Summer is officially over. The thermostat read 39 degrees when I woke up Monday morning! In addition to cooler temps, school is back in full swing (to the extent that virtual school can be), and the leaves are turning. Fall is definitely here. This week I would like to share my favorite ways to enjoy the fall foliage in Arlington and beyond.
There are many ways to enjoy the beauty of fall in our area, but to get a unique vantage point, get in a kayak on the Potomac and take in the splendor from the water. Not only is it a great way to ensure you are social distancing from other leaf-watchers, it is the perfect tranquil setting to view the entire wooded Arlington shoreline as you float along. While plans are in the works to bring a boathouse to Arlington, we don’t have one yet. You can rent your kayak by the hour at Thompson Boat Center or Key Bridge Boathouse (formerly known as Jack’s Boathouse), both in Georgetown.
Another great way to take in the leaves is to enjoy them either by bike or on foot on one of Arlington’s many trails, almost 50 miles worth in total. The Arlington Parks and Recreation website provides a map of the trails you can choose from and a description of the main ones. While the trails are open, visitors are asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Bikers, please note that no bikes are allowed on the nature trails.
While there are plenty of spots right here in Arlington to enjoy the colors of fall, there are also some gorgeous spots to check out a short drive away. Take a 30-45 minute drive to Great Falls Park via George Washington Memorial Parkway and Georgetown Pike, and you don’t even have to get out of the car. Almost every inch is lined with beautiful trees, making it a truly scenic drive once the leaves turn. And there are a handful of overlooks to stop and take it all in. Once you get to Great Falls Park, take a hike and enjoy the leaves against the waterfall views. If you want to drive a little further (about two hours further), make your way out to Shenandoah National Park. The foliage along the 105-mile Skyline Drive with its many overlooks can’t be beat. And, of course, there are many trails to choose from once you arrive in the area. Most of the amenities are open, but social distancing is required. To plan your trip, start here.
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