Monthly Archives: September 2015

South Side – Rails to River Trail Loop (Lake Fairfax Park, VA)

Compared to the stellar hikes of nearby Potomac Gorge or Shenandoah National Park, the South Side-Rails to River Loop in Reston, Virginia’s Lake Fairfax Park is, well, a dud. For hikers, the barrage of mountain bikers whizzing by at high … Continue reading

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Colorado Highway 82 and Independence Pass

The 58-mile drive between Leadville and Aspen, Colorado is one of the finest scenic byways in the state. Highlights include the rushing waters of the Roaring Fork River, a stop at the mysterious Grottos, and stunning panoramas from Independence Pass, … Continue reading

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Maroon Creek Trail (White River National Forest, CO)

Maroon Creek Recreation Area near Aspen, Colorado is generally swarming—for good reason—with visitors in the non-winter months. The scenic Maroon Creek Trail, however, is a pleasant change of pace. That the trail is sparsely crowded is not due to a … Continue reading

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Crater Lake Trail (White River National Forest, CO)

Aside from the short, easy trail around Maroon Lake, the moderately difficult Crater Lake Trail is probably the most popular hike in Colorado’s magnificent Maroon Bells Recreation Area. The 1.5-mile hike (plus 1/3 mile on the Maroon Lake Trail) takes … Continue reading

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Maroon Lake Trail (White River National Forest, CO)

There is perhaps no landscape more iconic in Colorado than the classic view—used in nature calendars everywhere—of Maroon Lake, set before the beautiful backdrop of aspen trees and the snow-streaked Maroon Bells. Situated less than 11 miles from Aspen, Maroon … Continue reading

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Grottos Trail (White River National Forest, CO)

Situated just off Colorado’s Highway 82 west of Independence Pass, the short but spectacular Grottos Trail is a must-see in the Aspen-Leadville area. In the course of 1/2 mile, the stem-and-loop visits both a splendid set of tumbling cascades on … Continue reading

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Riverbend Park Loop (Riverbend Park, VA)

While not nearly as stunning as its southern neighbor Great Falls Park, northern Virginia’s Riverbend Park covers similar terrain with fewer crowds. A 3.7-mile circuit around the park—covering the Bootlegger Trail and a section of the Potomac Heritage Trail—covers the … Continue reading

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Potomac Heritage Trail – Fort Marcy to Turkey Run Park (George Washington Memorial Parkway, VA)

Envisioned to one day extend from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac Heritage Trail (PHT) for now only exists in fragments. It is perhaps the good fortune of Washington, DC residents, however, that one of the PHT’s finest … Continue reading

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