Great Hike Right Down the Street: Four Mile Run
OK, so it's not necessarily a true hike in the strap-on-your-backpack-and-Timberlands sense of the word. But considering you don't have to leave Arlington to get there, walking the Four Mile Run Trail is a beautiful way to spend a spring afternoon. And it has one thing going for it over some bigger-name trails -- you can't stop for a Slushie in Shenandoah National Park.
The Green Girlfriend and I picked up the trail Sunday morning off a side street in Arlington's Barcroft neighborhood. There were plenty of other people on the trail, but it didn't feel crowded. We spent a couple of hours walking the trail as it meandered through parks, behind apartment buildings, past a snow-cone vendor, and across Walter Reed Drive.
A partial list of the wildlife we spotted:
- A red-tailed hawk
- Blue jays
- A crow being chased by aforementioned grackles & blue jays, who apparently had formed a coalition of the willing to drive the crow away from their nests
- Fish (up to 6 inches long) who apparently have not gotten word Four Mile Run itself is pretty polluted A cat, which may or not have been wild
Here's a W&OD trail website's review of the Four Mile Run Trail:
Arlington County's Four Mile Run Trail is an asphalt trail parallel to the W&OD from Mile 0.1 to Mile 4.7. Because it is less well-known than the W&OD it gets less through traffic, including bikes. It is ideal for walking. Parallel to the W&OD between Mile Markers 3.5 and 4.5, the Four Mile Run Trail disappears briefly. It takes a while to learn where it goes, but it is worth it. Going west, a good starting point is on Walter Reed Drive at Arlington Mill Road, which is west of the W&OD (Mile 0.5). Eastbound on the W&OD, it branches to the right at Mile 4.8.Thanks to RunDC.com for the map!