Bringing in the new year with bubble tricks at Noon Yards via Phil
We made it. Now, we welcome 2017 and close the door on 2016 (and then lock that door so it can never open again - just kidding)! But first things first, have you renewed your membership to #DCOutdoors yet? There's no membership dues and it's as simple as get.outside.today.
If you are looking to sign-up for a team sport or learn a new skill, check out the really great offerings from DC DPR. They've got a ton of winter options from adult sports, health and fitness training, therapeutic services, to a variety of urban gardening classes!
Got big outdoor aspirations like climbing a 14er, but need some advice from people who have been there and done that? Check out REI's outdoor school offerings.
Finally, PSA - we are likely to have snow showers tonight, and the temp is dipping into the teens this weekend. We may even see up to an inch of snow! Now tell me, how much snow do I need before I can make DC-sized snowman hmm? #SnowDay
PLACES TO EXPLORE
Photo by the Pinehurst Project, a group of community activists working to clean-up and maintain the park!
Pinehurst Branch Trail
Zigzagging through the woods, across a stream, over a road, and by a dam, lies Pinehurst Branch Trail. It's an excellent short trail that is meant for everyone, from trail runners, urban explorers, dog walkers, to farmers. Like many things in DC, this trail is old, it's been around since at least 1732. Back then, it was used by farmers as an access road found off of Western Ave. And what's in it for us today? The trail serves as a connection for the upper NW DC to the "wild northern" Rock Creek Park. What makes it so attractive is that you can leave the city behind and instantly plunge yourself right into the woods, under a rich canopy of trees. From Western Ave, have fun criss crossing over the streams several times, don't worry there are bridges! There on, the trail gets more leisurely with ferns along the sides before the often-confusing junction with Western Ridge Trail.
Photo of runners on the Potomac Heritage Trail completing a 50k race via VHTRC
Potomac Heritage Trail
I love a good cold weather hiking session, and the section of the Potomac Heritage Trail running from Roosevelt Island’s parking lot up to Chain Bridge is just wonderful in the wintertime. The section is about 4 miles one-way, and features both rocky and flat terrains. For the first mile, the trail runs pretty close to the parkway, but once you're in the shaded woods, you can barely hear traffic. The scenery in winter is terrific - on DC's side, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the Key Bridge, Georgetown University campus, and Potomac River's sandy shore. On Virginia's side, you are greeted by several small waterfalls (frozen in time, if you're lucky) and running streams joining the larger river. My favorite part of the trail is a "beach" section where things get rocky, but where it's perfect to practice the art of rock hopping. And get ready for a steep climb close to Chain Bridge - the bird-eye view at the top of the cliff is so worth it.
OUTDOOR EVENTS (ALWAYS FREE)
THURSDAY JAN. 5 | 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Q&A on Section Hiking Appalachian Trail @ REI NOMA
Join Rock Creek Conservancy, and the National Park Service in celebrating Pre-MLK Weekend of Service by volunteering to help remove invasive plants from the trees and the ground in the eastern section of Melvin Hazen Park, a section of Rock Creek Park. Volunteers will meet at the end of Quebec Street NW, at approximately 2801 Quebec St, where a social trail begins. This site is Metro accessible through the Cleveland Park Metro Stop. Bring long pants and shirts with sleeves to prevent contact with poison ivy. Bring water. Tools and gloves will be provided. Students can earn SSL hours, but please bring form.
SUNDAY JAN. 8 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Chi Running Form Clinic @ FLEET FEET ADAMS MORGAN
What is Chi Running? ChiRunning is a form of running influenced by t'ai chi. It has been described as a "quasi-yoga-based style of running that is purported to reduce injury risk. Check it for yourself this Sunday with FLEET FEET's Chi Running Form Clinic with Lloyd Henry.