments' section below, or reach out via e-mail to make arrangements for carpooling needs and offerings.

Baltimore Area Carpool Suggestion - Savage Station
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore area, people can arrange to meet at Savage Station. Click Here ( for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Savage Station location.

Annapolis Area Carpool Suggestion - Starbucks
To carpool or caravan from the Annapolis area, people can arrange to meet at the Harbour Center Mall Starbucks. Click Here ( for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Annapolis area carpool location.

(Metro) VA East Area Carpool Suggestion - Vienna/Fairfax Area METRO Station
To carpool or caravan from Vienna/Fairfax area, people can arrange to meet at the Fairfax Area METRO Station. Click Here ( for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station location.

If you can drive or want to carpool from any particular place, please post your offer to help those in need of a ride, and those looking for a ride, in the comment section below. Click Here for a list ( of suggested carpool locations, each complete with a physical address, GPS coordinates, driving directions and additional carpool information.

For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment — by just offering a ride!

Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions ( to Where We Meet for this Hike (METRO Directions Included)

Meet & Greet and Sign-In — 9:45-9:55 a.m.

The Hike is at 10:00 a.m.

Carpool Time from Savage Station — 9:00 a.m.

Carpool Time from Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station — 8:45 a.m.

Carpool Time from Annapolis Area — 9:00 a.m.

Please remember we are a volunteer supported organization that values fellowship and camaraderie while practicing good hike etiquette ( Leave No Trace ( principles. Our hikes are led by generous, dedicated, and qualified MAHG members who volunteer (!/) as leaders for Mid-Atlantic Hiking Groups volunteer leadership team. Hikes also have a volunteer “sweeper” to help ensure that no hiker is left behind. MAHG volunteers and members are very supportive, encouraging, with a focus on safety while enjoying the excellent camaraderie and benefiting from the many health benefits of hiking and unplugging from the stress of day-to-day life. Sharing what we know and learning from each other is an important part of MAHGs core values, as is our dedication to the conservation of our natural resources and our commitment to the organization's mission ( Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a volunteer supported tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, ( and donations ARE tax deductible ( Tax ID:[masked] (

A Well-Mannered, Leashed Fido is Welcome on this Hike!

Let’s have fun out on the trails and see you there.


• Please Click Here ( and Chip-In to help serve our mission (

• Donations to Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group are Tax Deductible: Tax ID[masked] ( Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charitable organization.

• Click Here ( to Learn more about Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s Mission.

• 100% of Every Dollar Goes Directly to the Expenses of Meeting our Mission.