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Best, and most beautiful nature near DC?

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1. Posted by sandy456 (Full Member 213 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Best, and most beautiful nature near DC?

I'm visiting DC, and enjoy nature, especially landscape photography, scenary, memorable viewpoints, etc...

What destinations have you visited (and can vouch for) that you'd like to recommend? I have a list of my own, but would appreciate opinons & feedback from experienced travelers and locals. I have no idea if some of these placese are the worth the time and effort. I'm only in DC for about a week.

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail,
Rock Creek Park,
Great Falls Park,
bike Mt Vernon Trail, bike the Potomac river paths, C&O canal bike path,
George Washington Memorial Parkway,
Prince William Forest Park,
Tidal basin (is this different from places above)?
Gravelly Point Park (view takeoffs during rush hour)

plus anything you'd like to add???/

2. Posted by Lugor79 (Full Member 74 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

If you have a car, the best place is Skyline Drive part of Shenandoah National Park. Then there is the Appalachian trail that cuts through Virginia and western Maryland.

Great falls is interesting, not really nature, it's a 'city park'.
The Tidal Basin generally refers to the area surrounding the Jefferson Memorial.

3. Posted by BryanG (Full Member 19 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Great Falls on the Maryland side of the Potomac - just 20 minutes from downtown and pretty dramatic.

Catoctin Mountain Park - 45 minutes away near Thurmont, MD (Camp David) but very pretty views of the surrounding valleys

4. Posted by MJennifer (Inactive 18 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I remember really loving the zoo in DC! Great birds there.

5. Posted by zentric (Budding Member 22 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Great Falls is a 'must see' in my opinion, but you'll need a car. Late afternoon/early evening is a fabulous time to go - the view is certainly worth it.

The Tidal Basin area also includes the FDR Memorial - its in a much quieter area, and if you're there in the evening, away from the tourists, its very much a bit of nature away from the city. On the way there, look for the Tulip Library!

Teddy Roosevelt Island (its technically part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway) is also a great place to really get away from the city. The foliage/trees over most of it are thick enough to block out traffic noise. Teddy's momument is quite a surprise when you finally stumble upon it!

Hope you find something to take your breath away!