Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Family Hikes

The air is crisp, with an occasional scorcher to remind us of the hot summer, with beautiful blue skies and the leaves are changing into magnificent hues of gold and burgundy. Hiking Along hopes your family has been able to discover fall’s bounty for your senses thus far. If not, we hope you will consider joining Hiking Along with its partnering organizations on either of these two great fall hikes.

Saturday, October 23rd from 9:30 to 11:30 am, Hiking Along in partnership with a new organization, Conservation Montgomery, will lead a family hike on the Northwest Branch Trail (p.1) to learn about trees, their importance to people, animals, and the local watershed. Kids and parents will engage in hands-on activities along the trail, including a service project to collect native seeds for the Growing Native program. The hike is 1.5 miles out and back on a flat, wide trail that is jogging stroller friendly. The hike will begin at the Kemp Mill Rd. trailhead of the Northwest Branch Trail. A suggested $5 per person donation to Conservation Montgomery is greatly appreciated. To register for the hike, please send an e-mail with your family’s name, number of people, and contact e-mail to

Saturday, October 30th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Hiking Along in partnership with Neighbors of Northwest Branch will lead a family hike on the Rachel Carson Greenway Trail, south of Burnt Mills (p. 3). The group will meet in the parking lot adjacent to the Trader Joe’s Plaza and will hike two miles out and back to the 495 overpass. On the return, children will have the opportunity to rock scramble. While on the hike, families will learn about the ecosystem of a deciduous forest in the Washington area. They will understand and follow a food web in the forest and what happens when a species is threatened or endangered. Children will learn about and provide solutions to the human impact on a forest food web. This hike is great for children 5+ years of age but all are welcome. The trail is not jogging stroller passable; however, a few backpacks can be provided for young children. Join the hike, see the forest colors, and learn about its animals!

If your family or group can’t make one of these great hikes, then e-mail Jennifer to schedule any one of the nine hikes in the DC area. In addition, check out Hiking Along’s blog to read “Trail Discovery for Kids” – a review of some of the best hiking trails for kids and families in the DC area. Some highlighted trails are Tom’s Trail in Wheaton Park, a short, easy and adventurous hike for preschoolers or to view the fall colors in Shenandoah National Park, hike with your family on the White Oak Canyon/Cedar Run 2 mile circuit. For more up-to-the-minute trail and nature resources, “like” Hiking Along on Facebook.
Happy Fall Adventures to you and your family!