Let’s enjoy a walk in beautiful Brookside Gardens and adjacent Wheaton Park!
The route: From the Brookside Gardens Conservatory parking lot (the main Botanical Gardens parking lot is closed!) we’ll walk into the gardens and do a little 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 of about 5 miles of smiles; perhaps more if we do a lot of wandering around in the gardens. The surface is a mix of pavement, fine gravel, and dirt paths, with slight changes in elevation here and there. We should be finished in around two hours.
Google map here (https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zTy9tqTph5fw.kCDmJqLHLOQU).
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. On Glenallan Avenue, continue past the Heurich Road entrance to Brookside Gardens and take the next right into the gated Brookside Gardens Conservatory.
The main visitor center parking area is closed, so we will park in the Conservatory parking lot. There is also parallel parking along Heurich Road. See parking alternatives here (http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/construction.shtm#parking).
*** Driver alert! *** Look out for speed cameras along Randolph Road!
Weather: The forecast is cloudy and breezy (15 mph), with a high temperature of 49 degrees and a 30-50% chance of rain. See updates here (http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=Silver+Spring%2C+Maryland).
What to bring: Water and comfy shoes. Sorry, only service animals are allowed in Brookside Gardens. Check the forecast and consider and umbrella and the layered look!
Advisory: As a reminder, this is an adult group, and you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and well-being during events. This is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted.
Administrative stuff: There are restrooms and a drinking fountain in the Brookside Gardens Visitor Center and at the Miniature Train Station in Wheaton Park.
• 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 trail maps (http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/ParkTrails/trails_MAPS/wheaton.shtm)
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