Friday, May 22, 2020

Hiker in Training: Gulf Branch Trail

To recap: I want to take our 16 week old for some serious hiking, but I realize we need to ease into this to avoid total parent and baby meltdown. Phase 1 was to figure out which carrier worked best for hiking. With that done, it was time to pick the first hike.

I wanted a 'real' trail to hike on, but I also wanted it a short drive away so that it was a minimal investment in time and it had be relatively short. Our solution: hike the Gulf Branch Trail which follows Gulf Branch. All told, we did 2 miles, which included 1.5 miles out and back on the Gulf Branch Trail and then another .5 miles of exploring because the little man was sleeping and we could get away with it.

Like Windy Run and other nearby offshoots of the Potomac Heritage Trail, the trail follows a stream down to the Potomac. Even though you're in the midst of Arlington, you feel like you're doing authentic backcountry hiking. We saw a couple of families along the way, but the trail really wasn't busy at all. Best of all, our little guy enjoyed the hike. He got to stare up at trees and have a little picnic at our turn around point.

If you're in Arlington, you're no doubt itching to get out and have an adventure during the COVID-19 lock down. Hiking the Gulf Branch Trail (and the neighboring runs) are an absolute no-brainer.

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