Mid-Atlantic fall hikes [Pictures]
The simple act of going for a walk becomes an adventure when the weather turns crisp and Mid-Atlantic trees change color. Check out these area hiking trails to get a breath of fresh air, to commune with nature and to get a glimpse of our region's rich history. See the untamed wilds of West Virginia. Walk into the past to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. Watch birds of prey soaring over the mountains of Pennsylvania. Just get outside and go.
-- Clare Lochary, For The Baltimore Sun
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Western Ridge Trail( U.S. National Park Service / October 2, 2012 )
Location: Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
Details: Park is open dawn to dusk. Nature Center and Planetarium is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Peirce Mill and Estate is open 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday through October, and on weekends only November through March. Free.
Length: 4.3 miles, one way.
Local color: "This is the remnant of the forest that used to cover this area," said Rock Creek Park education specialist Maggie Zadorozny of the 2.75-square-mile green space on the north side of Washington. The Western Ridge Trail begins near Military Road at the north end of the park and goes south, passing landmarks including the Nature Center and Planetarium, the Peirce Barn and the Peirce Mill.