Is your Spirit yearning to break free from the constrictions of your office walls? Are you looking for a place to reconnect to nature while stuck in the city? Many people find that time in the wilderness is good for the soul. During this time of year, many in our area head off to the Blue Ridge mountains to marvel at the beauty of God’s paintbrush and the color of the fall leaves.
Did you know you don’t have to leave Washington to get a spectacular view of the changing leaves? DC is surprisingly rich in fall foliage and you can experience the beautiful autumnal colors and change of season in some wonderful local outdoor spaces.
The National Arboretum
Located at 3501 New York Ave. NE, the park encompasses 446 acres with 9.5 miles of winding roadways. At the U.S. National Arboretum you can view the spectacular seasonal shows including fall-blooming camellias in late September and flame-colored Japanese maples through mid-October.
Rock Creek Park
Incorporated inside this park is a rustic expanse of 1,754-acres surrounding Rock Creek which extends north to the District line. Rock Creek Park is truly a special place in our nation’s capital, offering an opportunity to reflect and soothe your Spirit through the beauty of nature. Fresh air, majestic trees, wild animals, and the twinkling trickle of Rock Creek emanate the delicate aura of this forest.
Congress designated this serene island as a memorial to President Theodore Roosevelt, an early champion of conservation. To get to Roosevelt Island take the footbridge from the parking lot off the north-bound lane of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The island features include memorial plaza, with a 17-foot statue of Roosevelt, as well as nearly 2-miles of trails through wooded uplands and swampy bottomlands.
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
Birding is always a great way to spend some quite time in nature. Kenilworth Park and the Aquatic Gardens manages habitat for ground nesting, aquatic, and woodland birds. Looking to find a way to give back? Volunteers are needed to lead bird walks. Contact the park at (202) 426-6905 to volunteer.
C & O Canal National Historical Park
Preserving America’s early transportation history, the National Park Service takes you back to the 1870s on a mule-drawn canal boat! Listen to the stories of those who lived and worked on the C&O Canal and ride through a 19th century lift lock. Operating for nearly 100 years, the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River. Towpaths are open to bikers, joggers and hikers. The main entrance, visitor center and coach parking can be found at Great Falls, MD. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal stretches 184.5 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland, MD. The mule-drawn boat trips are available from April-Oct.