Lorton Prison-Occoquan Hike
(Sat); Theresa(252) 876-1469
Lorton Prison in southernmost Fairfax County, the long-time notorious prison for the District of Columbia, closed in 2001, and now the sprawling site is being extensively redeveloped. Much history can still be seen, though, so come see what remains of Lorton Prison before it is too late. This approximate 8-mile hike will begin where some of the development has begun, near Giles Meadow, where we can explore the area that used to house maximum security prisoners. Next, we will continue to the Giles Meadow trail that includes one stream crossing and some easy to moderate hills. Eventually we'll wend our way to the old slaughterhouse used by prisoners for butchering animals, as the prison was also a working farm. We will then head to the small and historic town of Occoquan on the opposite shore of its eponymous river. Here we will enjoy lunch and wander through the "downtown" district peppered with small restaurants, coffee shops, gift shops and more. As we head back across the Occoquan, we will stop at the Workhouse Arts Center where there is a prison museum, and rest rooms if needed. The museum contains much information about suffragists like Alice Paul and Lucy Burns and their hunger strikes while they were housed there in 1917, as well as other fascinating exhibits. We will end our stroll at our starting point at Giles Meadow and say our goodbyes. Meet inside the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station at 10 a.m. near the station manager’s kiosk. Bring beverages, a snack, a few dollars for transportation and trip fees, and either your own lunch or money to purchase one in Occoquan.
Great Falls (MD) Hike--NEW DATE
(Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
(Postponed from New Years Day because of the extreme cold.) After rendezvousing at the historic Great Falls Tavern, we'll head downstream a short distance to the Falls Overlook. We'll then stretch our legs on the Gold Mine Loop before finishing back in the Tavern area, where we'll lunch in the picnic area. Total length of our easy hike should not exceed 5 miles, over rolling and possibly muddy or icy terrain. Bring beverages, lunch, and a few bucks for fees. Either meet to form carpools at 11 a.m. by the Tenleytown Metro Station (top of escalators on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue) or at 11:45 by the Great Falls Tavern at the end of MacArthur Boulevard.
Catoctin Mountain Hike-NEW DATE
(Sat); Jackson(410) 422-9257
Distance: 11 miles
Elevation gain: 2000 feet
(Postponed from January 6.) Just an hour's drive north of DC, Catoctin Mountain Park offers multiple scenic views of the surrounding Maryland countryside and towns throughout the hike. We will first visit Cunningham Falls, then head up towards Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock, both of which offers remarkable views. After that, we will hop over to the neighboring state park for Cat Rock to round off our hike. We'll meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station to form carpools. On the way home, we may stop for dinner.
• What to bring
Bring sufficient water, warm layers, lunch, sturdy footwear, and about $10 for transportation and trip fees. Given the potentially icy conditions on the trail, bringing a set of microspikes is strongly recommended. The regular Sheetz stop will provide the opportunity to purchase your favorite snack or sandwich.
Seminary Ridge-Pickett's Charge Hike
(Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
"It's a perfect time of year/Someplace far away from here." But also it's a great time of year to hike the Gettysburg battlefield as we revive an old dead-of-winter tradition for Adventuring. There are a couple of new things to see and new trails to explore along Seminary Ridge, the scene of some critical struggles during the battle's First Day (July 1, 1863), so this will be where we spend much of the day. First we'll see the freshly-reclaimed landscape around Lee's Headquarters next to the Chambersburg Road. Then we'll move a little to the south to visit the new Seminary Ridge Museum, whose storied cupola served as a great observation point for both sides (at different times) and where the Confederates scored a smashing breakthrough to rout the Yankees off the ridge late on July 1. Then we'll walk further south along Seminary Ridge along what would be established as the Confederate lines to the Virginia Monument. Here we'll begin our own re-creation of the world-famous Pickett's Charge, whose epic failure crushed Rebel hopes on the battle's Third Day. Unlike Pickett and Company, our Adventuring forces will continue through Union lines and find our cars parked along Cemetery Ridge. Total length of this moderate one-way hike with little elevation change should not exceed five miles. Unless we have an unusually warm day, we'll have lunch inside a toasty fast-food establishment before beginning our trek. We'll carpool at 9:30 a.m. from the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station. Bring beverages, a snack, boots capable of handling muddy and/or icy ground, lunch money, about $10 for transportation and trip fees, and $9 for admission to the Seminary Ridge Museum ($7 for seniors).
Potomac Heritage Trail & C&O Canal Hike
(Sat); Jerry C.(571) 241-3787
You can't beat this 9-mile hike for great scenery and ease of access. From the Rosslyn Metro station we'll walk to the Potomac Heritage trailhead near Roosevelt Island. We'll follow the trail along the south side of the Potomac, cross the river at Chain Bridge and then take the C&O Canal Towpath to Georgetown. From Georgetown we cross Key Bridge to return to the Rosslyn Metro station. There are some challenging sections of the hike, such as a scramble over rocks after Donaldson Run and a few steep ascents and descents, but the towpath portion of the hike couldn't be easier. If you care to you can read a very detailed description of this hike with photos on pages 4-5 of the PATC's January 2011 newsletter by clicking on the "January 2011" PDF link on this web page: http://www.patc.net/PublicView/Custom/Newsletter/PA-2011/January_2011.aspx
If you're coming to Rosslyn by car be prepared to park your car in a garage since there is no unmetered, on-street parking nearby. Bring water and a snack or lunch. The only cost will be the usual $2 trip fee. Meet near the bottom of the steps leading from Fort Myer Drive into the Metro station at 10 AM.
Team DC Promotes LGBT Sports in DC Area
Team DC is a charitable organization providing information on the many LGBT sports and recreation groups in the Washington DC area, educating the LGBT community on the benefits of individual and team sports participation, and working within the broader community to dispel discrimination against LGBT people participating in sports. You can subscribe to their Sportsgram or find out more about LGBT sports and recreation in the DC area by visiting the Team DC website: teamdc.org
Pick the Place—Set the Pace—Be the Face
Have you ever wanted to be the one who decides where Adventuring goes? Have you ever thought, “I would like to set the pace?” Have you thought, “More people like me should be on this trip.” Become a Trip Leader, and you can pick the place, set the pace AND be the new face of Adventuring!
Adventuring’s volunteer Trip Leaders hone leadership skills while having fun with friends. Trip Leaders share practical tips with each other while serving Adventuring’s unique mission—opening up the Great Outdoors to the LGBT community!
Becoming a Trip Leader is easy and free. Contact the Program Coordinator in your area of interest listed at http://www.adventuring.org/about.htm , or simply contact any one on our Program Coordinators (either Woods Coordinator or Other Coordinator) listed at http://www.adventuring.org/about.htm.
Adventuring will pair you with a current Trip Leader with similar interests, and the two of you will plan and conduct your first Adventure together. Once you are comfortable with the process—then you get to pick the place, set the pace and be the new face of Adventuring!
New Partnership with REI
Adventuring – LGBT Outdoors Club announced their decision to partner with recreational retailer REI for some joint special activities throughout 2016. Adventuring and REI kicked off their new partnership during the week after Capital Pride 2016 in Washington, DC with two great adventures right here in our Nation’s Capital. The DC BYOBike Tour was held on Wednesday, June 15th and the DC Monuments Sunset Kayak Tour was held on Friday, June 17th. More details and photos can be found on the Adventuring.org website or our Meetup and Facebook pages. Adventuring also held a Summer Happy Hour at the REI Community Space at Wunder Garden on Thursday, August 18th. We look forward to holding more of these co-promoted events in the future.
Adventuring continues it's partnership with the Capital Climbers (LGBT rock climbing group) http://www.capitalclimbers.com/ that began in 2015. One of the highlights of this partnership is the annual Big Meadows/Meteor Shower Weekend held in Shenandoah National Park in early August. The Capital Climbers reserve campground spaces while Adventuring reserves a block of rooms at Big Meadows Lodge which members from each group are welcome to stay at either location. Adventuring plans two days of hiking along the SNP trails while the Capital Climbers set out to scramble the face of Stony Man summit. In the evening they come together at the lodge for drinks at the Tap Room, dinner in the dining room and a late night hike to the meadows to view the annual Perseid meteor shower.
Greenbelt Park Hike (Jackson)
Fourteen Adventurers descended onto a small National Park tucked away in the northeast corner of the greater DC area. As we tramped through the Perimeter Trail in Greenbelt Park, what had been a wet and cold morning quickly melted into one lovely spring-like day. While we were basking in the sun at the park's picnic area, lunch was an affair unexpectedly enjoyable for a winter day outdoors. With a completion time of a respectable four hours, Greenbelt Park is an excellent great candidate for short hikes: a healthy distance of 7.9 miles, and an elevation gain of negligible.
Prince William Forest Park Hike (Jackson)
Breaking a fortnight-long streak of miserably cold and wet weather, today evolved into a refreshingly warm and sunny day for ten Adventurers (plus one canine) exploring Prince William Forest Park. The trails were almost devoid of people despite being well maintained, complete with the luxury of bridges over every single stream crossing. Obviously designed to handle large summer crowds, we took advantage of the winter solitude to enjoy the remnants of the previous day's snowfall, the partially frozen streams, and mighty waterfalls. The 10-mile hike was completed with relative ease and, after battling horrendous traffic on I-95N, we wound up in Eden Center just around the corner from East Falls Church Metro Station for a winter-prefect, piping hot dinner.
Sugarloaf Winter Solstice Poetry Hike (Jeff; Chris)
How do you celebrate the Winter Solstice? Some go naked and beat drums. Some set fires and chant. Some follow the star in the East. For Adventuring, the tradition has been to climb our local monadnock, Sugarloaf Mountain, and, when we reach the White Rocks promontory, to recite poetry to mark the passing of the seasons. Chris Craig founded this wonderful tradition and this time led ten other Adventurers for its 20th anniversary. We heard selections from Adrienne Rich, Robert Frost, Rainer Maria Rilke, and the ever-popular Anonymous. We were also treated to a selection written by the 17th century Indian poet Vemana and recited in the original language of Telugu. After all our work on the mountain, we can say for certain that the darkness will start receding and the sun will soon be shining longer. Happy Solstice!
The Great Cookie Hike on Boxing Day (Craig)
Pooh-poohing predictions of a blustery and bitterly cold Boxing Day, eight Adventurers were rewarded with what turned out to be a sunny and seasonably pleasant day, with little if any wind to contend with. We didn't have too much company on the Capital Crescent Trail, with seemingly more joggers and cyclists than fellow hikers. Cookies and chocolates were more than abundant at our lunch stop near the DC/MD line, and were passed around once more after our restroom break at Fletcher's Boathouse by the Potomac. Once finished the Capital Crescent Trail, most of us wandered through some back alleys of Georgetown on our way to warm up with refreshments at the original Clyde's on M Street. Our stroll for the day was tracked at 8.5 miles, good exercise all around.
Whiteoak Canyon-Hawksbill-Cedar Run Hike (Jeff )
The idea was to end 2017 with a bang by doing a difficult hike in a particularly beautiful setting: Whiteoak Canyon, the land of waterfalls, cascades, and breathtaking vistas in the heart of Shenandoah National Park. Mother Nature decided to provide an even more spectacular finish to the year by closing with days of freezing cold weather that resulted in a Whiteoak that was stunningly white with snow and ice. So instead of simply experiencing waterfalls, we experienced falling water breaking through the ice. Instead of simple rock formations, we saw them covered with massive icicles. Of course, the ice didn’t confine itself to the waterfalls and rocks. Most of the trails were also covered with ice, so the already steep ascent and descent became an even more strenuous undertaking; however, five veteran Adventurers were more than up for the challenge. Despite a few slips and falls, we ended the hike tired but also energized by all the magnificent natural wonders we had experienced. In the earlier days of Adventuring, this particular undertaking was called the “Ice Hike.” We were happy to add our fin-de-2017 endeavor to this slightly insane tradition.
Mini-Ice Hike: Great Falls (MD) (Jeff)
The Great Falls of the Potomac is one of the most outstanding natural wonders of the DC area. So are the views of the Potomac River from the Billy Goat A trail on the Maryland side. That is why Adventuring goes back to visit these scenes again and again. Whether it’s summer, winter, spring, or fall, the unique splendor of the setting can always fill the visitor with awe. So to start 2018, seven Adventurers made the pilgrimage and were not disappointed. The wonderment this time centered on the icy majesty of the river, the rocks, and the falls after two weeks of freezing temperatures. We bundled up. We stepped carefully. And we climbed up and down the many icy rocks of the Billy Goat trail. Though our trek was only 4 miles long, we felt we got an excellent workout. More importantly, we got to enjoy a spectacular slice of nature in all its frozen glory.
Greenbelt Park Revisited Hike (Jackson)
Beneath a clear blue sky, over a crunchy ground, and amidst an Arctic breeze, four Adventurers braved the depths of winter for a Sunday morning workout in Greenbelt Park. Within the woods, the winds were pleasantly subdued and the bare branches did not inhibit the sun. The trail was surprising dry despite the rain and freezing temperatures in the prior days. The hike was an enjoyable affair, with encounters of many streams with varying degrees of freezing and even a frozen waterfall (of some sort. With a respectable pace, the 8-mile trek was completed in less than 3 hours, for a wonderful dose of winter morning exercise.
ADVENTURING COMMITTEE CONTACTS
These are the people who are chosen by the Trip
Leaders to make Adventuring's activities tick. Please
call them if you have any ideas, questions about our
events, hikes, rides and splashes, or if you want to
volunteer your skills.