Excursion: History Hike @ Washington DC Monuments

Patrol Over D.C.
Washington monuments along the National Mall in DC (Photo by Coast Guard News)

People go hiking for different reasons. It can be to explore a new location, exercise, spend some quality time outside, or even as part of a gastronomic day out as in the case of our Excursion: Happy Hour Brewery Hike. That 4.1-mile hike featured stops at 3 different brewing companies in Washington: Hellbender, 3 Stars, and Denizens, and was the perfect combination of exercise and relaxation.

Now, we present to you another hiking suggestion, and it does not involve booze this time (feel free to stop at any establishment though). There will, however, be plenty of history along the way. And what better time to hike DC than the Independence Day holiday?

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Stars and Bars: Happy Hour Hike @ DC Breweries

3-Stars3 Stars Brewing Company tasting flight

Beer. Let’s get some local suds.

Last year, we did an evening DC brewery hike heading north from Fort Totten Metro Station and ending in Silver Spring.

With expanded hours for many of the DC breweries and the new Right Proper Production House in Brookland, we now tried a hike heading south from Takoma Metro Station.

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Excursion: Capital Hiking Club @ Dellinger Gap, WV — 6/20/15

Dellinger Gap to Trout Pond
Hiking with Capital Hiking Club

I’ve done many hikes over the years with Capital Hiking Club. With over 20 hikes since 2009 to choose from, none were more interesting than the one on June 20, 2015.

Capital Hiking Club has been organizing hikes for 77 years. Every Saturday, regardless of season or weather, they host a hike, most often in Virginia or Maryland. You catch the bus in DC (or designated Metro stops in VA or MD), ride to the hike location, trek one of the two trail options, drink beer and eat snacks at the end, and drive back. It’s a good way to meet people and a great option to explore the surrounding area if you don’t have a car.

Within the last couple years, they moved their sign-ups to Meetup.com, to make the process more efficient and easier to manage for the hike organizers.

I highly recommend checking it out if you like to hike.

Capital Hiking Club
Virginia, Maryland and DC
Saturday (Weekly)
8:00am (bus pick-up in DC)
$25 members ($28 non-members)

 

Trip Report – Dellinger Gap to Trout Pond Recreation Area, West Virginia — 6/20/15

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Excursion: The Sierra Club’s Annual One Day Hike — 4/25/15

2015 One Day Hike
Enjoying the 2015 One Day Hike

50 kilometers. Or 100 kilometers. Take your pick.

The 42nd One Day Hike (ODH) along the C&O Canal Towpath took place on Saturday, April 25th.

The 100K hikers start in Georgetown at 3am, while the 50K hikers start in White’s Ferry, Maryland at 10am. Both groups end in Bolivar, West Virginia (just up the hill from Harper’s Ferry) at the community center.

This was my 4th time participating in the 50K hike. By all accounts it was my fastest time yet, shaving 30+ minutes off of 2014’s time.

Yet the One Day Hike is not a race. It’s not meant to be competitive. Some people treat it that way, but many are happy to enjoy the scenery along the Potomac River and finish with minimal blisters and soreness.

I’ve found the ODH to be one of the most well-organized and well-supported walking or racing events in the DC area. In no small part to the volunteers that plan it, manage it and those volunteers that come out early and stay late to prepare food and drinks, give medical aid and patrol along the trail between support stations to help and give encouragement. ODH co-chair and volunteer coordinator, Mike Darzi, is at the forefront of this successfully run event, communicating with participants and sorting out the details each year.

ODH Sign

 

Diana Partridge, first-time hiking the 50K, “The hike was beautiful and very well-organized. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’m excited to try the 100k next year.”

Each support station (four stations for the 50K; seven for the 100K) is a veritable feast of snacks, sandwiches, soup, coffee, Gatorade, fruit, candy and more. I like the popcorn and the trail mix with M&Ms. And blue Gatorade is possibly the most delicious liquid after 20 miles of walking. Then, for the finishers at the Bolivar Community Center, there is chili (turkey and veggie), salads, sodas and pizza. I probably eat better on this hike than on most days.

The support stations also feature a medical tent where volunteers give aid to the hikers, including foot care for any pesky blisters.

Mike O’Brien, first-time medical volunteer, “I was happy to volunteer and was encouraged to see the people who I had treated at the half-way mark of the 100K, finish. Next year I’m going to join the hike.”

Once you’ve finished the hike, some people take the shuttle bus back to the Shady Grove Metro stop. But you’re tired by then, and more travel is the last thing you need. The best option is to stay in Bolivar or Harper’s Ferry at a hostel or hotel and then catch the (only) train back to DC the next morning after breakfast.

A worthy event to consider for next year!

 

The Sierra Club’s One Day Hike
Registration is usually at the beginning of February and the hike takes place the last weekend in April.
$50 for either the 50K or 100K

 

Results and Tips

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Excursion: Happy Hour Brewery Hike

Hellbender Brewing Company
Hellbender Brewing Company

It’s Thursday, your workday is almost over, you’re bored with the normal happy hour spots, and you want to get some exercise but don’t feel like going to the gym.

Consider something completely different.

Why not check out some of your local breweries on foot?

Skip the car and the bikes. Strap on your walking shoes and visit Hellbender, 3 Stars and Denizens all in a few hours.

Since DC breweries can now sell full pints and beer flights in the evenings (expanding from the traditional growler hours they operated on the weekends), many have opened their doors for a few hours on Thursday and Friday evenings.

Most are located in the Northeast quadrant, and are not easily accessible without a car. Easy fix. Walk. Besides, drinking and driving is never a good idea…

Here is one hike you can consider, completed successfully on April 9, 2015.

What: Happy Hour Brewery Hike
Days to try: Thursday or Friday evening
Breweries to visit: 3
Distance: 4.1 miles
Time walking: 1 hour 30 minutes

Itinerary:
Start: Fort Totten Metro (between 5:00 and 6:00pm)
1st Brewery: Hellbender Brewing Company (Hours: TH/FRI 4:00-8:00pm)
2nd Brewery: 3 Stars Brewing Company (Hours: TH/FRI 4:00-8:00pm)
3rd Brewery: Denizens Brewing Company (Hours: TH/FRI 4:00-11:00pm)
Depart: Silver Springs Metro

 

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Don’t Miss: The First Mappy Hour in DC for Outdoor Enthusiasts @ Penn Social, 1/29/15

DSC06107

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Do you wish you were hiking at this very moment?

Do you like to pour over maps and plan hikes and adventures?

Would to you like to find others in DC with the same passion for the outdoors?

Come check out the first ‘Mappy Hour’, hosted by OutdoorFest, on Thursday, January 29th at Penn Social.

OutdoorFest is a community of outdoor enthusiasts formed in New York City.

Since early 2014, OutdoorFest has hosted monthly Mappy Hours in New York for ‘outdoor enthusiasts to come together and share their passion for adventure, offer insider info on trip locations, trade books/maps, and be inspired’.

Now they are expanding Mappy Hour to DC.

 

Sarah Knapp, founder of OutdoorFest, explains:

ParkLife DC: Do you envision this being a monthly event like New York?

Sarah: “Absolutely, one of the most important factors to the success of Mappy Hour in NYC is it’s consistency. We’re not looking to just educate or entertain but also create a long term outdoor enthusiast community.”

ParkLife DC: Is someone from your team coming to DC to host this or is someone volunteering from DC?

Sarah: “While I will be traveling to DC for the first Mappy Hour – the real organization is coming from Jesi and Lauren – both DC area based. They both reached out to me because they heard about Mappy Hour NYC and were interested in bringing it to DC. Without either of them this wouldn’t be happening.”

 

Register for the first Mappy Hour here.

Mappy Hour in DC
Penn Social
Thursday, January 29
6pm
Free (bring maps and an adventurous spirit)
21+