Let's hike across Wilson Bridge and visit The Awakening and the Capital Wheel in National Harbor!
The route: From the old rudder in Jones Point Park under the Wilson Bridge, we’ll walk west up the grade towards GW Parkway, turn right and cross the I-495 overpass, and turn right again to enter the Wilson Bridge footpath. From there it’s uninterrupted footpath across the bridge and along the east bank of the Potomac to National Harbor. After a break for a snack, some unstructured snooping, and possibly a ride on the Capital Wheel, we’ll return along the same route. Since the return is the same route, those wanting to linger longer can stay as long as they wish.
The walk is around 3.2 miles each way for a total of 6.4 easy miles of smiles. The surface is paved, with graded elevation changes throughout. We'll spend at least around 30 minutes at National Harbor, so plan for 2-3 hours.
A Google map is here: http://tinyurl.com/pnjtp3g
How to get there: The park entrance is at the south end of South Royal Street in Old Town Alexandria. From Highway 1 (either direction), take Franklin Street east to Royal Street, turn right and drive south 3 blocks until the street ends in front of Wilson Bridge. The park entrance is on your left.
What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired. (Pets are not allowed on The Capital Wheel.) The high temperature is relatively balmy, but consider the layered look.
Cost: Free! (Capital Wheel rides are $15 per person and can be purchased in advance at their website. See below.)
Weather: The forecast is partly cloudy and a high of 57 degrees. Updates here: http://tinyurl.com/ojarpgd
As a reminder, this is an adult group, and you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and well-being during events. No one under 18 years of age is permitted.
Administrative stuff: There are restrooms and a drinking fountain at Jones Point Park. Parking is free and there is room for around 100 cars. There are public restrooms at several areas in National Harbor; see the Google map or the pdf map below; they are not marked on the interactive map. The Capital Wheel rides take about 15 minutes, plus waiting time to board, and eight passengers fit in each non-VIP gondola.
• National Harbor: http://tinyurl.com/6q7sszp
• Interactive map: http://tinyurl.com/pzf3ykk
• National Harbor directory (pdf): http://tinyurl.com/nggkaw3
• The Capital Wheel, 174 Waterfront Street #215, Oxon Hill, MD 20745, (877)[masked], http://tinyurl.com/q5uk5np