Hit the Trail (Leave the Tent)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Feeling inspired but don't have an entire weekend to dedicate to a camping trip? Check out these local trail groups that offer hikes and other outdoor activities for all skill levels:

Wanderbirds Hiking Club. This group, with hikers from age 7 to 80, leads two hikes every Sunday, one moderate (eight miles) and one more strenuous (12 to 13 miles). A bus leaves from 17th and K streets NW to take hikers to the start of the trails. "As a non-car owner, you can get to places way beyond" the D.C. area, club vice president Jill Shankleman says. For more information, call Herb Cooper at 301-460-3064 or visit http://www.wanderbirds.org.

Capital Hiking Club. In addition to day trips, this group travels to the beach, has moonlit hikes and goes tubing. It also leads Wednesday evening urban hikes through Washington neighborhoods, usually from one Metro station to another. For trips outside the D.C. area, a bus leaves from 16th and I streets NW and makes suburban stops. For more information, call club president Mark Tune at 703-401-2719 or visit http://www.capitalhikingclub.org.

Northern Virginia Hiking Club. With more than 600 members, this group is one of the largest in the area and offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Adventurers often meet at a Metro station before heading out on a trip. For more information, visit http://www.nvhc.com.

-- A.O.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company