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Paddle Notes

Dueling Heron Bills at Mason Neck

The Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge is home to one of the largest great blue heron rookeries on the Potomac River. Whenever I visit, I look for shadows in the tree canopy and wild clattering, both telltale signs of a heron rookery.

April 20, 2022

Top Places For

Top Ten Places for Spring Migration Birding in the District of Columbia

You may be surprised to learn that you do not need to leave the confines of Washington, DC to find world-class spring migration birding opportunities. There are a number of parks and habitats throughout the city that provide important habitat for breeding or foraging on the journey northwards.

March 27, 2022

How-To

Shad Fishing in the Chesapeake

It’s April on the Chesapeake Bay, what is the best way to wet a line, bend a rod, and get some steady action? The answer is shad!

March 4, 2022

Suggested Trip

Winter Hiking the Billy Goat Trail

Hiking Section A is a fun activity at any time of the year, but if you want to avoid the crowds and maybe see some beautiful ice features, plan your trip for the winter.

February 18, 2022

Top Places For

Top Places for Trout Fishing in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The innumerable small creeks and streams that spider through the Bay’s 64,000-mile watershed are tailored made for fly fishing due to their intimacy and solitude.

December 9, 2021

There's Something for Everyone at Westmoreland State Park

Exploring the natural world, visiting historic sites, boating, relaxing on the beach, fossiling – this place truly has multi-faceted appeal.

November 10, 2021

Suggested Trip

Foraging and Fossiling in Nanjemoy Wildlife Management Area

Shark teeth weren’t the only fossils I gathered. I picked up a few pieces of ray dental plates, and some turritella gastropod molds. At Mallows Creek I saw wild rice, American persimmon, paw paw fruit, and arrow arum.

September 22, 2021

Suggested Trip

A Four-Season Eden in the Middle of DC

While summer is always the busiest time at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens – when countless varieties of lotus and water lilies begin their much-awaited display in the ponds – fall, winter and spring are also beautiful times to visit.

August 9, 2021

Suggested Trip

Western Maryland’s Haven for Outdoor Recreation

Potomac State Forest in Garrett County, Maryland seems to have something for almost every outdoor enthusiast, and makes a very worthwhile winter hiking destination.

December 8, 2020

Suggested Trip

Still Waters Run Deep at Seneca Slackwater

". . . I took some time to appreciate the shallow, rocky downstream sights on the Potomac juxtaposed with the clear, open-water upstream section that forms Seneca Slackwater. The dam, streams, islands, wildlife, clear water, and historical sites all come together to make this a truly magical place to paddle."

September 9, 2020

Suggested Trip

High Tide and Exotic Blooms

This 7.1-mile paddling route is one of the more interesting ones in the Washington, D.C. area. It is suitable for many skill levels and adaptable in that one can reduce the paddling distance down to 2.6 miles by just sticking to the Anacostia River and visiting the Kenilworth Gardens.

August 25, 2020

Suggested Trip

Exploring An Urban Green Space

After paddling at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve and then spending the afternoon just 2.5 miles north in Alexandria, Virginia, I experienced firsthand how the natural beauty of Dyke Marsh serves as an urban green space for the densely populated Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia areas.

August 4, 2020

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