Winter Nature Walk in Rock Creek Park - 1.27.2018
January 27, 2018 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Valley Trail, Chevy Chase, DC 20815, USA
Rock Creek Conservancy
Winter Nature Walk in Rock Creek Park
(Saturday January 27, 2018)
Join the Rock Creek Conservancy and Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of A Year in Rock Creek Park and City of Trees, for a winter nature hike through the floodplain forest and upland woods of Rock Creek Park. On February 19, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt wrote to his son, Kermit: “Rock Creek Park was beautiful. It is really a wonderfully wild piece of scenery. The steep hillsides were covered with snow which lay in strips on the limbs of the trees, and the stream churned noisily between the ice-rimmed banks and among the ice-coated boulders.” In another letter to Kermit in February of 1908, TR reported that he swam in the creek after the ice had just melted, in his winter clothes and hobnail boots. We will not follow the example of our intrepid 26th president and wade into the creek although we’ll admire the winter beauty of the park that he loved. We’ll walk along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek beginning at Boundary Bridge on the Maryland-DC line. Sycamores, silver maples, American elms, cottonwoods, ironwoods, river birches, tulip trees, pawpaws and bladdernuts are among the woody plants we’ll encounter. We’ll pass a swamp where the skunk cabbage blooms in January and switchback into an upland forest where extremely old oaks and beeches grow. We’ll study the trees in their winter condition and admire the beauty of their leafless crowns.
If weather permits, we’ll picnic on a dramatic rocky ledge crowned with American beech, pinxter, mountain laurel and witch-hazel.
Registration: The event is free but all hikers need to pre-register here. There is a strict 20-person cap on attendees.
Meeting Place and Directions: The Boundary Bridge parking lot, Beach Drive. Take East-West Highway (Route 410) east from Connecticut Avenue (a right-hand turn if driving north on Connecticut from DC and a left-hand turn if driving south from the Beltway). Take East-West Highway to Beach Drive and turn right (south) and drive to the locked National Park Service gate across Beach Drive at the District line (beyond the right-hand intersection of Wyndale Road). Park in the parking lot just before the NPS gate or along the road if the parking lot is full. Please note that Beach Drive is closed south of the NPS gate so you will have to approach the meeting place from the north.
Please note: there are no restrooms at our meeting place.
What to Wear and Bring: Wear warm comfortable clothing and dress in layers for the weather, keeping in mind that we will be stopping often to look at trees so extra layers may be required. Wear sturdy boots or shoes with good soles as trails may be muddy. This is a rain/snow or shine event, unless conditions are dangerous or miserable. Wear sunscreen and bring water, snacks and a light lunch.
What to Expect: We will be covering 2 ½ miles at a slow pace, with some moderate elevation change.