We haven't been to Maryland lately, so let’s enjoy a morning walk in beautiful Brookside Botanical Gardens!
The route: From the parking lot of Brookside Botanical Gardens we’ll walk east into the gardens and spend around 45 minutes of pleasant, unstructured wandering through the greenhouse and surrounding garden paths and fountains. Departing the gardens, we’ll pick up the pace and enjoy a walk through the woodland paths of Wheaton Regional Park, passing Pine Lake, the Brookside Nature Center, and the Miniature Train and Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel on our way.
The walk is a loop/circuit totaling at least 4 miles; perhaps more if we do a lot of wandering around in the gardens before setting out. The surface is a mix of pavement, fine gravel, and dirt paths, with only slight changes in elevation. We should be finished in around two hours, including breaks.
How to get there: From the I-495 beltway north of Washington DC between I-270 and I-95 (traveling either direction), take exit 31A to follow MD-97/Georgia Ave toward Silver Spring/Wheaton. Follow signs for MD-97 N/Georgia Ave and drive north about 3.2 miles. Turn right onto Randolph Road, and take the second right onto Glenallan Avenue. Brookside Gardens will be on your right at Heurich Road. (Follow signs to the Visitor Center.) Driver’s alert! Be on the lookout for numerous speed cameras, especially along Randolph Road!
What to bring: Water and comfy shoes. Sorry, only service animals are allowed in Brookside Gardens, so your furry friend must sit this one out. Insect repellent and sunscreen are recommended, and a camera is a great accessory for the gardens! This is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 please.
Administrative stuff: There are restrooms and a drinking fountain in the Brookside Gardens Visitor Center and at the Miniature Train Station in Wheaton Park.
After the walk: There are several restaurants west of the Gardens near the intersection of Randolph Road and MD-355 for those who would like to grab a bite after the walk.
Brookside Gardens: http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/ Miniature Train and Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel at Wheaton Regional Park, http://www.montgomeryparks.org/enterprise/park_facilities/trains/wheaton.shtm Wheaton Regional Park Trails: http://tinyurl.com/m92uoct Timpano Chophouse (looks promising), 12021 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, (301)[masked], http://timpanochophouse.net/ Addie's Restaurant, 11120 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, (301)[masked], http://addiesrestaurant.com HT to Lana for the great suggestion!