I ran by it dozens of times on my routine eight-mile loop on Great Falls and Westmoreland. Down at the bottom of the hill near Lemon Road, it looked like nothing more than a neighborhood shortcut..
I don’t remember what prompted me to actually check out what turned out to be the Pimmit Run Trail, but I do remember the odd sense of wonder that took hold when I did. I had some exploring to do.
That, understandably, sounds strange. How lost can you get in McLean? It might be counterintuitive, but the prospect of somehow losing my bearings inside the Beltway only made the prospect of exploration more interesting. It wasn’t so much about charting new territories, but seeing where I’d end up. I knew the path from Great Falls Road would eventually get me to Westmoreland. When I saw that the trail continued on the other side of the street, a little to the left, all bets were off.
I’m not a fervent trail runner. It’s not that I dislike them, but my body has always held up well on pavement and I figured I had better things to do than spend time traveling to run in a park when it was all the same to me. Well, now I didn’t have to choose. Rather than tearing through the trails, the mildly technical terrain, especially north of Old Dominion Road, forced me to savor the experience.
The fun for me became finding out where I’d pop out if I left the park.
“Tucker Ave? I don’t even know where that is!“
I fancied myself looking for a route to the Potomac River. I knew I was headed in the right direction, there had to be a way…
There is, but it’s tricky. And although I fear I am ruining the experience you could have exploring for yourself – for me, the trial and error was half of the fun – here’s some specific direction to keep you on track.
If you reach the Highlands Swim and Tennis Club, head up Bryan Branch Road to Linway Terrace. After a quick left on Kirby Road, you have a choice. Keep going on Kirby, head into the Marie Butler Leven Preserve and take one of the wooded trails until you reach Maddux. Or take a right on Chesterbook and left on Maddux.
On your right, shortly after 1607, you’ll see a path to the downstream section, which will bring you along the George Washington Parkway and onto the Potomac Heritage Trail, where you can get off at the Chain Bridge.
There are some creek crossings, and sometimes your foot will have to take the plunge to take the next step. But each next step will make you appreciate what you’ll continue to find.
The Pimmit Run Trail is a 1.5-mile run from the West Falls Church Metro Stop. One section of the trail that purportedly connects to Olney park in Pimmit Hills is impassible because of fencing under the Dulles Toll Road.
Derwood’s Lake Needwood helped Maggie Lloyd almost forget all about the summer misery and, somehow, the pandemic, for an hour or so.
Loudoun County’s map of unpaved roads led me to a beauty of a run north of Leesburg.
The sights, smells and open roads of the National Arboretum are open to runners nine hours a day.
Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, Md. boasts more than 6,000 acres of nature trails and wildlife just ten miles off the Beltway. If you prefer a running soundtrack of croaking frogs…
3rd Annual APA MOORE Equity in Mental Health 5K Run,…
About APA’s MOORE Equity in Mental Health 5k
The APA’s Division of Diversity and Health Equity invites you to join us in combating mental health inequities facing young people of color and in honoring mental health advocate Bebe Moore Campbell.
Losing to Live 5K Walk/Run
WHEN Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 9:00 am WHERE This convenient location is just minutes from your house located 1/2 mile inside the 1-495 Capital Beltway at exit 51. Spectators are welcome to watch and cheer on the runners. Capital