Went for a hike along the Potomac Heritage Trail (PHT), specifically the 10-mile segment along the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP)in Fairfax and Arlington Counties, Virgina, and the District of Columbia. I went with my friend Katherine and my nephew Jaden. tomhundleyrn
was going to come, but he got in really late at night/early in the morning, and i could not rouse him any of the three times i tried. It turned out to be a good thing that he was not with us, about which more as we go along.
So, of the The Potomac Heritage Trail
, we hiked the 10-mile portion from the Western trail head at the end of Live Oak Dr
in Mclean, VA to the Eastern end at the parking lot for Roosevelt Island
in Washington, DC. We waded in the Potomac, in Maryland at one point along the way. This bit of trail is maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
. For reference, Chain Bridge
is the approximate mid-point for our hike.
I picked up Jaden, hit Trader Joes for some drink and food, then met Katherine at her home in Arlington. From there, we drove in separate cars to Roosevelt Island, where i left mine, and we both got in her car, and we all went to Live Oak Dr and the trail head, which was clearly marked and easy to find. We got out of the car, applied insecticide and sunscreen, read the sign, which indicated 10 miles to Roosevelt Island, and Jaden led the way down the steep, long, winding, wooden staircase to the river. The time at start is about 1300 Eastern Daylight Time. (GMT-4)
The greenery was lush, as it is wont to be here in late August. The trail had light blue-to-slightly-greenish blazes, due to a lights blue having been painted over yellow. We walked along, through the pretty greenery, along the river for a ways. As we were going, i explained that there were toilets available at Turkey Run
and probably Fort Marcy
, and at the end, and we planned to stop at Turkey Run to eat. ( This got long, so... Turkey Run and paw-paws )( Turkey Run to Fort Marcy )( On to VA 123 and Chain Bridge )
We walk on, past several bridges, each time telling Jaden, no that's not Chain Bridge, that's just a Parkway bridge. Chain Bridge crosses the Potomac. We finally reach the parking area next to Chain Bridge, and i point up, announcing "Look up. THAT's Chain Bridge, and give a brief history of bridges on this site. Sign there said we have 4.7 miles to go. Four point seven miles that start with a big hill, and a series of such hills yet again, but breathtaking views of Chain Bridge and the Palisades along the way. The trail eventually put us on concrete under a Parkway bridge. I think this was where Spout Run Parway
hits the GWMP. Surprisingly steep under the bridge. Katherine and i took it in 3 segments, with short pauses along the way. We got up there, and it was levelish for a while before more steep downs and ups. Time now is about 1800 EDT (GMT-4).
This bit of the hike was accompanied by nice views of Sibley Memorial Hospital
and the building at the Dalecarlia Reservoir
in DC.( The home stretch )
In that last bit, we'd past a sign saying "Roosevelt Island 1.7 miles". As we went along, Jaden kept stating that we had to've gone that far. We kept countering that a mile is farther than he imagines, and this is harder than walking down a road. Heh.
We took Katherine back to her car, stopped at a 7-Eleven in Annandale and got more to drink, got carryout from Canton Cafe
in Springfield, and ate it at Jaden's house a bit down 95 from there. Had thought of crashing at my sister's, but wanted my bed and some ibuprofen. :)
So, a long, long arduous hike. I'd like to do it again next July, knowing what we're getting into this time.
I also propose the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail
for Saturday 10 September. I've done the the part from B to C on the map, which takes about 1.5 hours. I propose starting at A or B and going to D or E. Any takers? It's a MUCH easier trail than the PHT is. By far.