Sometimes one trail leads to another, either intersecting or dovetailing. However it happens it is most often well marked. After a while, experienced hikers become well oriented. Inexperienced hikers should grab a bike trail map.
“These loop rides cover most areas of Arlington County. They are good for a Saturday morning ride, after-work stress reliever, or even a lunchtime ride:
- East Falls Church - Westover - 5.5 miles
- Potomac Overlook - 6.3 miles
- Heart of Arlington - 10 miles
- Lubber Run - Barcroft - 5.6 miles
- Arlington Ridge - Aurora Highlands - 5.8 miles
- Grand Tour - 18.2 miles
- Visual Art Tour - 14.0 miles
- Arlington History Bicycle Tour- 25.6 miles”
Today’s 4 mile hike began in Ballston Commons and headed down the Custis Trail. I walked by the Ballston Pond as I always enjoy the robust blooms of swamp mallows there. The Lubber Run that feeds the pond is almost dry, so the pond is truly more a swamp now.
When arriving at the edge of Bluemont, I cut across the Four Mile Run at the foot bridge, across the soccer field, and intersected the W&OD Trail and turned in the direction of the Potomac River paralleling Four Mile Run. On the steep incline the leads to Upton Hill, the bank is dry grass with outcroppings of black eyed Susans and bright red seeds from Jack-in-the-pulpit plants.
I stopped at the Tennis Courts for a drink of water. The vending machines don’t always work and today was no exception. I used the drinking fountain, but the water pressure is always low there. I should have brought my own water, but today I left my backpack and supplies at home.
Proceeding along the Four Mile Run, I intersected the old trolley trail and headed up the hill to Ballston.
Along the way, I saw a house finch. It was feeding a young one. I have been trying to photograph them but they are skittish. Today, I was lucky.
Elderberry bushes are producing ripe berries. The birds really depend on those bushes. While Arlington County removed some from Bon Air Park, they planted new ones in other locations as an offset.
Back at the home base, the goldfinches are having a field day eating my flowers. Actually they are the bird’s flowers.