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Creeky parks

From: Mike
Sent on: Sunday, March 8, 2009 5:31 PM



There are two longish but very interesting (I always claim that) hikes coming up the next two Saturdays. Both will uncover surprising beauty (I always claim that) within the suburban and urban environment in which you probably live. Here is a very interesting email with surprising beauty to tell you about it.


1) Saturday, March 14, Northwest Branch Trail and Sligo Creek Trail: This is a circuit hike of 15 or 21 miles (you choose) that will take you along two of the prettiest MD suburban DC stream parks. The hike includes natural-surface and paved trails, with a few stretches of sidewalk, and even some rock scrambling and sandy beaches. The short version is 3.4 blisters (moderate) and the long version is 4.5 blisters (ouch).


We’ll meet at 8:30 am at the athletic fields’ parking lot of Wheaton Regional Park, near the restrooms and soda machines, across from the indoor ice arena (Google link:; use Orebaugh Av off of Arcola Av to get there. Contact me if you need directions or a pickup from the Wheaton Metro station. Russ Norfleet and I will co-lead.


2) Saturday, March 21, Parade of Parks: This is also a circuit hike of 14 or 21 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 3.3 blisters (moderate) and the long version is 4.5 blisters (ouch).


Parks/trails trod upon will include (believe it or not) the C&O Canal National Historical Park, Capital Crescent Trail, Glover-Archibold Park, Whitehaven Park, Dumbarton Oaks Park, Rock Creek Park, National Zoological Park, and either the Melvin C. Hazen Park (short version) or the Georgetown Branch Trail (long version)—a veritable parade.


We’ll meet at 8 am at Fletcher’s Boat House lower parking lot, off Canal Rd. (Use caution entering the driveway. Google link: For directions, see Contact me if you need a ride from Metro. Frank Wodarczyk and I will co-lead.




Bring food and drink, or $ to buy. These hikes are rain or shine, or hail and high water, so dress appropriately. Dogs must check with me first. (OK, I mean the owners, but if a dog emails me, it would certainly give me paws.)


Both of these hikes are Sierra Club Potomac Region Outings (SCPRO) events, and are part of a series of training hikes leading up to SCPRO’s One Day Hike (ODH;, Saturday, April 25. The ODH is a two-in-one, staggered-start, supported, one-way hike of 50km (6.2 blisters) or 100 km (I don’t want to think about it) along C&O Canal towpath to Harpers Ferry. Registration has reached its limit. If you are not doing the ODH, consider volunteering for it (pretty please!)—let me know if interested.




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