Sunday, February 28, 2010

Calendar: Some of our Favorite Places

This Sunday afternoon, local groups are taking walks at some of our favorite parks. Join one of them, find something else to do on our calendar, or venture out on your own...

Sugarloaf Mountain, MD
Photo credit: Shira Golding
Sugarloaf Mountain - As an Audubon Naturalist Society hike, this will be slow and information-packed. Their description:  "Explore the winter woods of Sugarloaf Mountain with the co-authors/illustrators of two books on this monadnock’s natural and cultural history. We’ll hike from 1-3 miles, depending on trail and weather conditions, stopping to identify woody plants along the way, including oak species, heath family members, and the summit’s noteworthy table mountain pines. We’ll keep an eye out for seasonal birds, including chickadees, kinglets, woodpeckers, and even tundra swans. Melanie will talk about the mountain’s history and geology. Tina will share tips on gathering field information for your art/nature journal. Our hike will include some uphill/downhill walking and, depending on trail conditions, a fairly steep ¼ mile hike up to the summit - all at a slow pace." Members: $23; Nonmembers: $32 Registration required.

Great Blue Heron over C&O Canal
Photo credit: Carly & Art
Carderock/Gold Mine Tract - If you're up for a longer hike, the Sierra Club is leading a walk along a beautiful stretch of the C&O Canal and surrounding areas. Their description:  "Easy 7-mile walk along C&O Towpath and the Gold Mine Tract to Great Falls Tavern, return via towpath. We will extend this hike ~1 mile to observe bald eagles and great blue heron feeding chicks - bring binoculars." See our calendar entry for meeting location and contact information for the trip leader.

Huntley Meadows
Photo credit: geopungo
Huntley Meadows - For a slow and flat walk, with a carpool from the Metro, check out the Center Hiking Club's trip to Huntley Meadows. They promise a "2-3 mile meander" through this beautiful park. See our calendar entry for info on how to meet up at Huntington Metro, and contact information for the trip leader.

For all three trips, it's wise to check with the trip leader and make sure everything's still on, given recent trail conditions. Even if the trails are clear of snow, expect mud. Happy spring!