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Parade of Parks (difficult)

What a great way to discover the beautiful parklands of the Washington area! This unusual hike is a circuit of 14 or 24 miles (you choose) on natural- and unnatural-surface trails in DC and MD (long hike) parklands, with some gentle elevation change. The short version is difficult (3.6 blisters) and the long version is more difficult (4.9 blisters). Mud and/or ice on the trails have been known to occur.

The hike will take you over a veritable parade of parks/trails:

- C&O Canal National Historical Park
- Capital Crescent Trail
- Glover-Archibold Park
- Whitehaven Park
- Dumbarton Oaks Park
- Rock Creek Park
- National Zoological Park
- Melvin C. Hazen Park (short version)
- Georgetown Branch Trail (long version)

Meeting Place: We'll meet at Fletcher's Cove lower parking lot, off Canal Rd. (Location: For directions, see Please use caution driving into the Fletcher’s Cove area—the entrance driveway is narrow and you need to drive through the tunnel under the canal to get to the lower lot where there is more ample parking.

What to Bring: Bring food and drink (short, 2 qts; long, 3 qts), or $$ to buy on the way. You’ll proceed at your own pace and you may stop (or not) anytime to eat. This hike occurs rain or shine, cold or warm, so dress appropriately.  However, in case of hazardous weather, please check here for last-minute changes before leaving for the hike.

Previous versions of this hike:

- 2013:

- 2012:

Leaders: Mike Darzi & Russ Norfleet.

ODH: Although open to all, this hike is part of a series of training hikes leading up to the One Day Hike (ODH)--100 or 50 km along the C&O Canal--on April 26, 2014. See the ODH listing for more information:[masked]/.

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  • Mike

    The weather started out nice (hi 40’s, cloudy) and slowly turned spectacular (mid 60’s, sparkling blue skies). We had 39 people who could not find something better to do than walk long distances in beautiful weather. (What could be better?) For a full photo album, see

    March 16, 2014

  • Cecilia O.

    I would like to join the hike but I am a little bit worried because I haven't gone 14 miles, 3.6 blisters yet, the longest one was 10 miles. Can I turn around and come back when I feel tired around 10+- miles?


    March 13, 2014

    • Mike

      Cecelia, Since this is a loop, you can shorten by going back if you've gone less than half way. You can also 1) return via streets, if you know the way, or 2) take a cab. Don't forget that this is at your pace, so that if you get tired, you can slow down and stop for a while. I don't think you'll have any problem if you've done 10 miles recently.

      March 13, 2014

  • Beth

    I will be joining in on the exercise and will be bringing friend.........see you then!

    March 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would love to join this hike but would need to leave part way to get to work bu 2:00. Would that be possible?

    March 12, 2014

    • Mike

      If you do the short hike, you should be done by around 1:30, depending on your pace--i.e., sooner, if you're a fast walker.

      March 13, 2014

39 went

  • Mike +6
    Re-Organizer, Organizer,
    Event Host

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