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bus departures

Catch our bus at one of the convenient locations in Washington D.C., Virginia and/or Maryland

faq

Thank you for your interest in Capital Hiking Club & for visiting our Web site.

To assist you, we have compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions and we hope you will find this section helpful.

  day hikes

  printable quarterly hike schedule

Saturday, December 23, 9:00 AM
Hike: Riverbend / Great Falls National Park, VA

Park Maps / No Bus

Long hike: 8½ mi., 850 ft. ascent/descent. Moderate hike: various options available.

Trailhead Hike: Meet at Riverbend Park Visitor Center at 9:00 a.m.

Here’s the perfect prelude to your upcoming holiday festivities: a brisk hike along the wildest, most scenic stretch of the Potomac River – yet only a short drive away. Starting at Riverbend Park, part of Fairfax County’s park system, we’ll follow the river trail eastbound to Great Falls. There, a choice of loops takes us along the rim of spectacular Mather Gorge and past ruins of Matildaville and George Washington’s Powtomack Canal before we return to Riverbend.

Leaders: Pat H. (301/908-2637) and Chris Powell

Reservations: Unlike CHC's usual Saturday bus hikes, signing up for trailhead or carpool hikes is not required. However, if you do sign up, we will have a better idea of the number attending, and you will be notified of any changes in plan.

Driving Directions to Trailhead

From the Washington Beltway:

From the Beltway between the American Legion Memorial Bridge over the Potomac, and the Dulles Airport Access Road - Route 267, take Exit 44 for Georgetown Pike – Route 193. Go west outside the Beltway on Georgetown Pike for about 4½ miles, passing by the Difficult Run Trailhead and Old Dominion Drive - Route 738 (which goes to the Great Falls National Park). Turn right onto River Bend Road, Route 603. After about 2 miles make a slight right turn onto Jeffrey Road. After about ¾ of a mile turn right onto Potomac Hills Street and follow this to the Visitors Center. Parking is available to the right. Suggested parking fee is $2 into a box at the visitor center.

From Leesburg:

Head east on Leesburg Pike, Route 7. Turn left on Georgetown Pike, Route 193. Go about 4½ miles and turn left onto River Bend Road, Route 603 and follow the directions above from this turn.

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
12 currently signed up to attend. : 63 spots available.

Click here for club volunteer priority hike signup
Members who led a hike in the past 12 months and board members, are eligible for a club volunteer reserved spot. Unused spots released at 8pm Wednesday before the hike.

Additionally, for each bus hike you co-lead (or three moonlight hikes you lead), you are eligible for one free hike. You must take this free hike within 6 months of leading the bus hike. To get this free hike, follow the above link, but don't make the payment on the meetup site.


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Saturday, December 30, 8:00 AM
Hike: Catoctin Mountain Park, MD / Pizza Party!

PATC Map 5 / MD Bus

$26. Long hike: 8½ mi., 2100 ft. ascent/descent. Medium hike: 7 mi., 1700 ft. ascent/descent. Short hike 5½ mi., 1500 ft. ascent/descent. Optional side trip for short & medium hikers to Cunningham Falls adds 2½ miles and 300 ft. ascent/descent.

We close out the year with one of our most popular offerings – our annual, can’t-miss combination of a hike and pizza party! Our hike begins at the Catoctin Mountain Park Visitors’ Center and climbs to Chimney Rock and Wolf Rock for panoramic winter views. Short hikers return from the latter directly to the Visitors’ Center and its cozy fireplace. Others continue to Thurmont Vista, from where medium hikers return, while long hikers carry on to Cunningham Falls, passing Hog Rock. The bus then takes us to Bethesda for pizza, libations, and fellowship. [Note: Pizza party is optional at a Metro-accessible location – bus continues on to our regulardrop-off locations.]

Leaders: Roslyn and Mary (mary.zellgmail.com)

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, December 23, 8:00 PM

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Saturday, January 6, 8:00 AM
Hike: Hazel Country / Buck Hollow, Shenandoah National Park, VA

PATC Map 10 / VA Bus

$26 + park fee/pass (bring up to $10 in CASH if you don't have a park pass). Long hike: 11 1/2 mi., 2600 ft. ascent, 2700 ft. descent. Moderate hike: 8 1/2 mi., 700 ft. ascent, 2600 ft. descent.

Experience Shenandoah’s infinite winter charms in our first hike of the New Year – an exploration of “Hazel Country,” an area in the park’s Northern District that once was the site of pioneer residences, but has returned to wilderness. Our outing begins from Rt. 211 with long hikers ascending the Buck Hollow Trail and then following the moderate hikers. From Meadow Springs trailhead moderate hikers follow the Hazel Mtn. Trail and the Hot - Short Mtn. and Nicholson Hollow Trails to Nethers. Leaders: Andy Bily (andybilyyahoo.com) and Ankush

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, December 30, 8:00 PM

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Saturday, January 13, 8:00 AM
Hike: Buzzard Rock/Elizabeth Furnace, Massanutten Mtns., GW National Forest, VA

PATC Map G / VA Bus

$26.  Long hike: 9½ mi., 2400 ft. ascent, 2300 ft. descent. Moderate hike: 6½ mi., 1600 ft. ascent, 1500 ft. descent. 

The highlights come early on this longtime Capital favorite at the northern end of the Massanuttens. First, after a short climb on the Buzzard Rock Trail, we come to Buzzard Rock itself – and a memorable view. A bit later, the trail takes us along a knife-edge ridge, reminiscent of the Rockies or the Sierras. We continue to Shawl Gap, where moderate hikers exit on the Massanutten Trail to idyllic Elizabeth Furnace; long hikers keep going along the ridgeline and reach the Furnace via the Sherman Gap and Botts Trails.

Leaders:  Kristen S. and PeterF.

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, January 6, 8:00 PM

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Saturday, January 20, 8:00 AM
Hike: Susquehanna State Park, MD

Park Map / MD Bus

$26. Long hike: 10 mi., 1500 ft. ascent/descent. Moderate hike: 7½ mi., 1000 ft. ascent/descent. Few sights in nature rival the thrill of watching an eagle soar. Hopefully we’ll get several of those thrills today as we visit a scenic Maryland state park renowned as one of the prime eagle nesting areas on the East Coast. Starting from Shures Landing, we’ll pass the prime area for eagles as we hike downstream (south) on the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenways Trail. Then we’ll do a loop on the Deer Creek Trail before proceeding south on the Susquehanna Ridge Trail. Moderate hike ends at Rock Run Mill; long hikers add a loop including another segment of the Susquehanna Ridge Trail. Leaders: [2 leaders needed--please contact Lorraine (lrest3@pitt.edu) to volunteer]

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, January 13, 8:00 PM

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Saturday, January 27, 8:00 AM
Hike: Sky Meadows State Park, VA

PATC Map / VA Bus

$26. Long hike: 12½ mi., 2200 ft. ascent, 1900 ft. descent. Medium hike: 9½ mi., 1900 ft. ascent, 1600 ft. descent. Short hike 6 mi., 1000 ft. ascent, 700 ft. descent. Got the January blahs? Shake them with a bracing escape to this bucolic state park on the Blue Ridge featuring sweeping vistas, rolling meadows, and extensive forest. We’ll begin in the Lost Mtn. section on the east side of the park with a counterclockwise loop on the Rolling Meadows and Lost Mtn. Trails, then move to the park’s west side for stints on the Corporal Morgan and Hadow Trails. Short hikers then head for the Visitors Center; long and medium hikers add other loops that include a stop at the Piedmont Overlook. Leaders: Roxanne F. and Sonja G.

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, January 20, 8:00 PM

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Saturday, February 3, 8:00 AM
Hike: Appalachian Trail / Greenbrier State Park, MD

PATC Map 5 & Park Map / MD Bus

$26. Long hike: 10½ mi., 1900 ft. ascent, 1700 ft. descent. Moderate hike: 5 mi., 900 ft. ascent, 1100 ft. descent, and option for additional distance. With trees bare of leaves and haze gone from the valleys, outstanding vistas await us as we tramp northbound on the AT atop South Mtn. from Turners Gap on Alternate U.S. Rt. 40. We’ll savor repeated views as we pass through Washington Monument State Park (site of the other Washington Monument), and then follow the Bartman Hill Trail west to Greenbrier State Park. There, long hikers make a clockwise loop around the lake; moderate hikers can opt for a shorter distance on park trails.

Leaders: Pat H. (301/908-2637) and Stephanie A. (sallgaiergmail.com) **NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, January 27, 8:00 PM

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Saturday, February 10, 8:00 AM
Hike: Tuscarora Trail / Sleepy Creek WMA, WV

PATC Map L / VA Bus

$26. Long hike: 11 mi., 1800 ft. ascent/descent. Moderate hike: 7 mi., 1400 ft. ascent/descent.

Superb hiking awaits us in this return trip to a little-known, 23,000-acre wildlife management area in the mountains southeast of Berkeley Springs, WV. From Rt. 45, we’ll head north on the Packhorse Trail Rd. and the High Rock Trail. Long hikers depart the latter at the Equestrian–Bike Trail before turning south on the Tuscarora Trail. Moderate hikers stay on the High Rock Trail to the Tuscarora Trail, where the routes rejoin. After a southbound segment on the Tuscarora Trail, hikers turn west on the Millrace Trail and later meet the Packhorse Trail Rd. back to the bus.

Leaders: Martha and Frona H. (fronahallaol.com)

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, February 3, 8:00 PM

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Saturday, February 17, 8:00 AM
Hike: Greenway Trail, Seneca Creek State Park, MD

Park Map / MD Bus

$26. Long hike: 12 mi., 1300 ft. ascent, 1100 ft. descent. Moderate hike: 9 mi., 1100 ft. ascent, 900 ft. descent. It’ll be hard to believe you’re in Montgomery County—the suburbs of Washington, no less—on this midwinter winner in Seneca Creek State Park. Our hike, much of it in forest, starts at Black Rock Mill and heads east on the Seneca Ridge, Greenway and Long Draught Trails. Near Clopper Lake, moderate hikers take the Great Seneca and Old Pond Trails to the Visitors Center. Long hikers add a circuit around Clopper Lake on the Lake Shore Trail, then follow the moderate hikers to the Visitors Center.

Leaders: Anne Taylor (240/687-0884 or attraveler30<at>gmail.com) and Rick W.

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, February 10, 8:00 PM

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Saturday, February 24, 8:00 AM
Hike: Third and Fourth Mtns., Massanutten Mtns., VA

PATC Map H / VA Bus

$26. Long hike: 9½ mi., 2600 ft. ascent/descent. Medium hike: 8½ mi., 2400 ft. ascent/descent. Short hike: 5½ mi., 1400 ft. ascent/descent. 

In what may be new territory for many Capital hikers, we make one of our relatively rare trips to the southern half of the Massanuttens today. Starting in the Shenandoah Valley on the west side of the range, we’ll trek south from Fridley Gap on the Massanutten South Trail to a spectacular overlook. After ogling its view, short hikers retrace their steps. Others continue on the Massanutten South Trail, turn north on a fire road to the Fridley Gap Trail, and then left to follow the trail over the ridge of Third Mtn. Long hikers troop further on an unmarked side trail along a babbling mountain run.

Leaders:  [2 leaders needed--please contact Lorraine (lrest3<at>@pitt.edu) to volunteer]

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, February 17, 8:00 PM

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Saturday, March 3, 8:00 AM
Hike: Baltimore City Walk, MD

Baltimore Map / MD Bus

$26. Hike up to 10 miles.

Chances are you’ve passed through Baltimore on I-95, and maybe even been a tourist along Inner Harbor. But here’s a chance to get to know the real “Charm City”—up close and personal. We’ll explore the city by foot, following a route that takes us from historic Fort McHenry along the waterfront to the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill, Camden Yards, and the Victorian architecture of the Mt. Vernon district. Then it’s on to Little Italy, Fells Point, and Canton.

Leaders: Al Havinga and Susan Lewis

**NOTE: Meetup has disabled the waitlist feature where members can be notified that a spot has opened for a full hike. You will need to check back on the event's page throughout the week to see if spots are available and RSVP.**

Click here to signup
signup opens: Saturday, February 24, 8:00 PM

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events & hikes

Sat, December 23, 9:00 AM
Hike: Riverbend / Great Falls National Park, VA

Sat, December 30, 8:00 AM
Hike: Catoctin Mountain Park, MD / Pizza Party!

Sat, January 6, 8:00 AM
Hike: Hazel Country / Buck Hollow, Shenandoah National Park, VA

Visit our complete schedule for hike and event details, the bus departure points and contact info for hike leaders.