The Riderwood Short Hikes Group goes once a month to nearby locations in Maryland and the District of Columbia. We alternate between Mondays and Tuesdays — usually during the third week of the month. We gather about 8:30 am and carpool to the location, returning between 11-12 am.
Information about where and when to meet is sent out early in each month. You can get on the mailing list by using this link:
September 2023 Hike–Monday, September 18
National Arboretum. Located at 3501 New York Avenue, NE Washington, DC 2000. Several alternative routes on paved trails are possible within the Arboretum. A trail map can be found at https://www.usna.usda.gov/
Information on some previous hikes
- Patuxent Research Refuge South Tract (August 2023). The walk around Cash Lake takes approximately 1.5 hrs. The trail is mostly natural surface and in places fairly rough, with roots and rocks to watch out for, and some floating walkways which may be uncomfortable for people who get dizzy easily. There are no major changes in elevation. Toilets are available in the Visitor Center and near the fishing pier. There are sometimes good bird-watching opportunities. Trail Map
- Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (July 2023). Mid-July is peak blooming season for the lotus plants — an awe-inspiring sight for those who have never experienced it. We will allow time to browse the ponds and the boardwalk which gives access to the wetlands (last year we spotted a flock of egrets there), and then reconvene for a short walk along the River Trail and a bit of the Anacostia River Trail. Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Map
The trails are paved or well-maintained dirt surfaces, with no elevation change, but there may be some muddy spots — wear water-resistant shoes. Restrooms are available at the Visitor Center. If it is hot, bring water and sun protection. Bug repellent may be helpful.
- Sligo Creek Trail (June 2023). Paved trail, no elevation change. We explored another nearby part of the Anacostia River watershed, the Sligo Creek Trail, in the region between US Route 29 (Colesville Rd) and University Boulevard. Map of NW Branch and Sligo Creek Trails:
NORTHWEST BRANCH STREAM VALLEY PARK TRAILS (montgomeryparks.org)
- Copperhead Run Trail/Northwest Branch Trail (May 2023). This is a loop hike on two beautiful nearby trails beginning at the Burnt Mills East Park parking lot just south of Trader Joe’s on US Route 29/Colesville Road. Begin on the newly completed Copperhead Run Trail that runs parallel to Northwest Branch at the height of the surrounding neighborhood and then drop down to stream level to return via the older Northwest Branch Trail. The total distance is a little less than 3 miles, and the loop should take 1.5 to 2 hours. This hike is entirely on natural surface, but mostly well groomed, with very few roots and stones. There are a few fairly steep sections, and a few easy creek crossings. Can be strenuous.
- Lake Artemesia Natural Area (April 2023). Lake Artemesia
Natural Area, adjacent to the Metro tracks in Berwyn Heights, near College Park. For history and description, see http://www.mncppc.org/ 3244/Lake-Artemesia-Natural- Area We will made a complete figure-8-ish loop of the lake on paved, level trails totaling between 2.5 and 3 miles — total walking time about 1.5 hours. Benches are available, but there is little shade so think about sun protection, headgear and water. Toilets are available.
- Anacostia River Watershed (March 2023). Continuing our exploration of the Anacostia River watershed, we will drive to historic Bladensburg Waterfront Park, where we will cross the footbridge to the west bank and continue upstream to the junction of the Northeast and Northwest Branches, where the Anacostia River proper begins. The hike will be all on paved trails, with very little elevation change. Total out-and-back hiking time about 1.5 hours. With roughly 30 minutes driving time each way, we should be back before 11:30. Map
- Wheaton Regional Park (February 2023). Our February hike will be in Wheaton Regional Park, starting at one of the Brookside Gardens parking lots. The drive from Riderwood is only about 15 minutes. If we walk for a little over an hour, we can also visit the Conservatory Building (greenhouse) at Brookside Gardens, which opens at 10:00 AM. Map
- Calverton-Galway Park (January, 2023). A no-drive walk to a pleasant little park in our neighborhood, mostly on quiet residential streets. It’s about 1.4 miles to the park, 1.4 miles for the park loop, and 1.4 miles back, for a total of 1.5-2 hours, all on pavement but slightly hilly. The car entrance is off Fairland Rd. A walk-in entrance is just past Galway Elementary School on Galway Drive. Map
- A section of the Paint Branch Trail, from Cherry Hill Road near US-1 to the Paint Branch Golf Course on University Boulevard and back (December 2022). The trail is paved and flat, and the walk will cover approximately 3 miles and take 1 to 1.5 hours. Here’s a map of the section of the Paint Branch Trail hiked.
- Scenic Anacostia River loop (November 2022). The trail is all paved, except for a short (~1/2 mile) optional loop around Heritage Island. Total walking time about 1.5 hours. Start on the east side of the river at River Terrace, parking on Anacostia Ave NE near Dix St. and walk over the Benning Road Bridge, then turn south for a short stretch of the Kingman Island Trail, crossing the island to Heritage Island (if the ground is not too muddy, there is a short loop around Heritage Island), continuing to the trail on the west bank, past the RFK Stadium athletic fields. Proceed to the East Capitol Street Bridge and return to the starting point.
- Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood (October 2022). One of the hidden treasures of the Montgomery County Parks system. Agricultural History Farm Park