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2006

Links to Casual Hikes in the Washington DC Area


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About This Calendar

I have delete this format for the hikes. Instead, I list the hikes in a sequential list and by City and Zip on the ideas page. See VA Hike List.

Details of Published Hikes

Saturday, January 13, 2007, 10:AM, Arlington VA 22204, Glencarlyn Park to Bon Aire Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet at the Long Branch Nature Center. This is an easy, 2-hour, 4-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 160 feet. Using park trails, head down to Four Mile Run, cross the footbridge, turn left and follow the WO&D trail through Bluemont Park, take the spur trail up to Wilson Blvd, turn right, walk down to the rose garden, using Bon Air park trails, head upstream past the Azalea beds and picnic pavilions, cross back over Four Mile Run and rejoin the WO&D, turn left and head back down stream to Glencarlyn Park and the Nature Center. Directions: From I-495 in Virginia, exit onto Rt. 50 towards Washington, go past Seven Corners staying on Rt. 50 for another 1.5 miles, exit onto S. Carlin Springs Rd. turning right to go southbound, pass hospital, entrance to Long Branch Nature Center will be on the left. Lunch: Flavors, 3420 Carlyn Hill Dr., Falls Church VA 22041, . Exit to S. Carlin Springs Rd. turning left, at Columbia Pike, turn right, go two blocks, turn right onto Carlyn Hill Dr., the restaurant will be on the left.

Sunday, January 14, 2007, 10:AM, Vienna VA 22180, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Available at the park. Park admission $5. Meet at the entrance to the Visitors Center. This is a very easy, 2-hour, 2-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 100 feet. One of the least known gems of a park in Fairfax. This will be a casual, short walk through the lake-filled park with possible stops to feed the catfish. Directions: From I-495 head west on Rt. 7 toward Leesburg. Drive 3 miles west, turn left onto Beulah Rd and drive two miles to garden entrance on the right. Park and meet inside the visitors center. Lunch: Friday's, 2070 Chain Bridge Rd., Vienna VA 22182, . Exit back to Rt. 7, turn right and drive back to Tysons Corner, turn right onto Rt. 123 south toward Vienna, restaurant will be on the right in building with huge arch.

Saturday, January 20, 2007, 10:AM, Sterling VA 20164, Claude Moore Park – Blue-White Trail, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park Map: . Park and meet at the visitors center. This is an easy, 2-hour, 4-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 160 feet. From the visitor’s center, proceed East along the Blue Trail, turn right onto the White Trail, turn right onto the unnamed trail that goes between the two lakes, continue on the unnamed trail and walk counter-clockwise around the lower lake so that you rejoin the Blue-White Trail, turn left and proceed back to Old Vestals Gap Rd, turn right, turn right again to explore the Frogshackle log cabin, Lanesville historic home, the barns, from the barns proceed to and tour the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, leave the museum and walk back up between the barns and the Tenant House, pass the School House and turn right onto Old Vestals Gap Rd (the Blue Trail), follow the old road to a left turn onto the Blue Trail as it passes an open field and head up a slight incline up to the northeast corner of the park, continue west on the Blue Trail, turn right onto the White Trail, up to the scenic overlook, continue on the White Trail, turn right onto the Blue Trail, continue along the Blue or White trail keeping to the outer most trail, behind the ball fields, pick up the Pink Trail to the Green Trail, follow the Green Trail to the picnic pavilion and back to the Visitors Center. Directions: From I-495, take Rt. 7 west, go about 11 miles to Cascades Parkway, go under the overpass and exit onto Cascades Pkwy southbound, the entrance to the park will be on the left about a mile down the road. Lunch: Don Pablo’s, 46280 Potomac Run Plaza, Sterling VA 20164, . Turn left exiting the park onto RT 637 (Cascades Pkwy), turn right at the second traffic light, turn left almost immediately into shopping center, the restaurant is on the RT 7 side of the center at about the middle of the center.

Sunday, January 21, 2007, 10:AM, Centreville VA 20121, Bull Run Regional Park and Bull Run-Occoquan Trail to Rt. 28, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park Map: . Free park admission for participating jurisdictions, but $7 per vehicle for all others. Meet at the Bluebird Trailhead near the Disk Golf. This is an easy, 3-hour, 6 mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 100 feet. Starting at the Bluebird Trailhead near the Disk Golf, hike downstream to the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail and follow it to Rt. 28. On the return trip, follow the trail along Cub Run and the back into the park near the Group Camp. Optionally, take the equestrian trail around the campground and down the vertical trail back to the parking lot. Directions: From I-495, head west on I-66, take exit 52 onto Rt. 29 heading south, go 2 miles, turn left onto Bull Run Post Office Rd., follow signs to park. Lunch: Sweetwater Tavern, 14250 Sweetwater Ln., Centreville VA 20121, . Exit the park back to Tr. 29, turn right, go under I-66, turn right at light onto Machen Rd., turn right on Centrewood Dr., turn left onto Multiplex Dr., restaurant could be on left or right depending on the entrance used.

Saturday, January 27, 2007, 2007, Alexandria VA 22310, Huntley Meadows Park - West Trail, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet at the trailhead off of S. Kings Hwy. This is an easy, 2-hour, 4-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 50 feet. Trail selection to be made by participants. From the parking lot, proceed along the park trail following trail signs to pond and other park sights. Directions: From I-495 exit onto Telegraph Rd south, go about 3-miles to intersection with S. Kings Hwy, turn left, take immediate right into trailhead parking lot. Lunch: Paradiso Italian Restaurant, 6124 Franconia Rd., Alexandria VA 22310, . Exit back onto Telegraph Rd. headed back toward I-495, turn left onto Rose Hill Dr., turn left onto Franconia Rd., go about 1.5 miles, restaurant will be on the right.

Sunday, January 28, 2007, 2007, 10:AM, Lorton VA 22079, Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge - Woodmarsh Trail, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Available at trailhead parking. Park and meet at the trailhead parking lot. This is an easy, 3.5 mile, 2-hour loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 25 feet. Selection of route determined by participants. Directions: From I-495 take I-95 south to the Lorton exit, turn right onto Lorton Rd. and follow signs to Rt. 1. Turn right on Rt. 1 southbound and then left onto Rt. 242 (Gunston Rd.), following signs to Mason Neck State Park, turn right onto High Point Rd., trailhead parking is a small lot on the left side of the roadway. Lunch: Polo Grill Restaurant, 7784 Gunston Dr., Lorton VA 22079, . From Rt. 242, turn right onto Rt. 1. Go past Lorton Rd., restaurant will be on the right.

Saturday, February 3, 2007, 10:AM, Arlington VA 22205, Bon Air Park to Lubber Run Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet in the Memorial Rose Garden parking lot. This is an easy, 2-hour, 4.3-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 140 feet. Begin with a walk through the roses, using park trails, head upstream past the park's azalea gardens, past the picnic pavilion, out to the WO&D Trail, follow this trail through Bluemont Park, into Glencarlyn Park, turn left at Lubber Run Trail and follow it to end, reverse steps back to parking lot. Directions: From I-495 in Virginia, exit onto I-66 towards Washington, take the exit for Washington Blvd following signs to East Falls Church Metro, turn right onto N. Sycamore St., go to Wilson Blvd., turn left, go about 1-mile, turn left onto N. Lexington St., rose garden and parking lot will be on your left. Lunch: Layalina Restaurant, 5216 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22205, . Exit park by turning left onto Wilson Blvd., the restaurant will be on the right in a small shopping center just past the traffic light.

Sunday, February 4, 2007, 10:AM, Oakton VA 22124, Difficult Run - Oak Mar to Vale Road, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet at the main entrance to the Oak Mar Recreation Center. This is a moderate, 3-4 hour, 7-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 275 feet. Follow the trail map from the RecCen to Vale Rd. and return. Directions: From I-495, go west on I-66, take exit 60 north (Rt. 123) towards Oakton, turn left at light onto Jermantown Rd., turn right into RecCen. Lunch: Bob Evans, 10433 White Granite Dr., Oakton VA 22124, . Exit the RecCen by turning left onto Jermantown Rd., cross Chain Bridge Rd., (Rt. 123), turn right on acess road to restaurant.

Saturday, February10, 2007, Alexandria VA 33306, Huntley Meadows Park – Boardwalk Trails, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet at the Visitors Center. This is an easy, 2-hour, 3-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 50 feet. From the VC, follow the Heron Trail to the boardwalk, to the observation tower, to the Beaver Dam, to the Deer Trail, to the Cedar Trail, and back to the Visitors Center. Directions: From I-495 take Rt. 1 south, go 3.5 miles and turn left onto Lockheed Blvd., the entrance to the park will be on the left. Lunch: El Puerto Mexican Restaurant, 7230 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria VA 22306, . Turn right onto Lockheed Blvd., turn left at light onto Fordson Rd., turn right into rear entrance of restaurant’s parking lot.

Sunday, February 11, 2007, 10:AM, Centreville VA 20121, Walney and Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Available at the Walney Visitors Center. Park and meet at the Visitors Center. This is an easy, 2-hour, 4-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 100 feet. Trail selection to be determined by participants. Directions: From I-495 take I-66 west to the Centreville exit onto Rt. 28 north toward Dulles Airport, turn right at the traffic light onto Walney Rd., proceed past the mill to the Walney Visitors Center on the left. Lunch: Copeland’s of New Orleans, 13810 Braddock Rd., Centreville VA 20121, . Exit onto Rt. 28 by turning left at the light, cross over I-66 and under Rt. 29, turn left at light onto Old Centreville Rd., go past intersection with Braddock Rd. and turn left into shopping center, restaurant will be ahead and to the left.

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 10:AM, Leesburg VA 20175, Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Accessible only on the third Saturday of the month. Meet at the Visitors Center. This is an easy, 3-hour, 6-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 380 feet. Since the Preserve varies which trails are open, the actual route will be determined on the day of the hike. The plan is to hike to the Lookout Rock Loop, right to Carter-Luck, right to Arrowhead Ridge, left to Goose Creek, right to Old Field Loop, right to Beaver Pond, right to Jack Hugus, left to Western Watercress, right to Greenway, left to Big Meadow, right to Fern Valley, around pond, right and then left on Corner Pond, to Tree Loop, connect to Greenway, to Spring House Pond, around pond, and back to VC. Directions: From I-495, take Rt. 7 west to Leesburg, take the Rt. 15 Bypass south Toward Winchester), take Rt. 15 south, turn let onto Rt. 650 (before Oatlands Mansion), connect to Rt. 771, entrance to the Reserve will be on the right. Lunch: Virginia Kitchen, 5 Catoctin Cir SE, Leesburg VA 20175, .Exit back to Rt. 15 north, go under Rt. 15 Bypass, turn right on Catoctin Circle, restaurant will be on the right.

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 10:AM, Lorton VA 22079, Mason Neck State Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . There is a $3 per vehicle admission fee. Park and meet at the Visitors Center. This is an easy, 3-mile, 2-hour circuit with minimal elevation gain, but Eagle watching could add to the hike time. Head out on the Bay View Trail, turn right onto the Wilson Spring Trail, turn right onto the Kane’s Creek Trail, turn right to the scenic overlook, and return to the VC via the Beach Trail. Directions: From I-495 take I-95 south to the Lorton exit, turn right onto Lorton Rd. and follow signs to Rt. 1. Turn right on Rt. 1 southbound and then left onto Rt. 242. Follow signs to State Park. Lunch: Gecko’s Waterfront Restaurant, 13188 Marina Way, Woodbridge VA 22192, . From Rt. 242, turn left onto Rt. 1. Go three miles and turn right onto Annapolis Way just after crossing the Occoquan River. Turn right again onto Marina Way and the restaurant will be at the bottom of the hill.

Saturday, February 24, 2007, 10:AM, Arlington, VA 22202, Gravely Point to Tidal Basin, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet at the boat launch area in the parking lot at Gravelly Point. This is an easy, 3-hour, 5-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 10 feet. From the boat launch, follow the Mount Vernon Trail (MVT) to the 14th Street Bridge, take the inbound span into DC, at the DC end, exit the bridge by walking down to the right and back under the 14th St. Bridge to the river’s edge walkway and head upriver, cross Ohio Dr., turn left to the FDR Memorial Park, continue around the Tidal Basin in a clockwise direction coming to the Jefferson Memorial, from the memorial, head to the outbound span, at the VA end, exit down and to the right joining the MVT, head upriver to the Navy Memorial, turn back and follow the MVT to the Gravelly Point parking lot. Directions: Note that the parking lot is only accessible from the northbound lanes of the GW Pkwy. From Reagan National Airport, exit onto the GW Pkwy toward DC, immediately past the airport turn right into Gravelly Point parking. Lunch: Capital City Brewing Co., 2700 S Quincy St., Arlington VA 22206, . Exit onto GW Pkwy, go under the 14th St. bridge, exit onto I-395 southbound, follow signs for Shirlington exit, turn left onto S Quincy St., restaurant will be on the right and on the corner.

Sunday, February 25, 2007, 10:AM, Vienna VA 22182, Difficult Run – WO&D to Vale Rd., Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet in the small parking lot for the WO&D just past the right edge of the trail map. This is an easy, 3-hour, 5-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 100 feet. Follow the Difficult Run Stream Valley Trail to Vale Rd., and return. Directions: From I-495, take the Dulles Toll Rd. westbound, exit at Hunter Mill Rd., turn left onto Hunter Mill Rd., turn left onto Hunter Mill Road at intersection with Sunrise Valley Dr., parking lot is on the left at WO&D crossing with additional parking along Hunter Station Road. Lunch: Lakeside Inn, 11150 South Lakes Dr., Reston VA 20191, . Exit back toward Reston on Hunter Mill Rd., at traffic light go straight onto Sunrise Valley Dr., go about 1-mile, turn left onto South Lakes Dr., turn right into shopping center, restaurant is straight ahead.

Saturday, March 3, 2007, 10:AM, Leesburg VA 20175, Oatlands Plantation, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Adult admission: $10. Park and meet at the Carriage House. Anticipate a stay of about 2-hours beginning with the guided tour of the first floor of the mansion, followed by a self tour of the second floor and the mansion gardens and grounds. Depending on trail map availability, select and hike the plantation grounds. Directions: From I-495 take Rt. 7 west to Leesburg, take the Rt. 15 Bypass south towards Winchester, exiting onto Rt. 15 south, go about 3-miles, entrance to Oatlands will be on the left. Lunch: Casa Gonzalez, 37 Catoctin Cir SE, Leesburg VA 20175, . Exit by turning left onto Rt. 15, continue on Rt. 15 under the Rt. 15 Bypass, turn right at the light onto Catoctin Circle, the restaurant will be on the left past the Post Office.

Sunday, March 4, 2007, 10:AM, Manassas VA 20111, Bull Run Occoquan Trail - Rt. 28 to Russia Branch, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet in the small lot off Rt. 28. This is an easy, 3-hour, 4.5 mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 300 feet. Expect frequent climbs and descents as the trail traverses the shore of Bull Run. The Russia Branch is a small stream joining Bull Run on the opposite shore as Bull Run makes a sharp turn to the left. It is also were the main line railroad meets Bull Run. Optionally, you can continue to Hemlock Park, otherwise turn around and retrace the trail to Rt. 28. Directions: From I-495, head west on I-66, exit onto Rt. 28 towards Centreville and Manassas Park. The trailhead parking is on the right side of Rt. 28 just before crossing Bull Run. If you see Anthony's Restaurant or Law's Auction you've come too far. Lunch: Anthony's Family Restaurant, 7234 Centreville Rd., Manassas VA 20111, . From the parking lot, turn right onto Rt. 28, the restaurant will be in the first shopping ctr. on the right.

Saturday, March 10, 2007, 10:AM, Alexandria, VA 22314, Mount Vernon Trail - Washington Sailing Marina to Gravely Point, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet in the marina parking lot near the restaurant. This is an easy, 3-hour, 6-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 50 feet. From the marina, follow the Mount Vernon Trail as it parallels the GW Pkwy to and past National Airport and into Gravelly Point, reverse direction and return to the marina. Directions: From the VA end of the 14th ST. Bridge, head towards National Airport on the GW Pkwy., after passing the airport, turn left into the marina, keep left into the parking lot for the restaurant. Lunch: Potomack Landing Restaurant, 1 Marina Dr., Alexandria VA 22314, .

Sunday, March 11, 2007, 10:AM, Woodbridge VA 22191, Leesylvania State Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . There is a $3 per vehicle entrance fee. Meet at Visitors Center which is past the boat launch area. This is easy, 3-hour, 5-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 425 feet. Hike this park, rich in Civil War and Lee family history. See centuries-old ruins, beautiful views of Occoquan Bay, and relax at the beach. Exiting the VC, turn to the left and walk to Freestone Point. Walk out on the fishing pier noticing that you’ve crossed into Maryland. Decades ago, gambling boats moored in this area. Looking back to shore, you will get a perspective of the cliffs rising above the Potomac. Walk back to shore noticing the sandy beach where children swam while their parents played at the gaming tables and slots. Heading back towards the road, turn into the amphitheater, walk to the rear of this area and exit to the right by the trail there. This trail takes you to the top of Freestone Point where you will see the remains of the Civil War gun emplacements and their view of the Potomac. Continuing around and behind the guns, this section of the trail provides several views of Occoquan Bay and the railroad bridge over Neabsco Creek. From the final overlook on this section of the trail, walk down the hill and turn right on the unpaved roadway. Go only a short distance and watch for the foot-trail going off to the right. This trail is shown on the park map, but it is not well marked. Take this trail to the cemetery, keep to the right passing the cemetery and continue on this trail to the steep embankment overlooking the old railroad cut. Backtrack to the cemetery again keeping to the right and take the trail leading down the hill. Towards the bottom of the hill, take the trail to the left. This is a short side trail with some interesting history that rejoins the main trail. Coming back to the main trail, turn left an continue to the top of the stairs. You will exit this area to the right, but circle to the left to the roadway cut that went through the ruins of the original mansion. Back past the stairway, pausing to read the historical marker, and then exiting via the unpaved roadway to the left. This will take you past the Fairfax ruins and back down to the paved roadway. Continue into the picnic area and the walk along the beach to the boat launch area. Continue past this area towards the boardwalk and parking lot to pick up the Bushey Point Trail. Follow this trail under the railroad bridge to the Powell’s Creek Trail. Do this circuit trail and head back the way you came past the launch area and through the picnic area to the VC. Directions: From Beltway take I-95 south 13 miles to exit 156. Go one mile east on Dale Blvd and turn right onto Rt. 1, turn left at 2nd light onto Neabsco Rd. and the park entrance will be on the right. Lunch: Olive Garden at Potomac Mills, 14405 Gideon Dr, Woodbridge VA 22192. Exiting the park, turn right onto Rt. 1, go .9 miles, turn left onto Dale Blvd, go 1.3 miles, turn right onto Gideon Dr., go .9 miles and the restaurant will be on the left as you approach the mall.

Saturday, March 17, 2007, 10:AM, Arlington VA 22211, Arlington National Cemetery, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Also available at the Visitors Center. Meet at the parking lot entrance to the Visitors Center. This is a very easy, 2-3 hour, 2.5-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 225 feet. Some of the time is spent waiting and watching the Changing of the Guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns (every half hour Apr 1 – Sep 30 and on the hour Oct 1 – Mar 31), touring Arlington House which was Lee’s home, touring the Women’s War Memorial and reading historical markers. Variations to the suggested route may occur due to funerals, other events, or preferred points of interest. Most of the trip is on paved trails, but there is one optional section of grass and natural surface. Begin by arriving early to browse the Visitors Center. From here, head to President Kennedy’s grave and that of his brother, Robert Kennedy. Next, will be the Amphitheater via Roosevelt Drive keeping to the left at the intersection with Wilson Drive. This will take you to one of many Kodak moments below the Amphitheater. Use the stairway on the left side to walk up to the Tomb of the Unknowns. The best place to watch the ceremony is the far, front-left corner of the observation area – not the middle of the walkway and not the steps. Before or after the ceremony tour the Amphitheater. Exit the back of the Amphitheater turning to the left for Audie Murphy’s grave, the Spanish War Memorial, and the Nurses Memorial before doubling back to the Iran Rescue Mission Memorial, the Memorial to the Crew of the Challenger, and the Mast of the USS Maine. From here go cross country to the Custis plot (it will be a gated area under the trees more or less at the top of the valley to your front and left as you walk along Wilson Drive). There is a lot to see and read as you walk along Lee Drive to the front of Arlington House. Tour Arlington House and from the front of the house, continue your trip by walking down the Custis Walk with more to see and read. Turn right at Schley Drive, tour the Woman’s Memorial, and finish by walking back to the VC. Directions: Metro accessible from the blue line. There is a fee parking lot at Visitor's Center at the Virginia end of Memorial Bridge. Lunch: at the Food Court at the Pentagon City Mall. Exit the visitors parking onto Memorial Drive headed towards DC. Make a quick U turn to get onto Rt. 110 (Jefferson Davis Hwy on Mapquest). Past the Pentagon, take the exit as though you were headed into DC on I-395 – but take the left exit onto Army Navy Drive. Go about three blocks to the entrance to the mall parking on the left. The food court can be reached from the lower parking level through entrances to the mall at about the middle of the garage.

Sunday, March 18, 2007, 10:AM, Great Falls VA 22066, Difficult Run – Colvin Run to WO&D, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet in the small parking lot by the pumping station. This is an easy, 2-3 hour, 5-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 20 feet. This trail has not been previewed and trail conditions are not known. However, beginning from the parking lot, follow Difficult Run upstream to the WO&D Trail and return. There will be several stream crossings and mergers as other streams feed into Difficult Run. Directions: From I-495 head west on Rt. 7, go about 4-miles, turn right onto Colvin Run Rd., take an immediate right, parking lot is at end of roadway. Lunch: Mr. Smith's of Georgetown, 8369 Leesburg Pike, Vienna VA 22182, . Exit back to Rt. 7, turn left and drive back to Tysons Corner, restaurant will be on the right after crossing Westpark Dr.

Saturday, March 24, 2007, 12:00 Noon, Leesburg VA 20176, Morven Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park Info: . Admission to the carriage house $3. Park and meet at the mansion entrance. This is an easy, 2-hour, 2-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 100 feet. Well known for its steeple chase race, Morven Park is home for one of Virginia’s historic mansions and its collection of antique carriages. Although the mansion is currently closed for renovations, the carriage house and grounds are open. Do the tour of the carriage house and then stretch your legs as you walk the grounds. Directions: From I-495, go west on Rt. 7 to Leesburg, continue into Leesburg on business Rt. 7, past the downtown business district, turn right onto Fairview St. NW, turn left onto Old Waterford Rd. NW, turn right onto Southern Planter Ln., follow signs to mansion. Lunch: Leesburg Restaurant, 9 S King St., Leesburg VA 20175, . Exit back to Business Rt. 7 and turn left, the restaurant is just south of the downtown intersection of Rt. 7 and Rt. 15 (King St. in town), park in the town parking garage which will be on the left by the old theater and before the traffic light, walk to restaurant.

Sunday, March 25, 2007, 10:AM, Clifton VA 20124, Bull Run-Occoquan Trail - Hemlock Park to Russia Branch, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet at the trailhead parking lot. This is a moderate, 3-hour, 4.5 mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 350 feet. Expect frequent climbs and descents as the trail traverses the shore of Bull Run. Follow the trail down to Bull Run and proceed upstream. The railroad will come in from your right, cross to the opposite side. Follow the stream trail to the second sharp turn in the creek. There will be another small stream coming in on the opposite side and you may notice the railroad turns away as well. Turn around and retrace your steps to where the railroad turns back to the left. Watch for the trail leading up and back up to the Cabin area (you should not have to walk too far along the tracks and/or this stream before heading uphill), take this trail back to the parking area. Directions: From I-495, head west on I-66, exit onto Rt. 7100 toward Fairfax, to Rt. 123 south, to right onto Clifton Rd., turn left onto Yates Ford Rd. and follow signs to the park. Lunch: Pino's Italian Restaurant, 5765-C Burke Ctr. Pkwy, Burke VA 22015, . Exit back to Rt. 123 and turn left, turn right on Burke Ctr. Pkwy, turn left at light into shopping center, turn right into lot, restaurant will be on left.

Saturday, March 31, 2007, 10:AM, Mount Vernon Trail - Washington Sailing Marina to Jones Point, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet in the marina parking lot near the restaurant. This is an easy, 3-hour, 6-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 10 feet. From the parking lot, follow the Mount Vernon Trail as it parallels the GW Pkwy south to and through the Alexandria waterfront to the Jones Point Lighthouse, find the USGS marker for the intersection of DC, MD, and VA, reverse steps back toward marina, stopping for lunch along the way at the food court by the Torpedo Factory before returning to the marina. Directions: From the VA end of the 14th ST. Bridge, head towards National Airport on the GW Pkwy., after passing the airport, turn left into the marina, keep left into the parking lot for the restaurant. Lunch: Along the return trip at the food court.

Sunday, April 1, 2007, 10:AM, Triangle VA 22172, Prince William National Forest Park - Pyrite Mine Trail, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet at the Visitors Center. This is a moderate, 4-mile, 2-3 hour circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 226 feet. The off trail portion of this hike does include a stream crossing and maneuvering along a steep hillside and hiking boots are a must. From the Visitors Center, head back to the scenic drive and parking lot D. From the parking lot, head down the Pyrite Mine Road to Quantico Creek. At the stream, turn left onto the North Valley Trail, and then right onto the Quantico Falls Trail. If in doubt, stay with the stream and follow it up to the lakes. The off trail portion of the hike is the area around and above the lakes. On a contour map, you can see that there is a steep hill on the west side of the creek and the preferred, but difficult, route is to traverse this hillside to stay in sight of the stream. If preferred, hikers can stay on the North Valley Trail and can reach the spillway via a fishermen’s trail. Beaver have built a dam of their own across the spillway for the larger dam, slowing the stream flow over the exposed rock. Otherwise, this was the most scenic small water falls in Virginia. Continue your trip across this dam and then keep to the Westside shoreline trail. As you pass the last of the small lakes, turn left onto Lake One Road. Take this route back up to the paved Scenic Drive, turn left and return to parking lot D. Directions: From I-495 take I-95 South about 20 miles to the Prince William Forest Park exit (exit 150). Meet at the Visitors Center. A fee is charged to enter the park. Lunch: optional lunch after the hike at the True Grit Restaurant, 18050 Triangle Plaza, Dumfries VA 22026, . From the park, turn left onto RT. 619, to RT. 1, turn left to Dumfries. Restaurant will be on your left as you approach traffic light at shopping plazas.

Saturday, April 7, 2007, 10:AM, Arlington VA 22209, Mount Vernon Trail - Theodore Roosevelt Island to Naval Memorial, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available, should be available at park. Meet at the pedestrian bridge to the Island. This is an easy, 2.5-hour, 5-mile loop with minimal elevation change on the trails of Roosevelt Island and along the shores of the Potomac. Use the park map to loop through the island trails, exit park and turn left onto the Mount Vernon Trail, hike to the Navy Memorial and return. Directions: From the Memorial Bridge and points south, take the GW parkway north to the Theodore Roosevelt parking lot on the right. Note that the parking lot is accessible only from the northbound lanes of the GW parkway; or you can walk down to the lot from Rosslyn. Lunch: This is not a convenient location for getting to a restaurant so bring your own and tailgate.

Sunday, April 8, 2007, 10:AM, Great Falls VA 22066, Difficult Run Trail - Colvin Mill to Old Dominion Drive, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet at the small parking lot near the pumping station. This is an easy, 3-hour, 5 mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 20 feet. From the pumping station, head downstream along Difficult Run Stream Valley Trail to Old Dominion Drive. Optionally, add an additional 3-miles to hike down to the Potomac and back. Otherwise, retrace your steps back to the Mill. Directions: From I-495 head west on Rt. 7, go about 4-miles, turn right onto Colvin Run Rd., take an immediate right, parking lot is at end of roadway. Lunch: Mr. Smith's of Georgetown, 8369 Leesburg Pike, Vienna VA 22182, . Exit back to Rt. 7, turn left and drive back to Tysons Corner, restaurant will be on the right after crossing Westpark Dr.

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 10:AM, Leesburg VA 20176, Red Rock Regional Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet at the parking lot at the entrance to the park. This is an easy, 1-hour, 2.5 mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 250 feet. Follow the White Pine Loop to include the overlooks, back to the park entrance to tour the ruins. Directions: From I-495 head west on Rt. 7 to Leesburg, take the Rt. 15 Bypass north towards Frederick, turn right onto Edwards Ferry Rd., go 1.5 miles to park entrance. Brunch: IHOP, 980 Edwards Ferry Rd., Leesburg VA 20176, 703-. Exit back to Rt. 15 Bypass, turn left, turn right onto Edwards Ferry Rd., take immediate right into shopping center, restaurant will be on the right.

Sunday, April 15, 2007, 10:AM, Clifton VA 20124, Bull Run-Occoquan Trail - Bull Run Marina to Hemlock Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Meet at the marina. This is a moderate, 4-hour, 6.5 mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 425 feet. Expect frequent climbs and descents as the trail traverses the shore of Bull Run. Directions: From I-495, head west on I-66 to exit 53 to Rt. 28 south towards Centreville, exit Rt. 28 onto Rt. 29 (Lee Hwy) eastbound, turn right onto Rt. 645. Follow Rt. 645 into and through Clifton turning right onto Rt. 612, turn left onto Yates Ford Rd and watch for parking area on left and right before crossing reservoir. Lunch: O'Tooles Roadhouse Restaurant, 5728 Pickwick Rd., Centreville VA 20120, . Exit the park reversing direction and go back through Clifton to Rt. 29, turn left, the restaurant will be on the left.

Saturday, April 21, 2007, 10:AM, Alexandria VA 22307, Mount Vernon Trail – Belle Haven Marina to Jones Point, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet near restrooms in park. This is an easy, 2-hour, 5-mile loop to Dykes Marsh, to Jones Point, and back. Starting from the restrooms, head down river towards the marina on the Mount Vernon Trail, cross the marina service road and continue on down to and across the boardwalk at Dykes Marsh, reverse direction, turn right at the marina service road, walk to the end of the marina, reverse direction, keeping the river to your right, walk along the shore of the Potomac to rejoin the Mount Vernon trail heading into Alexandria, after crossing Cameron Run, turn right onto South St. (Wilson Bridge construction may cause changes in these instructions), staying under I-495, follow Jones Point Road to the Jones Point Light House, locate the boundary marker for the southern most point in the District of Columbia, reverse direction back to the park. Directions: With the ongoing Wilson Bridge construction, these directions may not be accurate. From points in Virginia heading towards the Wilson Bridge on I-495, exit onto Rt. 1 northbound, turn right at light onto Franklin St., go three blocks, turn right onto S. Washington St., (this becomes the GW Pkwy), following signs for Belle Haven Marina, turn right into park, take an immediate left and park near restrooms. From Maryland coming across the Wilson Bridge, take exit 177C which will bring you Church St. and to S. Washington St. (becomes GW Pkwy), turn right and follow above directions to park. Lunch: Primo Family Restaurant, 1636 Belle View Blvd., Alexandria VA 22304, . Exit the park by turning left onto the GW Pkwy, take the first right onto Belle Haven Blvd., proceed and turn left into the shopping center, the restaurant is in the far corner.

Sunday, April 22, 2007, 10:AM, Triangle VA 22172, Prince William National Forest Park - Oak Ridge Campground and Cabin Camps, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet at the Visitors Center. This is an easy, 6-mile, 3-hour circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 290 feet. This hike includes several stream crossings, naturally covered roadways and trails, and some walking along a paved park road. After meeting at the Visitors Center, drive to parking lot G (car pooling to the small lot if necessary). From the parking lot G proceed down the Mawavi Rd. to join the South Valley Trail and head down stream (left). Cross the creek below the dam, walking up through Cabin Camp 5 to the service roadway. Take this to Mawavi Rd., turn right and head down through Cabin Camp 2 to the lake. Turn left and use the lakeside trail to get back up to Mawavi Rd. Pick up the South Valley Trail where Mawavi Rd. crosses the creek and head upstream. Follow this trail up to the Old Ridge Trail, turn right to the paved park road. Turn right and walk down to parking lot G. Directions: From I-495 take I-95 South about 20 miles to the Prince William Forest Park exit (exit 150). Meet at the Visitors Center. A fee is charged to enter the park. Lunch: optional lunch after the hike at the True Grit Restaurant, 18050 Triangle Plaza, Dumfries VA 22026, . From the park, turn left onto RT. 619, to RT. 1, turn left to Dumfries. Restaurant will be on your left as you approach traffic light at shopping plazas.

Saturday, April 28, 2007, 10:AM, Arlington VA 22209, Heritage Trail - Theodore Roosevelt Island to Donaldson Run, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Meet at the North end of the parking lot by the pedestrian bridge heading up to Rosslyn. This is a moderate, 3-hour, 6-mile loop along the shores of the Potomac with significant rock scrambles. Directions: From the Memorial Bridge and points south, take the GW parkway north to the Theodore Roosevelt parking lot on the right. Note that the parking lot is accessible only from the northbound lanes of the GW parkway; or you can walk down to the lot from Rosslyn. Lunch: This is not a convenient location for getting to a restaurant so bring your own and tailgate.

Sunday, April 29, 2007, 10:AM, Reston VA 20190, Lake Fairfax Park to Colvin Run Mill, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. TOPO Map: http://kubiki-rubiki.ru/activities/hiking/VA/CasualHikes/Lake_Fairfax_Park_to_Colvin_Run_Mill.htm. This is an easy, 3-hour, 4.5-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 180 feet. Park and meet at the concession area near the carousel. Begin this adventure by hiking down below the dam far enough to cross the spill way, hike back up to the dam turning left to head towards the woods. Turn right at the end of the dam to pick up the lakeside trail, follow it around to the left turn where you pick up the trail up to the campground, at the campground, turn left heading back to the dam, turn right along the spill way stream following it down stream. At each stream convergence, continue down stream along available trails going under Rt. 7 and turning left to hike over to Colvin Run Mill. Tour the mill and its ground before heading back upstream to Lake Fairfax. Directions: From I-495 head west on Rt. 7, go about 5-miles, turn left onto Rt. 606 (Baron Cameron Ave.), take 2nd left onto Lake Fairfax Dr., continue on to park entrance, Lunch: Memphis BBQ, 11804 Baron Cameron Ave., Reston VA 20190, . Exit back to Baron Cameron Ave., turn left, go about 1 mile, cross Reston Pkwy, turn right near Exxon into shopping center, restaurant will be straight ahead.

Saturday, May 5, 2007, 10:AM, Leesburg VA 20176, Balls Bluff Regional Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet at the parking lot at the entrance to the park. This is an easy, 1-hour, 1.5 mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 225 feet. Follow the interpretive trail beginning at stop 1, at the intersection with the cart trail, turn left and take the trail down to the river, back up to the interpretive trail, cross it and go to the National Cemetery, back track again to the interpretive trail, turn left and continue along this trail to its end and then to the parking lot. Directions: From I-495 head west on Rt. 7 to Leesburg, take the Rt. 15 Bypass north towards Frederick, go about 1.5 miles, turn right onto Battlefield Pkwy, turn left onto Balls Bluff Rd., follow to end (this may include a natural surface roadway) and enter park. Brunch: IHOP, 980 Edwards Ferry Rd., Leesburg VA 20176, 703-. Exit back to Rt. 15 Bypass, turn left, turn right onto Edwards Ferry Rd., take immediate right into shopping center, restaurant will be on the right.

Sunday, May 6, 2007, 10:AM, Clifton VA 20124, Bull Run-Occoquan Trail - Bull Run Marina to Wolf Run, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Meet at the marina. This is a moderate, 4-hour, 6 mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 600 feet. Expect frequent climbs and descents as the trail traverses the shore of the Occoquan Reservoir. Directions: From I-495, head west on I-66 to exit 53 to Rt. 28 south towards Centreville, exit Rt. 28 onto Rt. 29 (Lee Hwy) eastbound, turn right onto Rt. 645. Follow Rt. 645 into and through Clifton turning right onto Rt. 612, turn left onto Yates Ford Rd and watch for parking area on left and right before crossing reservoir. Lunch: Heart In Hand Restaurant, 7145 Main St., Clifton VA 20124, . Exit the park reversing direction and go back into Clifton. The restaurant will be on the right before the railroad tracks.

Saturday, May 12, 2007, 10:AM, Alexandria VA 22308, Mount Vernon Trail - Fort Hunt to Collingwood, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet at the large picnic pavilion near the entrance to the park. This is a moderate, 2-hour, 4-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 170 feet. Beginning from the pavilion, exit the park to the Mount Vernon Trail (MVT) and turn left, follow the trail to Collingwood, optional tour of Collingwood and grounds, return to Fort Hunt. Directions: With the ongoing Wilson Bridge construction, these directions may not be accurate, but following signs to Mount Vernon should get you to the GW Pkwy southbound. From points in Virginia heading towards the Wilson Bridge on I-495, exit onto Rt. 1 northbound, turn right at light onto Franklin St., go three blocks, turn right onto S. Washington St., (this becomes the GW Pkwy), go about 5-miles, entrance to the park will be on the right, going into the park keep right and park near first large pavilion. From Maryland coming across the Wilson Bridge, take exit 177C which will bring you Church St. and to S. Washington St. (becomes GW Pkwy), turn right and follow above directions to park. Lunch: Village Wharf Restaurant, 7966 Fort Hunt Rd., Alexandria VA 22308, . Exit the park by turning right onto the GW Pkwy headed toward Mount Vernon, turn right onto Vernon View Dr., veer right onto Fort Hunt Rd., go 1.7 miles, restaurant will be in the shopping center on the left.

Sunday, May 13, 2007, 10:AM, Arlington VA 22207, Heritage Trail - Potomac Overlook Park to Fort Marcy, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Overlook Park Trail Map: . TOPO Map: http://kubiki-rubiki.ru/activities/hiking/VA/CasualHikes/Heritage_Trail_Potomac_Overlook_Park_to_Fort_Marcy.htm. Park and meet in the Potomac Overlook parking lot past the tennis courts and nearest to the restrooms. This is a moderate 3-hour, 6-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 650 feet from the park to the Potomac Heritage Trail and then hiking upriver to Fort Marcy. While most of the hike is relatively level, there are significant rock scrambles along the way with steep climbs up and down at both ends of the hike. Directions: From I-495 take the GW Parkway southbound to exit for Rt. 123 southbound (toward Chain Bridge). At Rt. 120, Glebe Rd., turn right. Near top of hill, take right exit for Military Rd. and follow signs to Military Rd. After crossing cloverleaf over Rt. 120, turn left onto Military Rd., go 1.3 miles turn left onto Marcy Rd. Go to the end of the road (past tennis courts) to the park's parking lot. Lunch: Metro 29 Diner, 4711 Lee Hwy, Arlington VA 22207, . Turn left exiting the park onto Military Rd., turn right onto Lorcum Ln., turn right onto Lee Hwy., restaurant will be on the right before Glebe Rd.

Saturday, May 19, 2007, 10:AM, Great Falls VA 22066, Difficult Run Route 193 to the Potomac, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . TOPO Map: http://kubiki-rubiki.ru/activities/hiking/VA/CasualHikes/Difficult_Run_Route_193_to_the_Potomac.htm. Park and meet in the small parking lot off of Rt. 193 (Georgetown Pike). This is an easy, 2-hour, 3-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 320 feet. The plan is to cross Rt. 193 at the entrance to the parking lot and pick up the unofficial trail leading up to the Ridge Trail, turn right, cross the Old Carriage Trail, leaves permitting, watch for the view straight up Mather Gorge off to the left, pass the River Trail, and follow the Ridge Trail to the end overlooking the convergence of Difficult Run with the Potomac. Reverse steps back to a left turn onto the connecting trail, at the bottom, turn left onto the Difficult Run Trail and follow it out to the point where the river and stream meet. Reverse direction heading back up along Difficult Run, going under Rt. 193 and continuing upstream. The current location of the stream crossing is not known as of the writing of this guide, so watch for signs or path indicating this crossing. Once across, follow trail upstream to Old Dominion Dr, reverse steps and head back to parking lot. Directions: take I-495 and exit onto Route 193 (Georgetown Pike), proceed west about five miles, watch for parking lot entrance on the left after crossing Difficult Run bridge and going around several sharp curves. Lunch: Old Brogue Irish Pub, 760 Walker Rd, Great Falls VA 22066, . Use care exiting the parking lot, turn left onto Rt. 193, go past entrance to Great Falls Park, go about a mile and a half and turn left just past the BB&T and just before the Post Office. Turn left into the parking area and the restaurant will be on the right.

Sunday, May 20, 2007, 11:AM, Leesburg VA 20176, Tarara Winery Trails, Self/Group guided casual hike. Note later start time. Trail Map: Available at Winery. TOPO Map: http://kubiki-rubiki.ru/activities/hiking/VA/CasualHikes/Tarara_Winery_Trails.htm. Park and meet at the Visitors Center. Note that last year, these trails were poorly marked and not in good repair. This is an easy, 3-hour, 6-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 250 feet. Trail selection will be made by the participants. Directions: From I-495 head west on Rt. 7 to Leesburg, take the Rt. 15 Bypass north towards Frederick, go about 8-miles to the Town of Lucketts, turn right onto Rt. 662, go about 3-miles, entrance to the winery will be on the left, follow signs to winery parking. From Frederick, take Rt. 15 south, cross the Potomac, go about 3-miles to the Town of Lucketts, turn left at the traffic light onto Rt. 662 and follow the directions above. Lunch: Blue Ridge Grill, 955 Edwards Ferry Rd., Leesburg VA 20176, . Exit back to Rt. 15, turn left, go to Leesburg taking the Rt. 15 Bypass, turn right onto Edwards Ferry Rd., turn left at light to restaurant.

Saturday, May 26, 2007, 10:AM, Fairfax Station VA 22039, Bull Run-Occoquan Trail - Fountainhead Regional Park to Wolf Run, Self/Group guided casual hike. Accessible mid-March to mid-November. Trail Map: . TOPO Map: http://kubiki-rubiki.ru/activities/hiking/VA/CasualHikes/Bull_Run_Occoquan_Trail_Fountainhead_Regional_Park_to_Wolf_Run.htm. Meet at the parking lot adjacent to the picnic area and near the trailhead for the bike trail. Based on distance and elevation gain, this is a moderate, 5.5 mile, 3-hour, loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 800+ feet. The trail includes climbs and descents as it traverses the gullies and small streams feeding into the reservoir. Directions: From I-495 at Springfield, head south to Rt. 123 west towards Occoquan, go about 5-miles, turn left on Rt. 647, go about 3-miles to park entrance on the left. Lunch: Sea, Sea & Company Restaurant, 201 Mill St., Occoquan VA 22125, . Exit the park by turning right onto Rt. 647, to right onto Rt. 123. Take an immediate right after crossing the bridge over the Occoquan, take first right onto Commerce St., turn right at dead-end onto Mill St. Restaurant will be on the left just before going back under Rt. 123 bridge.

Sunday, May 27, 2007, 10:AM, Alexandria VA 22308, Mount Vernon Trail - Fort Hunt to Mount Vernon, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. TOPO Map: http://kubiki-rubiki.ru/activities/hiking/VA/CasualHikes/Mount_Vernon_Trail_Fort_Hunt_to_Mount_Vernon.htm. Park and meet at the large picnic pavilion near the entrance to the park. This is an easy, 4-hour, 6.5 mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 210 feet. Beginning from the pavilion, exit the park to the Mount Vernon Trail (MVT) and turn right, follow the trail to Mount Vernon, and return to Fort Hunt. Directions: With the ongoing Wilson Bridge construction, these directions may not be accurate, but following signs to Mount Vernon should get you to the GW Pkwy southbound. From points in Virginia heading towards the Wilson Bridge on I-495, exit onto Rt. 1 northbound, turn right at light onto Franklin St., go three blocks, turn right onto S. Washington St., (this becomes the GW Pkwy), go about 5-miles, entrance to the park will be on the right, going into the park keep right and park near first large pavilion. From Maryland coming across the Wilson Bridge, take exit 177C which will bring you Church St. and to S. Washington St. (becomes GW Pkwy), turn right and follow above directions to park. Lunch: Cedar Knoll Inn, 9030 Lucia Ln., Alexandria VA 22308, . Exit the park by turning right onto the GW Pkwy headed toward Mount Vernon, turn right onto Lucia Ln. to restaurant.

Saturday, June 2, 2007, 10:AM, McLean VA 22101, Heritage Trail - Fort Marcy to Turkey Run Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Meet in the Fort Marcy parking lot. Note that the parking lot is accessible only from the northbound lanes of the GW parkway. This is an moderate 3-hour, 5-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 350 feet including significant rock scrambles along the way and steep declines and inclines to and from the river at both ends of the hike. Directions: From Rosslyn, take the GW Parkway northbound and turn right into park. Lunch: Three Pigs Restaurant, 1394 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean VA 22101, . Exit the park turning right onto the GW Pkwy, exit onto Rt. 123 toward McLean, turn left onto Chain Bridge Rd, left at light with Churchill Rd (you will stay on Chain Bridge Rd), restaurant will be on the right.

Sunday, June 3, 2007, 10:AM, McLean VA 22102, Great Falls to Difficult Run, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . There is an entrance fee for the park. Meet in the courtyard area at the Visitors Center of the park. This is an arduous but easy, 3-hour, 4.5 mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 650 feet. The various trails include spectacular sights of Great Falls, the Potomac River, and Difficult Run. From the Visitors Center, follow the trail that passes the overlooks and take the first left path to the river trail. Take the time to do several of the overlooks for Mather Gorge particularly if there are rock climbers doing their thing. Follow the river trail and turn left onto the Ridge Trail. Take this trail all the way to the end for a birds eye view of the Potomac at the Difficult Run confluence. Back to the connecting trail to the Difficult Run Trail and the turn left and walk down to the river. There are several options for the return route. The favorite is to walk up Difficult Run to the parking lot on Rt. 193. Instead of using the Old Carriage Road, look for the trail almost directly across from the vehicle entrance to the parking lot. Take this trail to the Ridge Trail, turn left to the Swamp Trail, and follow it to the Old Carriage Trail via either of the two options on the trail map. Turn left and head back to the VC. Shorter option is to return via the Ridge Trail to its intersection with the Old Carriage Road. If you take this route, leaves permitting, watch for the view of Mather Gorge just past the intersection with the River Trail. Almost immediately, you will turn right onto the Matildaville Trail and take this trail back to the VC. Directions: take I-495 and exit onto Route 193 (Georgetown Pike), proceed west about five miles to the traffic light at the entrance to Great Falls National Park. Park sign is on the right. Lunch: Old Brogue Irish Pub, 760 Walker Rd, Great Falls VA 22066, . Exiting the park, turn right onto Rt. 193. Go about a mile and a half and turn left just past the BB&T and just before the Post Office. Turn left into the parking area and the restaurant will be on the right.

Saturday, June 9, 2007, 10:AM, Harpers Ferry WV 25425, Loudoun Heights, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . TOPO Map: http://kubiki-rubiki.ru/activities/hiking/VA/CasualHikes/Loudoun_Heights.htm. Park and meet at the trailhead which is in the up river corner of the small parking lot on the left side of Rt. 340 as you head west from the intersection of Rt. 671 and Rt. 340. This is a tough, 3-hour, 4-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 1200 feet. Start from the parking lot and follow trail that parallels Rt. 340, about a hundred yards along, turn left and begin long uphill climb, pause and enjoy the various overlooks and continue the climb, the trail along the ridge is well marked, watch for the right turn onto the Appalachian Trail as both trails head down hill, cross Chestnut Hill Rd. and continue down hill, climb stairs to Rt. 340 bridge and then walk along Rt. 340 to parking lot. Directions: From I-495 in Maryland, I-270 to Frederick and Rt. 340 west to Harpers Ferry. From I-495 in Virginia, take Rt. 7 west, past Leesburg turn right onto Rt. 9, turn right onto Rt. 671, turn left at Rt. 340. See above for trailhead parking. Lunch: Armory Pub, 109 Potomac Terrace, Harpers Ferry WV 25425, . Exiting the parking lot, turn left to Harpers Ferry, turn left immediately after crossing the Shenandoah River, left at stop sign onto Shenandoah St., follow to dead-end, turn left onto Potomac St., restaurant will be on the left with stairs leading up to it. Parking may be scarce in-town and carpooling from trailhead may be a good thing. If you want to sight-see or shop, the best bet is to use the paid parking at the Park's Visitors Center, take the shuttle bus into town and take a short walk to the restaurant.

Sunday, June 10, 2007, 10:AM, Fairfax Station VA 22039, Fountainhead Regional Park Trails, Self/Group guided casual hike. Accessible mid-March to mid-November. Trail Map: . TOPO Map: />. Meet at the parking lot adjacent to the picnic area and near the trailhead for the bike trail. Based on distance and elevation gain, this is an easy but arduous 6-mile, 3-hour, loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 425 feet. The trail follows portions of the park's mountain bike trail and includes climbs and descents as it traverses the gullies and small streams feeding into the reservoir. Using the park's MTB trail map, from the parking lot, cross the roadway keepinf to the right to do the irregular loop and the back up to MTB, turn right toward the area identified as Sock-A-Billy, turn right following the trail down and back up the peninsula, turn right and cross stream keeping to the left and following MTB arrows, to right on connecting trail, to right on MTB trail, to left to do loop, to left to follow MTB back around peninsula and back to parking. Directions: From I-495 at Springfield, head south to Rt. 123 west towards Occoquan, go about 5-miles, turn left on Rt. 647, go about 3-miles to park entrance on the left. Lunch: Occoquan Inn, 301 Mill St., Occoquan VA 22125, . Exit the park by turning right onto Rt. 647, to right onto Rt. 123. Take an immediate right after crossing the bridge over the Occoquan, take first right onto Commerce St., turn left onto Mill St. Restaurant will be on the right.

Saturday, June 16, 2007, 10:AM, Alexandria VA 22308, Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Meet at the main entrance. This is an easy, 2-3 hour sight-seeing tour of the mansion and grounds. Adult admission: $11.00. Directions: With the ongoing Wilson Bridge construction, these directions may not be accurate, but following signs to Mount Vernon should get you to the GW Pkwy southbound. From points in Virginia heading towards the Wilson Bridge on I-495, exit onto Rt. 1 northbound, turn right at light onto Franklin St., go three blocks, turn right onto S. Washington St., (this becomes the GW Pkwy), follow it to Mount Vernon with parking on the right as you exit the circle. From Maryland coming across the Wilson Bridge, take exit 177C which will bring you Church St. and to S. Washington St. (becomes GW Pkwy), turn right and follow above directions. Lunch: Mount Vernon Inn at Mount Vernon.

Sunday, June 17, 2007, 10:AM, McLean VA 22101, CIA Circumferential, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet at the parking lot for Langley Park. This is an easy, 2-hour, 2.5-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 240 feet. This is an easy, 4.25 mile, 3-hour circuit hike with a cumulative gain and descent of 320 feet. From the parking lot proceed to the far back corner of the sports field to an unmarked trail, follow the trail in a generally downward direction until meeting and crossing Turkey Run, follow the stream to the Potomac and turn right, go about 1.25 miles and turn right into the woods and off trail, there is a small stream here, but you do not want to cross it, the area will be a flat stream delta, but you will quickly begin a steep climb up the ravine. At the head of the ravine there will be a large culvert, climb down to the culvert and walk through it under the GW Pkwy (The water level inside the culvert is barely shoe-sole depth. If it is deeper, go up and over.), optionally (and if you come up a different ravine) go up the hill a little further, cross the Pkwy, and rejoin the planned route. On the other side of the culvert, proceed slightly to the right and up the hill. If you see a black chain-link fence, it is the CIA compound and you will be on camera. If you approach too close, you will meet uniformed guards, so do not approach the fence, but use it as a guide keeping it on your right as you traverse the hills above the Pkwy. Eventually, you will come to an unpaved roadway (it becomes a paved road and you may come out on a paved portion depending on your route through the woods), turn right and follow it past several homes before coming to Rt. 123. Turn right, walking past the guard stand at the main entrance to “Langley”, again keeping the fence to your right, continue onto the parking lot for Langley Park. Directions: From I-495, exit onto Rt. 193 (Georgetown Pike) eastbound, go about 2.5 miles and just before Rt. 193 meets Rt. 123, turn left into park. Lunch: Rocco’s Italian Restaurant, 1357 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean VA 22101, . Turn right exiting the park and then make an immediate left turn onto Rt. 193, turn right at the light onto Rt. 123, go a little more than a mile and turn left onto Chain Bridge Rd., the restaurant will be on the left just before the traffic light.

Saturday, June 23, 2007, 10:AM, Mclean VA 22102, Riverbend Park to Great Falls Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet near the trailhead downstream from the Riverbend Visitors Center. This is a very easy, 2-hour, 4.5 mile loop along the Potomac from Riverbend Park to Great Falls National Park and return. From the Riverbend Visitors Center follow the trail along the river down to the Great Falls Visitors Center, and return. Directions: From I-495, take Rt. 193 Georgetown Pike west approximately 5 miles. Take the first right turn past the traffic light at Great Falls Park onto Rt. 603 Riverbend Rd. Go two miles and turn right onto Jeffery Rd. Go one mile and turn right into park. Lunch: Great Falls Tavern Restaurant, 9835 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls VA 22066, . From Riverbend Road, turn right onto RT. 193. Go about a mile and a half; the restaurant will be on your left as you enter the Village of Great Falls.

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 10:AM, Paris VA 20130, Sky Meadows State Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Meet at the Vienna Metro (north parking lot near gate) at 8:00 a.m. to carpool or at the park at the start time. This is a moderate, 3-hour, 4.5-mile, circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 1,044 feet. This hike does include a portion of the Appalachian Trail and a new trail that does not show on the park map. Start from the Visitors Center on the Gap Run Trail and follow it downhill along the fence line and do the Snowden Trail. Come back to the Gap Run Trail for a short distance before picking up the South Ridge Trail. Most of the gain in this hike comes in the next mile as you climb to the Appalachian Trail. Instead of going up to the AT, you do have the option of taking the North Ridge Trail and the Piedmont Overlook Trail, but the suggested route is to go up to the AT, take the AT northward to the connection with the new Ambassador White House Trail. This trail connects back into the Piedmont Overlook Trail, but it does not show on the current online map. There are updated maps at the VC. The suggested route is a almost entirely downhill once you get to the AT and has some splendid views as you descend. Directions: From the Meet at the Vienna Metro (north parking lot near gate) at 8:00 a.m. to carpool or at the park at the start time. From the Vienna Metro station, head west on I-66 to exit 23 and Rt. 17 North towards Delaplane. Note that you will see an exit for Business Rt. 17 at Marshall, but do not take this exit. From I-66 and RT.17, go about 7 miles and turn left onto Rt. 710. There will be a $3 per vehicle entrance fee. Lunch: optional pack-your-own lunch at the picnic area after the hike.

Saturday, June 30, 2007, 10:AM, Fairfax Station VA 22039, Burke Lake Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail map: . A small fee may be required to enter the park. Meet in the marina parking lot. This is an easy, 2-hour, 4.5 mile circuit with minimal elevation change around the shores of Burke Lake. This is a circular hike around the lake and you can go in either direction. These instructions will have the lake to your right. Starting from the marina (G), the trailhead is at the top of the boat launch area across from the restrooms. A short distance from the marina, you will turn to the right and proceed along the trail around the lake keeping the lake to your right. You will come out of the woods (7) and onto the roadway leading to the camping area, but if you keep to the right you will reenter the woods (8) and continue around the lake. Several miles later as you come out of the woods at the lake’s spillway (11), there will be a trail to the left, but you will want to keep to the right and walk across the dam. Just past the dam, the trail is paved (13) and it will continue as a paved trail back to the marina parking lot. Once you are on this trail, you will come to a second boat launch area (14) and the trail continues immediately on the other side of the launch area. As you are coming up the hill from the launch area, you will come to a paved roadway (15). Go directly across the roadway and continue on the paved path, past the restrooms, cross the roadway again, and on down to the marina roadway. Turn left and you will be back in the marina parking lot. Directions: Take I-495 to Braddock Rd. West (Rt. 620) about 1.8 miles to left on Burke Lake Road (Rt. 645). Follow Burke Lake Road 4.7 miles to Ox Rd (Rt.123), turn left and drive a short distance to the main park entrance on your left past the golf course and at the light. From the park’s toll booth, follow the signs to the marina. Lunch: optional lunch at the Hopsfrog Tavern, 5745 Burke Centre Pkwy, Burke VA 22015, . Exit the park by turning right onto Rt. 123 and go 4.4 miles to left onto Burke Center Parkway. The restaurant will be on the right at the first traffic light.

Sunday, July 1, 2007, 10:AM, Alexandria VA 22309, Woodlawn/Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope Leigh House, Self/Group guided casual hike. Note later start time. Open March-December. Trail Map: Not available. Combined adult admission for both homes $13.00. Park and meet in the visitors parking lot for the mansion. This will be an easy, 2-3 hour tour of both homes and the grounds. Directions: From I-495 head south on I-95, take exit 166A (Fairfax County Parkway) east, proceed to dead-end at Rt. 1, turn left, continue to 4th traffic light (at intersection of Rt. 1 & Rt. 235) and turn left into Woodlawn entrance, follow sings to parking. Lunch: Roy Rogers, 8860 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria VA 22309, . Turn left exiting the mansion and then almost another immediate left into the parking lot.

Saturday, July 7, 2007, 10:AM, McLean VA 22101, Heritage Trail - Turkey Run Park to Live Oak Drive, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet in Turkey Run Park lot C-1. This is a moderate, 2-hour, 4-mile loop with steep declines and inclines to and from the river. From the park, the hike goes up river to Live Oak Dr. which is just past the American Legion Bridge and returns. Directions: From I-495, take the GW Parkway southbound for approximately 2 miles to the park entrance. From points south, take the GW Parkway northbound to the park entrance. Lunch: Mr. Smith's of Georgetown, 8369 Leesburg Pike, Vienna VA 22182, . Exit the park to I-495, take I-495 southbound toward Tysons, exit onto Rt. 7 westbound towards Leesburg, go under Rt. 123, turn left at Westpark Dr., turn left into shopping center, restaurant will be on the right about the middle of the center.

Sunday, July 8, 2007, 10:AM, Mclean VA 22102, Heritage Trail - Riverbend Park to Jefferson Branch Run, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet at the Visitors Center. This is an easy, 4-hour, 7.5 mile loop along the Potomac from Riverbend Park upstream to Jefferson Branch. From the Riverbend Visitors Center follow the trail along the river upstream to Jefferson Branch Run and return. Directions: From I-495, take Rt. 193 Georgetown Pike west approximately 5 miles. Take the first right turn past the traffic light at Great Falls Park onto Rt. 603 Riverbend Rd. Go two miles and turn right onto Jeffery Rd. Go one mile and turn right into park. Lunch: Great Falls Tavern Restaurant, 9835 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls VA 22066, . From Riverbend Road, turn right onto RT. 193. Go about a mile and a half; the restaurant will be on your left as you enter the Village of Great Falls.

Saturday, July 14, 2007, 10:AM, Broad Run VA 20137, Bull Run Mountain Conservancy, Self/Group guided casual hike. Accessible March through November. Trail Map: . Release of Liability: . Note that hiking in this area requires hikers to sign the Conservancy's waiver. Please print it and have it with you in case there are not enough copies at the gate. Park and meet at the Trailhead Kiosk. This is a moderate, 3-hour, 4 mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 800 feet. From the kiosk, take the Mountain Rd. to Dawson's Trail, to the Old Quarry Trail. On the trail map, it appears that the trail dead-ends, but on topographical maps it looks as though the trail loops back to the Ridge Trail on the left side of the trail map. If so, this will be a steep climb to the left and up to the summit and back down to the Ridge Trail. It does look like this route goes outside the Conservancy boundary so be aware of any boundary markers and signage. If you cannot go forward, backtrack to the Ridge Loop Trail, turn right and go up the Ridge Trail (go up as conditions permit), reverse direction coming down the Ridge Trail as conditions permit. The Trail may or may not go to the 863 foot summit. Take the Ridge Trail to the Fern Hollow Trail, back to the Kiosk. Directions: From I-495, head west on I-66, take exit 40 onto Rt.15 south, turn right on Rt. 55, turn right onto Turner Rd., make an immediate left onto Beverly Mill Drive and proceed to parking and Kiosk. Lunch: Sweetwater Tavern, 14250 Sweetwater Ln., Centreville VA 20121, . Exit the park back to Tr. 29, turn right, go under I-66, turn right at light onto Machen Rd., turn right on Centrewood Dr., turn left onto Multiplex Dr., restaurant could be on left or right depending on the entrance used.

Sunday, July 15, 2007, 10:AM, Springfield VA 22152, South Run Park to Burke Lake, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail map: . Park and meet at the main entrance to the South Run Community Center. This is an easy, 3-hour, 7-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 210 feet that combines a portion of the South Run Stream Valley Trail with the 4.5 mile circuit around the shores of Burke Lake. The trailhead is behind and to the right of the field house as you walk down the service road. Look for the blue sign in the tree for the Spartan Trail near where the paved trail exits the woods. Take this trail down the hill and continue straight ahead at the intersection at the bottom of the hill, to the dam at Burke Lake and begin the circuit hike around the lake and you can go in either direction. When you return to the dam, hike back down the SRSVT to the CC. Directions: From I-495 take I-95 south and exit as though you are going to the Springfield Mall (Franconia Rd. eastbound). Turn right at the second traffic light onto Frontier Dr. to the intersection with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway (Rt. 7900). Just before the overpass, turn right onto the ramp and merge onto the Parkway westbound. Go about six miles, and turn left into the park. Lunch: Glory Days Grill, 9526 Old Keene Mill Rd, Springfield VA 22152, . Exit the park by turning left onto the Fairfax County Parkway. Turn right onto Lee Chapel Rd., go about a mile and a half, cross Old Keene Mill Rd. and turn right into the shopping Center. The restaurant is ahead and to the right.

Saturday, July 21, 2007, 10:AM, Fort Belvoir VA 22060, Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Available at the park. Meet at the security station at the Pence Gate. Selection of trails to be made by participants. Note that a valid photo ID for each person will be required for access to Fort Belvoir. Directions: From I-495 head south on I-95, take exit 166A (Fairfax County Parkway) east, proceed to dead-end at Rt. 1, turn left, continue to 2nd traffic light and turn right into Fort Belvoir, obtain one-day visitors pass, and wait here until 10:00 a.m., for others to arrive. From security center, proceed on Belvoir Rd. to 12th Street, turn right, continue on 12th St. through the traffic light to Pohick Rd., the main trailhead will be on the left in the back right corner of the security station (closed on weekends). There is a second entrance on the left past the Security office, but before you get to Poe Rd. Lunch: Roy Rogers, 8860 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria VA 22309, . Turn right exiting Fort Belvoir, go past second light and turn left into the parking lot.

Sunday, July 22, 2007, 10:AM, McLean VA 22102, Scotts Run Nature Preserve - Woodland Trails. Leader: Doug Hill, . Trail Map: http://kubiki-rubiki.ru/activities/hiking/100_2206_Scotts Run_Trail_Map.JPG. PATC Map D also includes most of the trails in this park. In addition, there is a trail map near the stairs in the west parking lot and several others at points throughout the park. Park and meet in the West parking lot. Directions: Take I-495 to exit 44 (Rt. 193) Georgetown Pike west for about 1/2 mile to “West” parking lot on the right, across from Swinks Mill Rd. Be careful! This is NOT the first parking lot. This lot is at the bottom of hill next to the stream. No dogs permitted. Lunch: in Tysons Corner at the On The Border Restaurant, 8053 Leesburg Pike, Vienna VA 22182, . Exit the park by turning left onto RT. 193 – carefully! Turn right onto I-495, go to the third exit onto RT. 7 westbound. Move immediately to the far left lane and turn left at the first traffic light. Make another immediate left onto the service roadway and the turn right into restaurant parking lot.

Saturday, July 28, 2007, 10:AM, Great Falls VA 22066, Heritage Trail - Jefferson Branch Run to Dam, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park and meet at the end of Interpromontory Rd. In 2006, access to this trail was across private property and the new owners posted the property with no trespassing signs. There is also very limited parking and the local homeowners have threatened towing in the past. With these notices, this is an easy, 2-hour, 4.3-mile loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 150 feet hiking along the Potomac from Jefferson Branch Run up river to the dam and return. This trail is still under construction and the official trail map has not been published. Therefore, portions of this hike may be off trail and the hike description may not be accurate. From the meeting point, proceed up river to the dam and return. Directions: From I-495, take Rt. 193 (Georgetown Pike) west, go about 7 miles and turn right at traffic light onto Walker Rd., go 2.2 miles, turn left onto Beach Mill Rd., go .5 miles, turn right onto Bliss Ln., go .2 miles and veer left onto Commage Dr., go .5 miles, turn left onto Interpromontory Rd., follow to end and park. Lunch: Great Falls Tavern Restaurant, 9835 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls VA 22066, . Exit back to Walker Rd., turn left at light, the restaurant will be on your right.

Sunday, July 29, 2007, 10:AM, Manassas VA 20109, Second Battle of Manassas, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet in front of the Visitors Center. This is an easy, 6.75 mile, 3-4 hour, circuit with cumulative gain and descent of 310 feet hiking around the battlefield for the 2nd Battle of Manassas (1862). There is a $3 park admission fee. You will be hiking the 2nd Manassas Trail. Significant portions of this hike will be through mowed fields and sections may be through tall grass so an appropriate bug spray is suggested. From the Visitors Center proceed west across Rt. 234 towards Chinn Ridge. Watch for the foot trail off to the right to get to Chinn Ridge. Once you reconnect with the paved road, turn right and walk down to the vehicle turnaround. Head back along Chinn Ridge toward stop 9 on the park map. Following the map, you can follow the loop trail or head off to stop 8 and then rejoin the loop trail to the Dogan House. Follow the trail along Groveton Rd. watching for the left turn. About halfway across the top of the white area, the official trail takes a right turn. However, it is a little more historic to follow the black dashed trail a little further west before doubling back and rejoining the main loop trail. Once you rejoin the loop trail, stay on it to cross Rt. 234, onto the crest of Matthews Hill. Follow the mowed pathway to the signage near the Union artillery position describing the action at this part of the battle. Continue to follow the pathway to the Stone House (tour the building if it is open), cross at the traffic light, follow the park trail across the wooded bridge and back on the mowed pathway up to the Cedar tree just before you get to Henry House. Stop at the Henry House Cemetery then walk past Rickett’s line of artillery back to the VC. Directions: Take I-66 West to Rt.234 North (Exit 47) to right turn into the VC. Lunch: Uno's, 10701 Bulloch Dr., Manassas VA 20109, . Turn left exiting the park onto RT 234. Go to the first traffic light and turn right. Turn left into the restaurant parking lot.

Saturday, August 4, 2007, 10:AM, Springfield VA 22152, Hidden Pond Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail map: Not available. Park and meet in the parking lot as you enter the park. This is an easy, 3.25 mile, 2-hour, loop with a cumulative gain and descent of 80 feet. Visit the Nature Center for trail map, follow the park’s nature trail down to Pohick Creek, follow the Pohick Stream Valley Trail downstream to the overpass for the Fairfax County Parkway, reverse direction back to the Hidden Pond park, turn right and cross the dam for the pond, turn left along the pond’s trail, back up to the parking lot. Directions: From I-495 take I-95 south, take the first exit onto Old Keene Mill Rd. westbound, go a little more than 3 miles crossing Rolling Rd., turn left at light onto Greeley Blvd., park is at dead-end. Lunch: Milano’s Family Restaurant, 6230bRolling Rd., Springfield VA 22152, . Exit the park back to Old Keene Mill Rd., turn right, turn left at the light onto Rolling Rd., go past the next light and then turn left at the next crossover, take next left into the shopping center, restaurant will be ahead.

Sunday, August 5, 2007, 10:AM, Lorton VA 22079, Pohick Bay Regional Park, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Refer to the park map and park and meet in the picnic area parking lot below the boat launch and to the left of the road loop. This is an easy, 2-hour, 2.5-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 240 feet. This hike will proceed counter-clockwise along the Blue Trail, to the Yellow Trail, past the gatehouse to the swimming pool, to the campground, to the Gold Trail, to Gunston Cove and finishing back at the parking area. Directions: From I-495 take I-95 south to the Lorton exit, turn right onto Lorton Rd. and follow signs to Rt. 1. Turn right on Rt. 1 southbound and then left onto Rt. 242. Follow signs to Pohick Bay Regional Park on the left. Lunch: Polo Grill Restaurant, 7784 Gunston Dr., Lorton VA 22079, . From Rt. 242, turn right onto Rt. 1. Go past Lorton Rd., restaurant will be on the right.

Saturday, August 11, 2007, 10:AM, McLean VA 22102, Scotts Run Nature Preserve - River Trail, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: http://kubiki-rubiki.ru/activities/hiking/100_2206_Scotts Run_Trail_Map.JPG. PATC Map D also includes most of the trails in this park. In addition, there is a trail map near the stairs in the west parking lot and several others at points throughout the park. Park and meet in the West parking lot. Except for the optional but strenuous rock scramble above the falls, this is an easy, 2-hour, 3-mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 440 feet. There are several options for hiking in this park, water levels permitting. For this option, from the parking lot, proceed down the trail that adjoins the stream. At the second stream crossing (on concrete stepping stones) novice hikers and those not able to do steep climbs should cross the stream and follow the gravel roadway to the falls. Others should not do this stream crossing and keep to the left and proceed along the stream bank, up the steep incline and turn right at the top, you can do some rock scrambling down to the falls. Here, you have a choice of returning the way you came (recommended for novice hikers) or depending on water levels, you can climb above the falls and cross the stream, do some more scrambling up and to the right of the hill to get back down to the falls. If you go back to the concrete stream crossing, follow the trail down to the falls taking note of the stairs to your right just before the downhill to the falls. From the falls, you have another choice; you can go back up the trail to the stairs, or you can walk along the river (not advisable after river flooding). The river trail does not appear on the park trail map, and it does have one uphill, but it is well worth the trip including a bird’s eye view of a walled off Potomac swimming hole. Once you leave the falls, the trail along the river is usually well worn with some rock borders to guide you. A couple hundred yards along, you will come to a slight fork where it will look like the river trail keeps to the left. If you can see the rock cliff and/or the rock wall formations in the river, the left hand trail leads to the swimming hole. Unless you want a closer look at the pool construction, keep left. This will lead you to one of the up hill climbs. At the top, you can walk down to the overlook and, leaves permitting, you will be able to see the walled swimming hole. Back up to the trail intersection, there will be a trail leading downward toward the river and a trail going more horizontally along the hillside. Take the horizontal hill trail. Watch for the trail that comes in from the right near the downriver end of the park. On the park map, this is the far right hand trail from the river. This will be your best route back uphill, but before heading up, go to the left and down to the river for another perspective of the American Legion Bridge. You will know if you’ve passed this trail because you will be walking below several large homes. In the winter, you can continue downriver and join up with the end of the Potomac Heritage Trail at the American Legion Bridge, but at other times of the year, the briars in one section make this route impassible (past the white stairway down to the river). If you come this way, you will know when you reach the briars and you can turn around and re-trace your steps to the park trail. Once you head up, you will get to a crossroads. Turn right will take you out to an overlook, but it is not worth the trip if you’ve already hiked the river trail. Turning to the left will take you to the East parking area and you can then take the trail to the West parking area. The preferred route is to go straight across. Shortly, you will come to another intersection. Turn right and then watch for an unmarked trail to the right that will take you to the flag pole. If you miss this turn, you will encounter a park trail and you can turn to the right there to go down to the flag pole and its overlook. From the flag pole, head back away from the river along the park trail to the next major trail intersection. There is another park trail map at this intersection offering you several choices described later. The preferred route is to turn right and head towards the ruins. From the ruins, continue downhill to the steps that join back into the trail to the falls. From here head back to the parking lot. On the other hand, if you did not do the river trail, you are coming up from the falls to the stairs, to the ruins, and onto the intersection with the trail map. You can turn left, head out to the flag pole and return to this intersection. Head away from the river and take the optional loop trail. You can do the entire loop, or watch for the intersecting trail that will take you back to the west parking area. If you do the entire loop and come back out to the trail to the east parking area, turn right. Just before the parking lot, look for the trail to the right that parallels Rt. 193. Follow this trail back to the west parking lot. Directions: Take I-495 to exit 44 (Rt. 193) Georgetown Pike west for about 1/2 mile to “West” parking lot on the right, across from Swinks Mill Rd. Be careful! This is NOT the first parking lot. This lot is at the bottom of hill next to the stream. No dogs permitted. Lunch: in Tysons Corner at Chilies Restaurant, 8051 Leesburg Pike, Vienna VA 22182, . Exit the park by turning left onto RT. 193 – carefully! Turn right onto I-495, go to the third exit onto RT. 7 westbound. Move immediately to the far left lane and turn left at the first traffic light. Make another immediate left onto the service roadway and the turn right into restaurant parking lot.

Sunday, August 12, 2007, 10:AM, Sterling VA 20165, Heritage Trail - Algonkian Regional Park to Dam, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: Not available. Park Map: . Call the park ranger's office to confirm the completion of this trail. At last check, you could not hike past Sugarland Run. Park and meet at the boat launch. This is an easy, 3-hour, 5-mile loop along the Potomac from Algonkian Regional Park down river to the dam and return. This trail is still under construction and the official trail map has not been published. Therefore, portions of this hike may be off trail and the hike description may not be accurate. Using the park map, proceed down river to the dam and return. Directions: From I-495, take Rt. 7 west, go about 11 miles to Cascades Parkway towards Home Depot, go about 3 miles to park entrance. Lunch: Famous Daves BBQ, 21080 Southbank St., Sterling VA 20165, . Exit the park onto Cascades Parkway, go 1.7 miles, turn left onto Palisade Pkwy, turn right onto Southbank St., the restaurant will be 2 blocks down on the left.

Saturday, August 18, 2007, 10:AM, Manassas VA 20109, First Battle of Manassas, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet in front of the Visitors Center. This is an easy, 6.5 mile, 3-4 hour, circuit with cumulative gain and descent of 349 feet hiking around the battlefield for the 1st Battle of Manassas (1861). There is a $3 park admission fee. You will be hiking the First Manassas Trail and portions of the Henry Hill loop trail. Significant portions of this hike will be through mowed fields and sections may be through tall grass so an appropriate bug spray is suggested. From the Visitors Center proceed to the Jackson statute to acquaint yourself with the general layout of the battlefield and the remainder of the hike. While standing at the front of the statute and facing away from it, you will be hiking in an arc from your left rear, around behind your back, to the hills to your far distant right. You will continue walking in an arc along Bull Run and in the woods to your right front to a position behind Matthews Hill at the distant tree line directly to your front. From there, you will walk to the Stone house, to Henry Hill (the white house to your front), to Robinson House site to your right front, and back along Jackson’s artillery line behind you to the Visitors Center. With this overview of your hike, you are ready to proceed to the next stop. From the statue, turn to your right and proceed to the small markers in the wood glade directly in front of the two cannons. From this glade, proceed to the cannons. From the cannons, you will be walking towards the woods directly in front of the cannons and walking along the tree line until you come to the trail leading down into the woods. The trail through these woods is very well marked. You will cross an older route for the trail, go down some steps and a little further down the trail, you will be making a left turn onto the loop trail. As you are coming down the pathway towards stream there will be a horse trail to your left. You may see the ford for the horse crossing before you notice that the walking trail cuts off to the left, crosses the horse trail and then crosses a bridge over the stream. As you exit the woods you will come into a large field. Stay on the wider roadway like trail and continue on this trail up to the crossing point at RT 29. Once you pass the gate, continue walking up the hill to the Van Pelt house ruins. This is another high point to acquaint your self with the lay of the land. From this wooded hilltop, you will be walking down toward RT 29 to the hilltop you passed coming up the roadway trail. From this hilltop, you will follow the trail down to the boardwalk leading to the Stone Bridge. As you cross the bridge notice the steep banks on both sides of the stream and walk just a short distanced up the hill to the historical sign that describes the action at the bridge. From this sign, walk back across the bridge and make an immediate right onto the trail that parallels Bull Run. Stay on this trail until you come to the markers where the Union forces came across the stream. Instead of turning left, continue straight ahead (the black dashed trail on the park map). By following this trail, you will rejoin the official loop trail as you exit the woods. This is a good break point for snacks and water. To proceed, turn to your right and proceed along the mowed pathway and reenter the woods headed to the Carter family cemetery. The cemetery is just off the main trail and if you choose to walk the short distance, you will turn around and come back to the trail to continue the hike along the park trail towards Matthews Hill. As you are walking along this wooded trail, you will see a small white monument off to your left and there is likely to be an impromptu trail to the monument. Go ahead and take this trail to the monument to get a sense of the closeness of the troops in this area of the battle and to take another short break. From the monument you will see a small trail marker back on the main trail and you will walk to this trail marker to rejoin the main park trail. You will see a couple more markers before exiting the woods behind the crest of Matthews Hill. Follow the mowed pathway to the signage near the Union artillery position describing the action at this part of the battle. Continue to follow the pathway to the Stone House (tour the building if it is open), cross at the traffic light, follow the park trail across the wooded bridge and back on the mowed pathway up to the Cedar tree just before you get to Henry House. From here you will join the Henry Hill Loop trail and walk off to the left away from Henry House and on to the Robinson House. From the Robinson House, walk back towards the Visitors Center along Jackson’s line of artillery, to the Jackson Statute, and across to Henry House. From the Henry House cemetery, walk back along Rickett’s artillery to the Visitor’s Center. Driving Directions: Take I-66 West to Rt.234 North (Exit 47) to right turn into the visitors center. Lunch: Cracker Barrel, 10801 Battleview Pkwy, Manassas VA 20109, . Exit the park by turning left onto Rt. 234. Go to the first traffic light and turn left. Turn right into the restaurant parking lot.

Sunday, August 19, 2007, 10:AM, Springfield VA 22150, Wakefield Community Center to Lake Accotink, Self/Group guided casual hike. Trail Map: . Park and meet at the main entrance to the CC. This is an easy, 3-hour, 6 mile circuit with a cumulative gain and descent of 155 feet. Trail surface will include sidewalks and natural surfaces. Follow the signs to the Cross County Trail and follow it downstream under Braddock Road and on downstream turning right onto the trail to the foot bridge. Follow the trail up to Danbury Forest Drive turning left for a short walk through the neighborhood. Follow the signs to rejoin the Lake Loop Trail, turn left and follow the trail to the dam. Water levels permitting, you can cross the stream below the dam; otherwise continue downstream to the footbridge. After crossing head up to the dam, turn right and walk to the concession stand and marina area for a brief stop before heading back. Continue along the Cross County Loop Trail on the north side of the lake and follow it back to the CC. Directions: From I-495, take exit 54 westbound onto Braddock Rd headed towards Fairfax. The entrance to the CC goes up quickly on the right. Follow the service road to the CC. Lunch: Kilroy’s, 5250 Port Royal Rd., Springfield VA 22150, . The restaurant is in the shopping center directly across Braddock Road as you exit the Park.

Saturday, August 25, 2007, 10:AM, Lorton VA 22079, Gunston Hall Plantation, Self/Group guided casual hike. Note later start time. Trail map: . Adult admission $8.00, but print the online coupon and save $1. Park and meet at main door to the Visitors Center at the entrance to the park. This is a very easy, 2-mile, 2-hour circuit (allowing for plenty of sight-seeing and reading) with a cumulative gain and descent of 50 feet. Tour the mansion, the gardens, the out buildings, the grave sites, and then walk down to the Potomac. Directions: From I-495 take I-95 south to the Lorton exit, turn right onto Lorton Rd. and follow signs to Rt. 1. Turn right on Rt. 1 southbound and then left onto Rt. 242. Follow signs to Gunston Hall, entrance will be on the left. Lunch: Polo Grill Restaurant, 7784 Gunston Dr., Lorton VA 22079, . From Rt. 242, turn right onto Rt. 1. Go past Lorton Rd., restaurant will be on the right.


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