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Taking the high ground at Fort C. F. Smith

Hike at Fort C. F. Smith and the Hendry House
Hike at Fort C. F. Smith and the Hendry House
James George

Today, I thought about following the Donaldson Run to the Potomac River, but it is too soon after the rains and it is probably soggy down there in the bottom land. Alternatively, high above and down the road a piece is Fort C.F. Smith that parallels Spout Run. Spout Run is a stream that originates along I-66 and created a large gorge where it enters the Potomac near Three Sisters. Three Sisters are those rocky little islands in the middle of the Potomac near Washington DC. I think George Herbert Walker Bush used to go fishing there.

The Hendry House at Fort C. F. Smith
James George

According to Wikipedia, it was once called Breckin’s Branch and then Ball’s Branch. Some of the Ball’s are buried in a graveyard behind the WMCA.

For readers who are unfamiliar with the location, there is a screenshot from Google Earth that shows Fort C. F. Smith and the Hendry House. The Spout Run is a geographic feature that moves through a gorge and into the Potomac River.

You can park in the visitors lot from which you may walk a stone path that goes into the woods. There is a nice meadow before entering the woods where there are usually lots of birds.

Follow the path as it first heads downward into the gorge. Of course, what goes down must come back up. That is an exhilarating little hike that is probably 4 to 5 stories high.

As you pop back out from the woods there is another meadow situated behind the earthworks of the old Civil War fort. There are beehives there. There are benches if you need to recover.

You may elect to see the historic fort, or walk by the Hendry House on the way back to the parking lot. The slideshow illustrates the round trip.

On a hot day, this is a nice short hike. There are many interesting features including historic objects and architecture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_C._F._Smith_(Arlington,_Virginia)