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Potomac State Forest in Garrett County, Maryland seems to have something for almost every outdoor enthusiast, and makes a very worthwhile winter hiking destination.
". . . 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."
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.
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.
The Bay and its tributaries offer a fantastic fishery, right in our backyards, and what can be better than fresh fish that’s been caught and cooked in the same day.
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.
McIntosh Run has been described as “one of the most ecologically intact watersheds remaining in Maryland.” On this pristine creek, I saw a few turtles, a couple bald eagles, and several great blue herons.
Originally founded as a safe place for eagles, Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Lorton, Virginia has become home to many year-round and migratory birds and animals. More than 200 different kinds of birds, scores of reptiles and amphibians, and dozens of other animals find solace in the refuge.
Once considered one of the most polluted rivers in the United States, Washington D.C.’s “forgotten river” is making an amazing comeback. As I paddled through these scenic wetlands filled with a multitude of wildlife, it was obvious that efforts to protect and restore the watershed are heading in the right direction.
…the Algonquin name for Mattawoman has been variously translated as “where one goes pleasantly” and “a place to go quietly.” I would like to think that the peace and tranquility associated with the original name is as valid now as it was back then.
. . . I kept my eyes open to the egrets and their oval wingspans. Red-winged blackbirds surprised us by popping out of the marsh in a flash of red and black feathers, and butterflies flew around us, with yellow swallowtails on purple hibiscus flowers and monarchs on milkweeds.
State agencies want invasives like snakeheads and blue catfish out of the local ecosystems. With a bit of know-how and some gear, you, too, could enjoy catching some of these hard-fighting and delicious fish!