Spring Family Hike at Riverbend Park
This weekend I (along with my parents) took the kids for a hike at Riverbend Park. There were many trails to choose from at this county park, and we picked the one that followed along the Potomac River -- Potomac Heritage Trail. It was a beautiful time to be there, and not just because of the sunshine and mild temps, but big clusters of Virginia bluebells were in bloom alongside of the path. We saw several butterflies and other critters, and of course, the view of the river was pretty too.
The kids did great on the hike, which really was more of a walk since the trail stayed flat. But either way, we made the walk from the visitor center to the scenic overlook (Witch Hazel Bluff) and back – total distance of a mile – and they didn't complain one bit. It helped that we took lots of break in between and once we got to the scenic overlook, we rested a while for snack. The scenic overlook, by the way, was not much scenic. I think in the early spring/late winter when the trees are bare, it offers a great vantage point to the river, but all we saw was this:
So anyway, more about our hike if you are interested in doing the same. From the visitor center, we hiked up north on the Potomac Heritage Trail. Next time though, I think we will take the path south (start near the parking lot, I believe) and hike into Great Falls Park (free admission this way!).
I really didn’t expect the kids to enjoy much of it (they much rather be at the playground), but they both said, “This is a fun park!” I think they liked climbing up to the scenic overlook, crossing a bridge or two, and getting their hands wet at a little stream. We walked for just about an hour. After getting back to the visitor center (which has live animal displays, natural and cultural exhibits), we got ice cream for the kids and they were as happy as clams.
Oh, lastly, there is a pond right outside of the visitor center full of tadpoles that's worth checking out!
Riverbend Park offers group programs, such as wagon rides and nature tours. Anna and I went on a wagon ride to Poohsticks Bridge about two years ago (oh toddler Anna...).