What we're about

A sometime squirrely group of folks in the Greater Washington DC area bound by the belief that life is best taken one step at a time. Events are primarily day hikes (from easy to difficult), but include other outdoor activities, including multi-day adventure trips, and occasional social ones.

We use the "It's quite a feet" hike rating system:
- Easy, less than 2 blisters
- Moderate, 2 to 3.5 blisters
- Difficult, greater than 3.5 blisters
where 1 blister = about 5 mi., or about 2500' up or down.

Events may also be listed at Sierra Club Potomac Region Outings (SCPRO).

For members used to Meetup groups: There are no stupid Meetup reminders (unless I forget to check the box); instead, you'll get one or two emails per month from me about upcoming events. I've been told this is much more annoying. There aren't that many events anyway because this is a Meetup for people who have better things to do.

Finally, RSVP'ing on Wandering Soles for events is nice, but does not imply a commitment. That is, it doesn't matter if you RSVP or not, only if you show up or not. Come to think of it, that doesn't matter much either. If an event is limited in participation or requires a registration, you'll be asked to RSVP directly to a (hopefully) live human being.
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COVID: To help reduce the odds of others getting sick, we prefer that you be fully vaccinated against COVID when you come, and that you bring a mask and mask up when you’re in a group or close to someone you don’t know, such as at the start or other points during an event.

Upcoming events (4)

ODH Hike: Carderock to Great Falls on C&O Canal (easy)

Needs a location

Enjoy a lovely autumn walk of up to about 9 mi (easy or 1.8 blisters) from Carderock to the Great Falls Overlook and the Tavern, then back along this scenic stretch of the Potomac River on the C&O Canal towpath, choosing your own pace and distance. You determine the distance by your turnaround point. Bring water. The hike finishes just in time—and just in place—for an optional, yet hearty picnic. (See next item on the calendar.) Download a hike info sheet with map from here.

A CELEBRATION:
This hike and picnic have become an annual tradition in celebration of the One Day Hike (ODH). They are free and OPEN TO ALL, and you may join us for either or both. ODH hikers and volunteers from past, present, and future years are invited, along with family and friends. Our special thanks go to all the volunteers that help make the ODH a success.

WHEN & WHERE:
We'll meet rain or shine at 9:30 am at the Carderock pavilion to start the hike. From I-495 (Beltway), take Exit 41, Clara Barton Parkway west (Carderock), just north of the American Legion Bridge. After 0.6mi, take first exit (ramp on right). At top of ramp, turn left (Naval Surface Warfare Center is on the right), crossing over the parkway, and follow the short, curvy road (0.3mi) as it passes under the C&O Canal to its end. Turn left and park in the lot. The exact location is here.

PHOTOS:
· www.bit.ly/ODHHikePicnic2019
· www.bit.ly/ODHHikePicnic2018
· www.bit.ly/ODHHikePicnic2017
· www.bit.ly/ODHHikePicnic2016
· www.bit.ly/ODHHike2015
· www.bit.ly/ODHHike2014

ODH Picnic: Carderock Pavilion (Very easy!)

Needs a location

Join us for the traditional picnic at the Carderock pavilion to celebrate this year's One Day Hike (ODH). We'll provide yummy sandwiches (including veggie), chips, and beverages, as well as paper and plastic ware; you may bring appetizers, side dishes, or desserts, with needed serving utensils. No alcoholic beverages, please. To save a little bit of the world, please bring your own washable plates, cups, and eating utensils.

You may first work up an appetite by doing an optional hike of up to 9 miles. (See previous item on the calendar.)

A CELEBRATION:
This hike and picnic have become an annual tradition in celebration of the One Day Hike (ODH). They are free and OPEN TO ALL, and you may join us for either or both. ODH hikers and volunteers from past, present, and future years are invited, along with family and friends. Our special thanks go to all the volunteers that help make the ODH a success.

WHEN & WHERE
We'll meet rain or shine at noon at the Carderock pavilion after the hike.
From I-495 (Beltway), take Exit 41, Clara Barton Parkway west (Carderock), just north of the American Legion Bridge. After 0.6mi, take first exit (ramp on right). At top of ramp, turn left (Naval Surface Warfare Center is on the right), crossing over the parkway, and follow the short, curvy road (0.3mi) as it passes under the C&O Canal to its end. Turn left and park in the lot. The exact location is here.

PHOTOS:
· www.bit.ly/ODHHikePicnic2019
· www.bit.ly/ODHHikePicnic2018
· www.bit.ly/ODHHikePicnic2017
· www.bit.ly/ODHHikePicnic2016
· www.bit.ly/ODHHike2015
· www.bit.ly/ODHHike2014

Gettysburg Battlefield (South)

Needs a location

Hike through history! This beautiful, hilly battlefield (Gettysburg National Military Park) witnessed the bloodiest engagement of the Civil War with some 51,000 casualties. The battle was a seminal event in the Civil War and American history. You may also join us for dinner at a historic inn. See below for information about how to reserve for the dinner.

This afternoon hike of 8.5 (easy or 1.8 blisters) to 11 miles (moderate or 2.4 blisters) will feature stops at major sites of Day 2 of the 3-day (July 1-3, 1863) battle, on the southern portion of the battlefield. In addition to autumnal colors, highlights include High Water Mark, Virginia Memorial, Warfield Ridge, Big Round Top, Little Round Top, Devil's Den, Wheat Field, Cemetery Ridge, Pennsylvania Memorial, and Soldiers' National Cemetery.

A map of the route and information about the battle will be posted a few days prior.

WHAT TO BRING:
Bring a lunch or snacks, or buy at the Visitor Center (see VISITOR INFORMATION below) and 1.5 quarts of drink. The route is mostly exposed, so a sun hat or cap will be useful, even if cloudy. If there's a chance of rain, bring rain gear. If there's a chance of cold, bring...You get the idea.

WHERE & WHEN:
We'll meet and start the hike just outside the main entrance of the Visitor Center. The battlefield is about 90min/70mi from the Washington Beltway. There are three (numbered 1, 2, 3) large parking lots you can use. There'll be no formal carpooling.

We'll meet at 12:15 and start the hike promptly at 12:30. Allow plenty of time to park, use the facilities, and visit the Visitor Center, if you wish. Remember that backpacks are not allowed inside. See Visitor Information below. You may also want to check traffic before leaving. Just sayin'.

DINNER OPTION AFTER THE HIKE:
We'll have dinner at the very historical (1776!) Dobbin House in Gettysburg, 6 to about 8:30 pm. To join us for dinner, you must contact me directly via email ([masked]). Seats are limited. Dinner reservations require a $20/person non-refundable deposit (check or PayPal), which you will get back at dinner, just in time to pay your bill. (Dutch treat.)

VISITOR INFORMATION:
Backpacks are not allowed in the Visitor Center (VC), so leave yours in the car or with an honest person if you go inside. There are no fees for the VC or the battlefield, but there are fees for the film, cyclorama, and museum. (The cyclorama is fantastic!) NPS passes are not used. Do not be late for the hike, so please allow plenty of time in the morning--two to three hours; more, to also eat in the cafeteria.

Mike

Gettysburg Battlefield (North)

Needs a location

Hike through history! This beautiful, hilly battlefield (Gettysburg National Military Park) witnessed the bloodiest engagement of the Civil War with some 51,000 casualties. The battle was a seminal event in the Civil War and American history. You may also join us for dinner at a historic inn. See below for information about how to reserve for the dinner.

This afternoon hike of 10 miles (easy-moderate or 2 blisters) will feature stops at major sites of Days 1 and 3 of the 3-day (July 1-3, 1863) battle, on the northern portion of the battlefield. In addition to autumnal colors, highlights include Soldiers’ National Cemetery (consecrated Nov 19, 1863, by Abraham Lincoln with his Gettysburg Address), Culps Hill, Spangler’s Spring, McPherson Ridge, the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, Oak Ridge, Barlow Knoll, and the historic town of Gettysburg.

A map of the route and information about the battle will be posted a few days prior.

WHAT TO BRING:
Bring a lunch or snacks, or buy at the Visitor Center (see VISITOR INFORMATION below) and 1.5 quarts of drink. The route is mostly exposed, so a sun hat or cap will be useful, even if cloudy. If there's a chance of rain, bring rain gear. If there's a chance of cold, bring...You get the idea.

WHERE & WHEN:
We'll meet and start the hike just outside the main entrance of the Visitor Center. The battlefield is about 90min/70mi from the Washington Beltway. There are three (numbered 1, 2, 3) large parking lots you can use. There'll be no formal carpooling.

We'll meet at 12:15 and start the hike promptly at 12:30. Allow plenty of time to park, use the facilities, and visit the Visitor Center, if you wish. Remember that backpacks are not allowed inside. See Visitor Information below. You may also want to check traffic before leaving. Just sayin'.

DINNER OPTION AFTER THE HIKE:
We'll have dinner at the very historical (1776!) Dobbin House in Gettysburg, 6 to about 8:30 pm. To join us for dinner, you must contact me directly via email ([masked]). Seats are limited. Dinner reservations require a $20/person non-refundable deposit (check or PayPal), which you will get back at dinner, just in time to pay your bill. (Dutch treat.)

VISITOR INFORMATION:
Backpacks are not allowed in the Visitor Center (VC), so leave yours in the car or with an honest person if you go inside. There are no fees for the VC or the battlefield, but there are fees for the film, cyclorama, and museum. (The cyclorama is fantastic!) NPS passes are not used. Do not be late for the hike, so please allow plenty of time in the morning--two to three hours; more, to also eat in the cafeteria.

Mike

Past events (361)

Discover MoCo: Black Hill Hike & Paddle

Needs a location

Photos (3,977)