Thursday, July 16, 2020

Go Visit: Seneca Creek Greenway Trail at MD-28

The Seneca Creek Greenway trail runs for 16.2 miles alongside Seneca Creek in Montgomery County, MD.  There are a number of places to access this trail and I went to the one on MD-28, Darnestown Rd.  I walked west, towards the Potomac River, which is a bit over 6 miles away.

The entrance to the parking lot is easy to miss. As you are going west on 28, it is on the right, just before the bridge over Seneca Creek.  It is a gravel parking lot that will fill up on weekends, but even when it is full, there aren't many people on the trail.  At the far end of the lot is an information sign and the entrance to the Seneca Creek Greenway trail towards the Potomac River.  At the other end of the lot is the trail going towards Black Rock Mill.

After a quick walk down a gravel path, then a little bit of old MD-28, the trail goes off to the left, under the bridge.

There are a number of places you can access the creek from the Seneca Creek Greenway trail.  Here there is a wide gravel bank alongside the water.

The trail is mostly flat, not a lot of hills so it is an easy and relaxing walk.  There are blue trail marker that say "Seneca Greenway Trail" so you don't need to worry about getting lost. The trail is natural surface and goes through a mix of grassy areas, older trees, and some young trees.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Go Visit: Monocacy Aquaduct

 The Monocacy Aqueduct is where the C & O Canal crosses the Monocacy River.  The aqueduct has been restored and you can walk or bike across it.  Right near the parking lot is a large field which slopes gently down to the Monocacy river.  People are often fishing on the river bank.  There is also a boat dock nearby that you can launch small boats from.

 In the early morning sun shines brightly on the arches of the aqueduct.  The aqueduct reflects on the still Monocacy river.

 On the aqueduct looking towards the parking area.  The tow path runs on top of the right wall.  You can also bike or walk down the canal bed.  You don't get good views, but it is a lot smoother.  The tow path in this area is made of compress stone dust, it is smooth and easy to ride a bike on.

 This is at the bottom of the field, the Monocacy aqueduct crosses over the Monocacy river.  During the Civil War, the lock keeper from nearby lock 27, Thomas Walter, convinced confederate general D. H. Hill not to destroy the aqueduct but to instead breach the earthen banks of the canal.

 The Monocacy river as seen from the aqueduct.  The water is smooth and has a light brown color

Less than three quarters of a mile south (turn left on the tow path from the parking lot) of Monocacy Aquaduct is Lock 27 on the C & O Canal.  The lock keepers house is still there and there is a bridge across the lock so you can see it from the other side.  It is a pleasant walk down a smooth towpath with trees shading you the entire way.

If you continue south past Lock 27 you will get to Pepco's Dickerson Generating Station.  There is a constant noise coming from the plant.  Past it, the river is very close to the canal edge and there aren't as many trees shading you.  Whites Ford and White's Ferry are even further south.  From the aqueduct to Whites Ferry is 6.5 miles, a long walk but not a bad bike ride.

There is a small parking lot, but on busy weekend days it fills up early and people park along the road.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Bethesda Timelapse: Wisconsin and East-West

This morning I made a time lapse of the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue (MD-355) and East-West Highway (MD-410) in downtown Bethesda.

It starts with traffic on East-West Hwy continuing straight onto Old Georgetown Road (MD-187) and turning left onto Wisconsin Ave.  Then southbound Wisconsin traffic gets the green light, followed by northbound Wisconsin with some vehicles continuing north and some turning onto Old Georgetown.  Finally, it wraps up with East-West Hwy getting the green light again.

Also in the video look for people walking, a large T crane moving around, and clouds flying through the sky.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Go Visit: Whites Ferry

 There is still an operating ferry in the DC area.  Whites Ferry crosses the Potomac near Poolesville in Maryland and Leeseburg in Virginia.  You can take your car across it.  You pay when you get on the barge, no need to pay in advance.  If you have never been on a ferry, it is a fun trip.  I used to commute from Maryland to Dulles, VA and would take the trip twice a day, it was much more enjoyable than being stuck in traffic on the American Legion Bridge.

 Here is the store and grill attached to the ferry, I'm not sure if it is open right now due to CoViD-19

Whites Ferry is also a great place to start a walk or bike ride along the C and O canal.  The canal doesn't have water in this area, but the tow path is in good condition and made of compacted crushed stone dust.  The canal runs all the way from Georgetown in Washington DC to Cumberland, MD.  A total of 186 miles.

Here is the remains of a tunnel that took a creek under the canal, and behind it, a bridge that used to take vehicles over the canal to the ferry.

 Looking south down the canal.  On the right is the tow path, on the left, between the trees is river road.

River Road goes all the way to Whites Ferry, It is a narrow gravel road by the end.