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Staycation: Montrose Park and Rock Creek

July 1, 2011

When I read that the remnants of a 19th-century Victorian park could be found in upper Georgetown, I immediately knew I had to visit.

You’re going to need your sneakers for this one.

Rock Creek Park winds through Washington and Maryland, but in upper Georgetown, several smaller parks run together before becoming the much-larger national park. Montrose Park has a small entrance that I’d walked by dozens of times and never noticed.

A sign at the entrance commemorates Sarah Louise Rittenhouse, who “spearheaded a group of women who petitioned Congress to buy the acreage and establish Montrose Park ‘for the recreation and pleasure of the people.'”

Thanks Sarah!

Once you’re through the hedges that surround the park entrance, a large green opens in front of you. Families were picnicking, college kids sunbathing, dogs frolicking — your usual park scene, yet one I never knew existed hidden behind the bushes.

I wanted to go off-the-beaten path and followed a trail into the woods

… where I found remnants of a Victorian path along the more modern trail. It’s known as ‘Lovers’ Lane’ because 19th century couples came here to slip away from over-protective families.

Within minutes, I was out of small Montrose Park and under Rock Creek Park’s canopy. It’s hard to believe this is all less than 5 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown!

There are plenty of hiking and biking trails within an easy drive of DC but it’s nice to know there are plenty of peaceful trails in the heart of the city, too. Deep in Rock Creek Park, you can hear only the birds, no honking horns, sirens or other sounds of the city.

The park touches all corners of northwest Washington and signs show you how to get back to the various neighborhoods — choose your own adventure.

Despite the peace and quiet of the park, signs of civilization can appear out of nowhere.

Yes, a parkway runs alongside Rock Creek. In the heart of the park, you can’t hear a thing. Walk toward Adams Morgan, though, and suddenly it’s (almost) like walking along a highway.

Big, open spaces like this make city living much more attractive. I’d hate to be surrounded by nothing but gray buildings.

In the distance, I even spotted a possible future Washington, DC staycation adventure…

Are you taking a vacation or staycation this year?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. eliz permalink
    July 1, 2011 9:32 am

    I used to run through there all the time–gorgeous, and great running. Heading to Northern Michigan this wknd–can’t wait to get out of the city!

  2. July 3, 2011 7:45 am

    Oh my gosh that place is absolutely beautiful. I wish I had more places like that around me. So nice to take a walk through there and just think and enjoy the quiet. I took a vacation earlier this year to Atlanta and am also planning a trip to VT later in the summer – can’t wait!

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