Kayaking on the Potomac
(Tue); Bob T.(703) 271-4190
We'll meet at Fletcher's Boat House (4940 Canal Rd NW, Washington, DC 20007; boatingindc.com) at 6 pm. If you are coming from Maryland be aware of one-way (outbound) driving on Canal Road during rush hour. No experience necessary. We will go out for about 1.5 hours. We will paddle up to Chain Bridge and back. Wildlife sightings may include great blue herons, cormorants, and little turtles. The cost is $16 an hour or $24 for an hour and half for a single kayak. A double kayak is $22 an hour. Canoes and paddle boards are also available. For those who may want to we can walk or drive up to MacArthur Blvd. for pizza afterwards. Rain date will be Wednesday, 6/26.
Greenbelt Park Hike
(Wed); David(240) 938-0375
Summer is a great time for a weekday respite from work or a chance for those who are unable to join Adventuring on our usual weekend excursions. It’s also a chance to visit one last time before Greenbelt Park closes for a 9-month repaving and construction project. Greenbelt Park is a forested enclave next to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and provides part of the ‘green belt’ around Washington, DC. The Park’s Perimeter Trail, which at times runs next to the busy Parkway, also meanders through seemingly tranquil wilderness, clocks a neat 5.3 miles. Tack on the additional mileage between the Metro station and the Park both coming and going, and you wind up with a healthy workout for the day.
This is a moderate 8-mile hike through forest trails and over undulating terrain with a cumulative elevation gain of less than 1000 feet, with a few occasional hills to give you an aerobic boost to an otherwise casual walk in the woods. The Sweetgum Picnic Area midway through our hike provides the perfect spot for lunch. Bring plenty of water, lunch, mud-worthy footwear, bug spray, sunscreen, and $2 for the trip fee. We will meet at 10 a.m. near the station attendant's kiosk at the bottom of the steps inside the College Park Metro Station.
IMPORTANT HIKE INFORMATION: Since this is a weekday hike, parking at the Metro is NOT free! Drivers have the option to meet us at the Park directly** for a shorter hike of 5.3 miles. Otherwise, drivers will need to make their own parking arrangements and meet us at the College Park Metro. You may consider going car-free and taking Metro, for the environment.
**We will enter the Park at its southwest corner near the intersection of Kenilworth Avenue and Good Luck Road. See map: https://www.nps.gov/gree/planyourvisit/maps.htm ( 38.972141, -76.902640 )
Hiking Picos de Europa Nat. Park in Spain
(Sat-Sat); Joe(202) 276-5521
This 8-day, 7-night trip is a revival of an Adventuring tradition of hosting longer, more ambitious excursions domestically or internationally. The trip features multiple days of hiking Picos de Europa National Park in northern Spain and finishes up with coastal hikes in the area known as Green Spain. All of the accommodations, hiking routes, and luggage transfers between hotels are arranged by a tour operator that specializes in self-guided walking and biking adventures. The tour is listed as $985 per person, including shared accommodations and some meals. Airfare is additional. The hikes range in distance from about 6 to 14 miles and up to about 2000 feet of elevation gain. The length of the longer hikes, the elevation gain, and the overall itinerary of hiking 7 days in a row put this trip in the very strenuous category. Tentative dates are June 29 to July 6 but may be adjusted to fit the schedules of interested hikers. Check out the website for the tour if you want to find out more: https://www.macsadventure.com/us/tour-2377/picos-de-europa-to-the-coast#. I can't do justice to these amazing hikes in this short trip description! Once we have a small group of interested folks who have RSVP'd, we can discuss dates and logistics in greater detail and hopefully have plans finalized by mid-March. RSVPs are requested by February 28.
Hiking Rock Creek Park, With Extra Hops
(Sun); Jeff(301) 775-9660
Join us for this moderately strenuous one-way 9.5-mile hike as we stroll through the northern section of Rock Creek Park, Nature’s Jewel in the heart of Our Nation's Capital. Setting forth from the Van Ness Metro Station, we’ll first saunter down Tilden Street to the reconstructed Peirce Mill in the heart of the Park (which is also near the site of Adventuring’s picnic on July 14 – that’s a plug). There we’ll connect with the Western Ridge trail, which we will follow through many ups and downs until we reach downtown Silver Spring. Highlights of the walk will include the Rock Creek Nature Center and the well-preserved remains of a Civil War fort. Once we reach the Silver Spring Metro Station, those who want to celebrate on this last day of Pride Month can walk with me an extra 0.3 miles for extra hops to vanquish our thirst and feed our bellies at the LGBTQ-owned Denizen’s Brewing Company. https://denizensbrewingco.com. There we can toast the 50th anniversary of Stonewall as well as rest our aching muscles. Please bring sunscreen, bug spray, a good pair of walking shoes, the $2 Adventuring fee, and any snacks you may want to consume on the way. Meet at the Van Ness Metro exit on the eastern side of Connecticut Avenue station at 9:30 a.m.
Independence Day Hike @ Great Falls (MD)
(Thu); Jeff(301) 775-9660
Join us for the 10th annual Independence Day Hike at Great Falls, MD. This tradition was inaugurated and sustained by Damon Miller, who passed away last year; we continue this tradition in his memory. We will carpool to historic Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center for an easy 5-mile hike along some of the scenic trails in the area, including a portion of the C & O Canal towpath. We will also conduct our annual Adventuring wildlife tally, seeing how many deer, geese, turtles, snakes, great blue heron and other species we can spy. Bring water, bug spray, sunscreen, lunch (we’ll eat at picnic tables after our hike) and about $4 for transportation and trip fees (one dollar bills appreciated). Meet at 11 a.m. at Tenleytown Metro in front of Panera Bread on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue, or at 11:45 a.m. in front of the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center at the end of MacArthur Boulevard (address is 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854). We should return to Tenleytown mid-afternoon. Beginners and newcomers are especially welcome; carpool drivers also needed in Tenleytown.
Camping in Two PA State Parks for July 4
(Thu-Sun); Thang(505) 459-9190
Let’s get away from the muggy metro area by camping, hiking, swimming, you name it, at two PA State Parks near Williamsport and Scranton for the Fourth of July Weekend: Ricketts Glen and Worlds End State Parks. Our adventure begins Thursday July 4th and extend through Sunday July 7th. (Campsite check in is July 4th 3pm.)
Our first hike will be Friday morning July 5th. We will have a chance to hike Pennsylvania’s pretty Loyalsock State Forest and enjoy the panoramic views of rivers, hills, and valleys clad in forest that seems to go on forever.
How can you top that? Well, the star attractions will actually be the 20+ stunning waterfalls at Ricketts Glen that make you wonder why this is not a National Park.
Both Ricketts Glen and Worlds End offer places to soak or swim in the afternoon after the hikes.
The hiking for this trip will be moderate to strenuous. Shorter hikes (< 10 miles on a single day) allow us to relax and enjoy the weekend.
This is a car camping trip. If you haven’t camped in a while or just want to explore the idea, this is a good trip for it. We will camp at Ricketts Glen SP and will not move camp. Bring your own tent/hammock (we share campsites) and prepare or bring your own food. However, there are a few eateries and wineries nearby that can make this trip a tad closer to glamping.
That brings up the point that heaven has a cost. And yours is estimated to be $4 Adventuring fee + $33 camping fee + a transportation fee (to the driver if you carpool, estimated to be around $40-$60 round trip). Please note that the actual cost will depend on how many people sign up and how many people there are in a car.
Once I know how many people are willing to drive and can take passengers, I will post in the comments section below to facilitate carpooling. But because people may elect to arrive at different times for the first night, please arrange your own transportation or carpool.
We have 2 campsites. Each will accommodate 3 small tents. Bring no bigger than a 1-2 person tent. It is a tight fit. So, I limit the total number of people to 6 at this time for this trip.
Please pay me the $33 estimated camping fee when you sign up. Send me a note. We can do it through venmo. If you cancel less than 2 weeks before the trip, you forfeit this deposit. Barring extreme weather, this trip will go on rain or shine.
Buck Hollow-Marys Rock-Buck Ridge Hike
(Sat); Jeff(301) 775-9660
Continue your Independence Day long weekend with this very strenuous semi-circuit hike, featuring one of the most wonderful views available in Shenandoah National Park. We will start on the Buck Hollow Trail at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Sperryville, VA. After a gentle rise, we will encounter a gorge and large boulders through which a stream flows. Somewhat steeper terrain ensues until we meet Skyline Drive. We continue climbing steadily until we reach the the Appalachian Trail at the crest. We'll follow the AT to Marys Rock, an exposed rock outcrop of granodiorite that is one billion years old (give or take a few weeks). Fabulous sweeping views will engulf us as we lunch. After retracing our path back to Skyline Drive, we will diverge from our upward path to take the Buck Ridge Trail, one of the steepest trails in the Park, back to our cars. This very strenuous 9-mile hike has 2500 feet of elevation gain, all in the first half of the trip (when it is coolest). There is an interesting stream crossing to negotiate at both the outset and the conclusion of our trek. Please bring along bug repellent, sunscreen, and at least three liters of water, along with lunch. Sturdy hiking boots are a must, and make sure your personal brakes (mainly your knees and ankles) are in good condition. Transportation and trip fees should run about $15. Because there is limited parking at the trailhead, we will be leaving from the East Falls Church Kiss & Ride lot at 8 a.m. sharp.
Adventuring Summer Picnic!
(Sun); Jeff Hughes301-775-9660
Rock Creek Park / Pierce Mill / Picnic Grove 1
Tilden St & Shoemaker St, Washington DC
10 am – 2 pm
Come to Adventuring’s Annual Summer Picnic! Enjoy food & fun among fellow Adventurers. Share stories of past trips and your ideas for new ones! A great place for newcomers to meet. Adventuring provides grilled hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, all the standard fixins, and chips & dips, water & ice. BYO soft drinks. No alcohol. $10 Adventuring picnic fee to offset expenses.
We need volunteers to help with the organization: the $10 Adventuring fee will be waived for the first three volunteers signed up to volunteer via Meetup by sending a message to email@example.com.
Location: Once again we’re right in the heart of Rock Creek Park at Picnic Grove #1, just off of Beach Drive and across the road from Pierce Mill.
Please RSVP by 3 pm on Wednesday, July 10 so that we know how many burgers & dogs to bring. RSVPs will be closed that evening. Send RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
10 am – 11:30: arrive with your dish:
Last names beginning with A-S, bring a side dish such as potato salad, baked beans, etc.
Last names beginning with T-Z, bring a dessert
No need to bring chips or dips (Adventuring will provide)
1:00 pm: Hike to Pulpit Rock, led by Craig Howell
• Driving/biking: enter ‘Rock Creek Park Site 001’ into Google Maps
• For those who prefer narrative directions:
From Connecticut Ave/Tilden Street: As soon as Tilden changes from a divided to undivided road, take a right into the parking lot
From Mt Pleasant/Park Road: After crossing the bridge over Rock Creek, pass Pierce Mill on your right, then turn left into the parking lot
Via Red Line: Once at either Van Ness or Cleveland Park station, it’s about a 20-minute hike to the grove using either Tilden Street or the Melvin Hazen Trail
C&O Canal Hike @ Snyders Landing
(Sat); David(240) 938-0375
Arguably one of the more scenic stretches of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, this segment at Synders Landing overlooks a horseshoe bend in the Potomac River on the border of Maryland and West Virginia. This section of the Canal outside of Sharpsburg, MD also features several caves where terrified residents took refuge during the nearby Battle of Antietam in September 1862.
Our moderate 10-mile hike starts on the Canal near Sharpsburg and follows the Canal south to Lock 38. We will then leave the Canal and enter into Shepherdstown, WV, located a short jump across the Potomac, for an exploration tour of the city. Shepherdstown's quaint architecture and small-town feel make it a distinctive destination. We’ll be sure to visit the “Little House” located here. This Little House is not the one of Laura Ingalls Wilder, nor any tiny house fame, but an actual miniature house built by Shepherd University, dating back to the late 1920s for child development and learning purposes. Afterwards, we can amble along the charming streets of Shepherdstown and eat a light afternoon snack/early dinner/frozen delight before retracing our steps along the C&O Canal.
Meet on the Kiss-and-Ride side of the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station near the pedestrian bridge entrance at 9 a.m. to form carpools. Bring water, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, spending money, and a change of clothes/shoes/socks (optional). Transportation and trip costs should be less than $15. We will make our usual Sheetz stop to pick up any lunch or snacks.
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!
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.
Trillium Hike (Jerry C.)
The day was sunny, breezy, and pleasant. Our group of 11 began the hike with a steady, gradual climb along a Virginia wildlife management area trail from Thompson Lake up to the Appalachian Trail (AT). That ascending trail had an amazing number of blown-down trees lying across it. We had to weave our way through branches and over or around tree trunks. Information on whether the trilliums are in bloom in this location always seems to be scarce, so I was relieved to see that they were. We started seeing them well before we hit the large concentrations along the AT. Also much in evidence was mayapple, rue anemone, and wild geranium. In marked contrast to the first trail, it was relatively smooth sailing along the AT, and I had a new-found appreciation for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club's maintenance of the trails under its stewardship, of which the AT is one. We encountered a number of people (and dogs) on the trails looking at the trilliums and other wildflowers or section- or through-hiking the AT. We had lunch just off the AT at the Manassas Gap shelter. Shortly afterwards we began our descent and finished up the hike with a stream crossing where some of us managed to keep our feet dry and others did not. The hike ended on a comical note when we realized that we did not have the key to the car that we had staged at the end of the hike. It was back in one of the cars we had left at the start of the hike! Philip, David, and Ajit were game for adding an additional 3.5 miles to the 8 miles they had just hiked by running down the road to where the other cars were parked, but a kind passing motorist they flagged down agreed to drive them there. All's well that ends well.
Maryland Heights Hike (Jeff)
Defying a threatening weather forecast, eight Adventurers proceeded with their plan to hike Maryland Heights and were rewarded with a beautiful spring day. Unlike previous sojourns up the mountain, all eight completed the entire route, trudging their way up to the top to survey the beautiful vista as well as the remains of a Civil War fort. After that, we hiked to the even more famous vista, which overlooks the restored 19th century Lower Town of Harpers Ferry. It turns out some peregrine falcons also like the view of the Lower Town and have decided to nest and raise chicks there. To protect them from us bothersome humans, the National Park Service has roped off part of the Overlook until August 15: Meaning no selfies while perched at the edge of the Overlook rocks, at least until August. After our hike, we retired to the new Harpers Ferry Brewery where we were all more than satisfied with the beers, the food, and the brewery’s own spectacular views of the Potomac beneath.
Bird Knob-Emerald Pond Hike (David; Joe)
Four determined hikers met at East Falls Church Metro on a Saturday morning despite the gloomy weather forecast. Given the high probability of rain at New Market, VA, the group decided to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail northward off of Route 7 at Snickers Gap near Bluemont, VA, instead of the scheduled Bird Knob hike. The roughly 9.5-mile circuit we chose provided nice views from Raven Rocks and a good workout on the roller coaster section of the AT. Luckily the rain didn't come until after the hike. On our way back we stopped at Hill High Orchard Marketplace in nearby Round Hill and shared a delicious blueberry pie and other assorted desserts.
Patuxent Research Refuge (North) Hike (David)
Mother Nature suddenly turned up the heat this weekend as she flirted with 90 degrees for the first time this year. Laughing at the dreaded 3H's, “Hazy, Hot, and Humid”, five Adventurers laced up our best mud-proof footwear, filled our water bottles and headed for Adventuring's first-ever outing to Patuxent Research Refuge, armed with healthy fruity snacks. We rambled nearly 8.5 miles on mostly dry trails, with just enough huge mud puddles to warrant a change of shoes at the end of the hike. Snakes slithered across the trail, butterflies, song birds, and falcons flew in and out of view, and a possible young eagle soared above as it chased away from a nest of a smaller bird. Birds of the metal variety dotted the sky in the wide-open meadow surrounding the serene Blue Heron Lake. After a steamy hot trek, we headed to the historic New Deal town of Greenbelt for a very filling Lebanese feast and a quick history tour of the central Roosevelt Center.
Northern Gettysburg Battlefield Hike (Craig)
Ten Adventurers and/or Chrysalians enjoyed what was probably one of the last days of gorgeous late spring weather before summer sets in. A Memorial Day Parade was about to begin as we arrived at the Gettysburg Hotel on the Diamond, so we changed our route to walk Baltimore Street last instead of first. Perhaps because of the parade, there were relatively few cars sharing the battlefield park roads with us as we marched to the foot of Culps Hill and then up and over both peaks, savoring numerous monuments en route. By the time we reached East Cemetery Hill, the parade was over, as one traffic marshal gratefully reported to us; he was tired of being blamed by drivers when he told them they couldn't get into town. We ended at the Diamond about 3.5 hours after we had left it. After many of us changed into fresh clothes, we had a great dinner with more-than-generous helpings at the Pub on the Diamond, where our waitress was singularly friendly and efficient. Traffic on the way home was remarkably light for the end of a holiday weekend.
Gambrill State Park (MD) Hike (Jerry C.)
Eleven of us hiked about eight miles along the Gambrill Park's Yellow Poplar Trail in about four hours. Elevation gain was around 1200 feet, if the tracking app on my smartphone is to be believed. There were mountain laurel in bloom, but it would be quite a stretch to say the trail we hiked was "bursting" with blooms, as apparently it had been in prior years. Why such a modest display this year, I wondered? Other things you couldn't help but notice were lovely expanses of ferns and, unfortunately, invasive Japanese stiltgrass spreading like wildfire through the Park. When we came upon a forlorn American Chestnut sprouting from a stump I took a moment to talk about the history of this magnificent tree that once dominated Eastern forests but was destroyed by an exotic fungus brought into the US in the early 20th century. A few miles later Peter noticed an American Chestnut that had managed to attain a height of 30-40 feet, an uncommon sight in our part of the country nowadays. There are groups working hard to try to restore a healthy American Chestnut to eastern US forests, but whether they will succeed remains to be seen.
Patuxent Research Refuge Hike Part II (David)
Four human and three canine Adventurers meandered at a slow stroll around the two lakes of the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge. Early summer in full swing meant milk thistle, water lilies, and blueberry bushes were dressed for the season. Dragonflies, bullfrogs and other wildlife kept their distance from our human and canine pack containing some 20 legs. With the thunderstorms knocking on the horizon to the west, our hike ended just prior to the first drizzle and thunder roar. A trip to the gift shop turned up some unique holiday presents for aspiring young Adventurers.
C&O Canal Hike @ Ft. Frederick-Big Pool (Craig)
It never did clear up or warm up as much as had been forecast, so eight Adventurers got the benefit of an unseasonably mild late spring day as we strolled along the C&O Canal south of Hancock, MD. The mile-long Big Pool was quite impressive, with several boatloads of fisherpeople attesting to its continuing vitality; but why all that water hasn't simply drained away after a century without replenishment from the Potomac River remains a mystery. The sun burst out briefly while we lunched atop the Licking Creek Aqueduct. Our search for a connection between the Canal and the parallel Western Maryland Railroad Trail was in vain, so we returned on the Canal towpath to our starting point at Fort Frederick State Park. Our tour of the reconstructed fort from the French & Indian War was enhanced by the enthusiasm of the several re-enactors/interpreters on site. We ended our day with dinner at Buddy Lou's in Hancock, where our scrumptious meals almost made us overlook the uncharacteristic sloppiness of the service.
Waterfall-Stony Man-Ice Cream Hike (Joe; Jeff)
Although the forecast had threatened rain, nine Adventurers enjoyed nothing but partly sunny skies and refreshing breezes on our hike to the upper falls of Whiteoak Canyon and the Stony Man overlooks. From the outset, we encountered very few other hikers, considering the normal popularity of these trails. Accordingly, we had the falls overlook virtually to ourselves, where we spread out for lunch and took in the spectacular view. With the possibility of rain in mind, we were soon back in action, this time on the Skyland-Big Meadows horse trail, which we followed back to Skyline Drive and the second portion of our hike. With similarly quiet trails, we made our way to our first overlook at Little Stony Man and eventually to the overlook at the peak of Stony Man itself. The humidity was increasing by this point, but strong winds at both overlooks kept us refreshed. We concluded with a stop at Skyland, where most of us partook of blackberry ice cream or cobbler. Another great day in Shenandoah!
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.