This weekend’s spell of nice weather prompted this post about an area hike. As I discussed a long while back, going hiking is one of our favorite ways to seize the day outdoors. It’s important to my husband and me that our city kids get a regular dose of nature, plus walks in the woods always make for great family outings. They’re such an easy, peaceful, fun, and active way to spend time together — in a pretty outdoor setting.
Turkey Run Park is a great option for hiking with kids. Located right off the GW Parkway near 495, it contains nearly 700 acres of woods, trails that ramble along the Potomac, streams that flow down from the woods to the river, great views from the shoreline, and a variety of wildlife.
Hikes are fairly easy, and you can opt for trails anywhere from about one to four miles long. We usually start from Parking Lot C, taking the “stairs” down to the river before walking along the banks for awhile then back up through the woods on a trail that leads back to the lot, about a 3-mile tramp altogether. There are clusters of big rocks on the riverbanks where it’s nice to stop and take in the views (or have a picnic if you’re so inclined). There are sometimes fallen trees to scramble over or walk upon and a few small footbridges to cross over streams. Birds and squirrels are easy to spy, and we always keep our eyes peeled for deer.
A few picnic areas with tables are perfect for lunch al fresco, and there’s also some open space to toss a Frisbee or kick a ball around.
Turkey Run Park is accessible via the GW Parkway, right before the Beltway. Hours are 6am -10pm. There is no admission fee. For more information and details about trails, The Natural Capital has a nice post about Turkey Run.