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(Photo: Susan A. Roth)
Please Note: This tour has a rescheduled date due to weather (originally Sept. 30, 2016).
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of our National Park System with a daylong guided visit to D.C.’s own contribution to that spectacular natural collection: Rock Creek Park.
Local natural historian Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a tour of the wondrous sights, both manmade and natural, in the park. Local experts and historians join the tour along the way to provide historical context and comment on some of the park’s natural highlights.
The tour includes walks through diverse terrain. Trails can be muddy, please wear appropriate ‘off-roading’ shoes and layers of comfortable clothing. Bring binoculars if you wish.
9:45 a.m. Thompson’s Boat House
It sits where Rock Creek meets the Potomac River, at mile marker 0 on the C&O canal.
10:15 a.m. Peirce Mill
Meet local historian Steve Dryden, who interprets this 19th-century mill, the remains of the historic orchard, and the fish ladder installed for spawning shad.
11:15 a.m. Blagden Mill and Pulpit Rock
Before crossing the aptly named Boulder Bridge, see Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite spot for his “scrambles.”
11:45 a.m. Rapids Bridge Nature Walk
Flood plain trees and plants, and the lovely Rapids Bridge footbridge.
12:15 p.m. Glover Road Tree Walk on Western Ridge Trail
Flood plain vegetation gives way completely to upland woods—including a magnificent historic black walnut—within a distance of only a few yards.
12:45 p.m. Boxed Lunch at Rock Creek Park Nature Center
Box turtles, foxes, and of course, deer, make their home in the park. Learn about the abundant wildlife in Rock Creek from Park Service naturalists.
1:45 p.m. Milk House Ford and Joaquin Miller Cabin
Native Washingtonians may remember driving right across Rock Creek at Milk House Ford, where the water was only a few inches deep.
Eccentric poet Joaquin Miller (1837-1913) originally built this cabin in Meridian Hill Park, but it was moved to Rock Creek Park in the early 1900s. Miller and his cabin were a tourist attraction for years.
2:30 p.m. Boundary Bridge
On the border between D.C. and Maryland, Boundary Bridge was constructed by the Public Works Administration in the 1930s. The bridge leads to a footpath bordered by towering Sycamores, and abundant wildflowers.
Please note: The bus leaves in front of the S. Dillon Ripley Center and will return to this location at the tour’s end.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)