Are you ever tired of concrete surroundings? Do you enjoy getting in touch with nature but feel disconnected? The great outdoors of the Shenandoah Valley, Appalachian Mountains, and Potomac riverside are calling, and you must go!
Nature can feel like a far-away concept when you’re constantly surrounded by the sounds of a metro station and walking in the shadows of a D.C. Highrise. In reality, the D.C. area is surrounded on all sides by some of the most breathtaking state and national parks that provide all levels of hiking, biking, and rock-climbing opportunities.
If you’re an avid hiker looking for The View, McAfee Knob is a challenging, 8-mile round-trip hike up to the top of Catawba Mountain in Virginia. A highlight of the Appalachian Trail, McAfee Knob provides a stunning 270-degree panoramic view of the valley below. USA Today called it one of the most spectacular hikes in the U.S.
If you’re more in the mood for a nice, moderate hike, the Annapolis Rock Trail is the one for you. A 2.5 mile in and out, the trail leads to exciting boulder edges perfect for a snack at the top. This is also a prime spot to see plumes of fall foliage! The Billy Goat Trail and Great Falls Overlook Trail are also great options in the moderate category and bring you up close and personal with the Potomac River.
For easiest accessibility, check out the Mount Vernon Hiking and Biking trail! Running all the way from Theodore Roosevelt Island to Mount Vernon, the 18-mile hike or bike ride is a paved trail full of beautiful views and places to rest and takes you right up to the front door of George Washington’s Estate. Be sure to plan a whole day for this adventure and drink plenty of water. In addition, many people use smaller sections of the trail to go for a walk, take a family bike ride, or visit Theodore Roosevelt Island.
While it’s important to experience the city in all of its glory, a little fresh air and a nice hike is a great way to refresh and relax. There are so many ways to experience nature, even when you live in D.C.! Take the time to get outside and experience all that nature has to offer.
Office of Congressman Filemon Vela
Washington, D.C. | Fall 2021