I completely forgot about the holiday on George Washington's birthday, and it's supposed to be a beautiful day, too! Let's go for a short walk in Huntley Meadows and see who's spending their winter migration with us this year.
The route: From the Visitor Center, we'll walk the main trail through the woods, out along the boardwalk past the observation tower, and then along the informal trail towards the west of the park and return. The total walk is about 3 miles. Given an easy pace to check out the wildlife, it should take about an hour and a half at most.
The main trail is fine gravel and boardwalk, and the informal trail is dirt.
Where to meet: We'll meet outside the Visitor Center.
How to get there: The park entrance is at 3701 Lockheed Blvd Alexandria, VA 22306, where Harrison Lane meets Lockheed Boulevard. A path at the back right corner of the parking lot leads to the Visitor Center, maybe 1-200 yards into the woods.
What to bring:
Water and comfy shoes. It's supposed to be sunny and 40 degrees, with only light winds, so the layered look is a good idea. For legal liability purposes, no one under 18, please. Administrative stuff:
Entrance to the park is free; however, a voluntary contribution for parking is recommended. Unfortunately, the Visitor Center is closed for the holiday, so the normal amenities (restrooms, drinking fountains) are unavailable. Dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk. Before and/or after the walk:
You can make a pitstop and grab a cup of coffee at Starbuck's, is about a mile from the park along Lockheed Blvd at 6754 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA. Mama's Kitchen opens at 11:00 if anyone is up for a bite after the walk. It's at 7601 Fordson Avenue in Alexandria. Notes:
Huntley Meadows Park: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/huntley-meadows-park/
Huntley Meadows Trail Map: http://www.restonpaths.com/HuntleyMeadows/ParkMap.htm
Grounded Coffee: http://www.groundedcoffeeshop.com/
Mama's Kitchen: http://mammaskitchenva.com/