What we're about

SCPRO is a special activities section of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter that organizes hikes and other events for the general public on behalf of the Sierra Club's Washington, DC chapter and the close-in groups of the Maryland and Virginia Chapters. No Sierra Club membership is necessary to participate. We welcome all people on a variety of outdoor adventures, nature walks, conservation outings, and exploration of our natural and regional history.

http://www.sierraclub.org/virginia/potomac-region-outings (http://www.sierrapotomac.org)

Upcoming events (4+)

Patuxent Branch Trail Hike (ODH Training #4)

Exxon/Tiger Mart/Wendy’s

• What we'll do
The Hike: Approximately 10.5 miles out-and-back at your own pace on gravel and paved surfaces (possibly some muddy or slick spots), with an optional extra 1.7-mile loop around Lake Elkhorn in Columbia, MD. In the course of the hike, we’ll cross the last remaining Bollman suspension truss bridge in the US and walk along the scenic Little Patuxent River valley. Also, we’ll once again offer an optional lunch stop at McDonalds next to Lake Elkhorn.

• What to bring
This is winter hiking at its finest: bring a bag lunch or heavy snacks, water, and dress for the weather; warm caps or hats, gloves or mittens, water-resistant footwear with good traction and a dry spare pair of socks are recommended. Since public rest facilities are in short supply, bring extra cash to patronize any business whose facilities you use.

Meet: 9:30 am at Exxon/Tiger Mart/Wendy’s, corner of US 1 and Gorman Road in Savage, MD, via I-95N exit 38A, MD 32 east and then US 1 south to Gorman Road (allow 1 hour from downtown DC). To check whether inclement weather or dangerous trail conditions will cancel this hike, visit this site after 6pm on January 27.

• Important to know
Each person must sign a liability waiver in order to participate. Also, Sierra Club Potomac Region Outings requests a modest donation ($2 per person would be nice) to help defray expenses of our all-volunteer program. You need not be a Sierra Club member to participate, but you may become a member by clicking "Join" on the following site: https://www.sierraclub.org/virginia

Although open to all, this hike is part of a series of Saturday training hikes leading up to the One Day Hike (ODH)—100 or 50 km along the C&O Canal—on April 22, 2023. See SCPRO’s Meetup page for announcements of other training hikes as they are posted. If you would like to volunteer to help support the ODH, see announcement and/or contact Mike Darzi ([masked]). For official updates regarding registration and other information, join the ODH discussion group by sending a blank email to onedayhike+[masked].

SCPRO Winter Potluck Party

Club Room, White Flint Station Condos

Help us celebrate the Sierra Club’s Potomac Region Outings (SCPRO) and usher in a new year of outdoor activities by joining us at this (indoor) winter potluck party. The party is open to all—outings participants (past, current, or future) and leaders (past, current, or future), as well family, friends, and curious onlookers—so feel free to invite others.

We will provide fruit snacks, dessert, water/soft drinks, and plastic/paper ware. What you may bring (with needed serving utensils) is an appetizer, or a main or side dish, and your own beer or wine. Please avoid desserts, chips, nuts, dips, and other snackies in deference to still fresh new-year resolutions. If you can’t, don’t want to, or forget to make a dish, don’t let that stop you from coming as there is sure to be more than enough food!

Sunday, January 29, 2023, 5:30-8 pm, Bethesda Club Room, White Flint Station Condos, 11800 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, MD (GoogleMaps). The entrance is at the NE corner of the Chapman Avenue and Old Georgetown Road "T" junction (see photo below), and the room is on your right just after entering.

Metro: The location is one block north of the Red Line’s North Bethesda Metro station (formerly known as White Flint Metro station), 5679 Marinelli Rd (GoogleMaps).

Parking: Street meter parking is free on weekends. There is a Metro parking garage (5627 Marinelli Rd; GoogleMaps) that is also free on weekends, and a commercial garage at Pike & Rose (11580 Old Georgetown Rd; GoogleMaps). Each garage is about 0.3 miles away.

If you have questions about the location or what to bring, contact Mike ([masked]).

Gathland State Park to Weverton Cliffs Hike - 7.5, or 12 miles

Gathland State Park

Let’s enjoy the moderate winter temperatures while they last! Hike with us along the AT from Gathland State Park to the rocky cliffs of Weverton to enjoy fantastic views of the Potomac river valley and the surrounding mountains. This trail is a favorite, not only for the views, but for the geological rock formations rising to great heights along the AT and the Ed Garvey Shelter that offers a rest stop. The winter landscape will allow for good views throughout.

Even though this hike is rated "moderate", most of the AT on this hike is rocky and requires hiking skill and solid foot wear. It is not a beginner's hike. We will keep a pace of 2.5 mph. Elevation varies for each hike.

For those walking one way (7.5 miles and elevation changes of 1,800ft), we will take a break at Weverton Cliffs and then descend the steep 1.5 mile trail down to the Weverton parking lot, where the shuttled cars will be parked. Some of you may require a ride back to Gathland to pick up your car. Masks are required if you plan to shuttle either way. The out & back folks (12 miles and less elevation) will break for lunch at the Cliffs then turn to walk the 6 miles back to Gathland, ending close to 4pm.

Please come prepared with water, food /snacks, layers of clothing for temperature changes, hiking shoes or boots and poles if you use them.
Hike will cancel for steady rain.
Sierra Club appreciates a voluntary $2 donation to help support Club costs.

ONLINE (self-paced) Wilderness First Aid available ALL DAYS NOW until Jan 31st

Link visible for attendees

In your own home, at your own leisure (anytime -- not just the date of this event): now you can learn a ton in the online portion of Disaster + Travel + Wilderness First Aid! COURSE TOPICS VIDEOS are almost exactly as MEDIC SOLO always presents them with the latest on disaster and wilderness medical science. Intermixed at several points we guide you to practice various skills.

Choose one of two ways to learn:
A) On-line only- view our 7-hour course at home, do the self-guided practice and receive a certificate of completion. Fee: $115.
This option, more INFO and REGISTRATION / TO GET STARTED: www.solowfa.com/online-course.htm
B) Blended learning-view our 7-hour course at home NOW, and receive a 3-year credit to attend one of our in-person dtWFA classes in order to practice skills learned with one of our seasoned instructors. Upon the successful completion of the in-person class, you will receive a 2-year SOLO WFA certification. Fee: $245.
This option, more INFO and REGISTRATION / TO GET STARTED: www.solowfa.com/blended-learning.htm

Sneak peek at the course:

• "Fantastic online program."
• "The quality of teaching and the personality of each instructor was ABSOLUTELY STELLAR. There is a lot more to learning than just the textbook curriculum, especially with medical situations."
• "It was much less stressful having the opportunity to be taught on my own schedule rather than having two intensive days."
• Much appreciation for the ability to click "pause" to take notes and write down questions (which MEDIC will answer), and ability to rewind and replay demonstrations, explanations, etc. -- can't do that in a live class.
• Full transparency, all feedback surveys, unfiltered: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18qcXYJt-CUoLW0hqLtFRmGv7H858iflrq7fguSk6zfM/edit?usp=sharing

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Let's all please do our part to maintain social distancing, and do what we can to prevent problems and treat injured people, so as to reduce demands on hospitals. Exercise outdoors, where allowed, is great to boost your immune system; however we've found many people on trails are not respecting social distancing when passing by. If you decide to go out, when you see someone you'll pass by, please proactively step off trail at least 6 feet. Try to leave no trace as best you can, stepping only on durable surfaces like bare rock when possible. Thanks!

Now is a time when your dtWFA skills may be needed most.
• Hospital beds are filling up and we need to reduce their demand. If with dtWFA skills you treat someone and they no longer need to go to the hospital, fantastic and so helpful in many ways.
• Some parks are seeing their highest-ever mid-week daytime visits. More people are outdoor adventuring and most don't have the skills you're considering learning, and may be in need especially as more first-timers go explore the outdoors.
• Hopefully the following will never happen: fewer EMTs staffing ambulances and thus a call to 911 for medical assistance is less responsive, or outbreaks occur within hospitals and those entire facilities end up being quarantined and unavailable ... leaving it up to dtWFA-trained folks to provide care.

Thank you everyone, for all that you do to strengthen our communities, making disaster and wilderness areas safer for all.


Past events (1,256)

Capital Crescent hike between Fletchers & Bethesda ODH

4940 Canal Rd NW