Trips and Tips

Featured Events This Week


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Cherry Blossom Festival Trails, Map, Events

The latest National Park Service peak bloom prediction is for March 22-25 and has a lot of information and events to augment your visit to the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. The National Park Service’s Tidal Basin Welcome Area. open now to April 2, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. is a great place to begin offering information tents, performance stage, food and souvenir sales areas and first aid station. Park rangers are giving talk about the history and lore of the cherry blossoms in front of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial now to April 2 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Other activities include ranger-led lantern walks, Pup’s and Petals Dog Walk (March 25 only), tidal basin paddle boats (online reservations available ).  The NPS official festival partner the National Cherry Blossom Festival is also hosting a wide variety of exciting events and activities to celebrate the gift of the cherry blossom trees, including the Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza, official Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. Important links: Bloom Watch, National Park Service Cherry Blossom Events and Activities, Trail Guides,  map,  and the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Patapsco Valley State Park Open House Fun

Lots of fun and info to be had at all three Patapsco VSP locations this upcoming weekend. At all three locations April 25 is Opening Day of Fishing, starting at 5 a.m. The McKeldin location is offering Introduction to Fishing at 9 a.m. followed by Firewise! with Smokey Swag and Smokey Story Time and Tails on Trails free hiking. At the Hilton location Maryland Conservation Corp staff will be recruiting for the Maryland Conservation Corps. Latino Outdoors will be at the Avalon location for three bilingual guided hikes and Defensores De La Cuenca will be on hand to talk about the different ways you can get involved in your community. You can also join the Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park for an adaptive hike on the River Road Trail. March 25, Patapsco Valley State Park, Marriottsville, Halethorpe and Catonsville, MD. The Patapsco Swinging Bridge (pictured above) is located in the Avalon/Orange Grove area of Patapsco Valley State Park. It is a suspension bridge consisting of a wooden deck supported by large cables. More information and complete schedule 

Trap Pond Spring Wagon Rides

The wagons are rolling at Trap Pond! Meet at the camp store for a 45-minute Spring wagon ride through the fields and forest around Trap Pond, which are beautiful any time of year. It should be a great time of year for some bird watching and be sure to check out the Baldcypress Nature Center while you’re there. Free. March 24 and 31, Trap Pond State Park, Laurel, DE. More information and reservations.

Rain Barrel Training/Zoom

Learn how to install a rain barrel! Rain barrels can capture rainwater and make it a usable resource, allowing it to seep back into the ground slowly and filter out pollutants, recharge the water table, and prevent stream erosion during heavy storms. Bonus for DC residents: the District Department of Energy & Environment offers rebates on rain barrels. March 23, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. More information

Chesapeake Natives Plant Sale

Come out to Chesapeake Natives Nursery in Rosaryville State Park for an Open House sale of native plants grown on site from locally gathered native seed. The nursery grows over 100 types of local ecotype native plants at our nursery located in Rosaryville State Park. Chesapeake Natives volunteers will be available at the sale to help you find the right native plants for your space.  March 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Rosaryville State Park, Upper Marlboro, MD. More information.

Spring Fling Express Train Ride

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has the cure for cabin fever. Bring the family out for our Spring Fling Family Trips on the Scenic Line. Enjoy a 75 minute train ride though the Cumberland Narrows Canyon, farms and country side. With every child ticket, kids will be able to take part and celebrate spring by decorating and planting flower pots to take home! The Spring Fling departs on Saturdays and Sundays, April 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd; departs Cumberland, MD. More details, tickets 

Signs of Spring Hike

Join naturalist Matt Felperin on a short walk around the Potomac Overlook trails and look for signs of spring around the park. Listen to birds sing their spring songs, learn why trees shed their leaves and grow them back in spring, and why certain forest plants squeeze in their entire growth cycle within a few short weeks in spring. You’ll also get the opportunity to check out the frog pond and meet a few of the park’s in-house reptiles that you could find in the wild this time of year. $8 per person; ages 7+ appropriate. March 25, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Potomac Overlook Park, Arlington, VA. More information and registration (required).

5th Annual Delmarva Heritage Festival

This annual festival celebrates the rich duck decoy and hunting tradition of the Eastern Shore. The festival attracts blue ribbon carvers and attendees can enjoy carving demonstrations, youth duck calling competition, oyster sandwiches and other local fare. Free admission. March 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and March 26, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Delmarva Discovery Museum, Pocomoke City, MD. Festival updates and meet the carvers.

Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve Hike

Join this all new hike with a Dutch Gap Conservation Area guide to explore the 3,000-acre preserve situated between the Potomac and Accokeek (Virginia) Creeks. This two-part hike will take you on the three-mile Accokeek Loop Trail and then the one-mile Potomac Overlook Trail, traversing  along narrow ridgelines and skirting tidal and non-tidal wetlands. Total distance will be approximately four miles with 200 feet of elevation gain. $25. March 30, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; departs Rockwood Nature Center, North Chesterfield, VA. More information and registration (required by March 23) 

Maryland Day

Maryland Day commemorates the colonists’ first landfall in Maryland on St. Clement’s Island, on 25 March 1634. You are invited to celebrate the founding of Maryland at the state’s birthplace. St. Clement’s Island Museum will offer a commemorative event and a full day of fun, including free museum admission, kids’ activities, free water taxi rides, lighthouse tours, a food truck and special exhibits. March 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; St. Clement’s Island Museum, Coltons Point, MD. More information

The following weekend, celebrate Maryland Day in the state capital, Annapolis. Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks is offering free admission on the weekend of April 1-2  to Fort Smallwood Park, Jug Bay Wetlands, Kinder Farm Park and Quiet Waters Park, and deck tours of skipjack Wilma Lee while it's docked at Annapolis City Dock on April 1, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. More Anne Arundel County events 

Heritage Breed Livestock Tour

This is a great opportunity for the whole family to get up close and personal with the endangered heritage breed livestock of Piscataway Park. You’ll meet cows, sheep, hogs and poultry and discover the role they play in saving the planet and preserving biodiversity. April 1, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Piscataway Park, Accokeek, MD. More information and registration.

U.S. National Arboretum Plant Sale and Symposium

Jump start your spring planting with one of the earliest plant sales in the area. The National Arboretum’s  annual native plant sale includes vendors from across the mid-Atlantic, offering spring ephemerals and many other choice perennials, woody plants and many natives. March 25, 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m.; U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC. More information.   Also on March 25,  an in-depth gardening symposium on native plants.

American Ramble – Author Lecture

In the spring of 2021 author Neil King Jr. embarked on a 330-mile walk from Washington, D.C. to New York City. The journey took him through historic battlefields and cemeteries, over the Mason-Dixon line, past Quaker and Amish farms, along Valley Forge stream beds, across New York Harbor, and finally, to his ultimate destination: the Ramble, where a tangle of pathways converges in Central Park. Hosted by the Zimmerman Center, the lecture can be enjoyed in person ($15) or virtually ($10). April 17, 2023, 7 p.m.; Zimmerman Heritage Center, Wrightsville, PA. More information and registration.

High Bridge Hike

Join the Sierra Club for a hike along the scenic High Bridge Trail to Camp Paradise and then below the bridge to see the historic bridge structure from below. Afterwards, those who wish to can stop in Farmville for lunch. Total hiking distance will be about 5.5 miles, total time about three hours. The trail will include gravel, wood, and dirt sections. March 25, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.; High Bridge Trail State Park, Farmville, VA. More information and registration

Spring Hike along the Appomattox River

Venture along the Discovery Trail and River Trail to search for wildflowers and other signs of spring. This will be about a three-mile hike along designated trails. $10. March 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; John J. Radcliffe Appomattox River Conservation Area. More information and registration (required by March 16)

It’s Time to Order Your Native Plants

Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely, Maryland will be conducting this year’s plant sale March 2-30. They will have a wonderful selection of landscape-ready native trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns, grasses and vines for the Spring Native Plant Sale. Sales will be conducted online and will be fulfilled by timed pickup beginning the last week of April.  More information.

Backyard Poultry Basics

Would you like to raise chickens in your backyard, but don’t know where to begin? The Accokeek Foundation, who knows a good deal about raising farm animals is hosting a two-day workshop that will  cover everything you need to get started. The program is recommended for ages 16+ and will feature hands-on experience with the Accokeek Foundation’s flock of heritage birds. Recommended for ages 16+. March 25 and 26, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Accokeek, MD. More details and registration.

Project Feeder Watch

You are invited to take part in the Kings Gap Project Feeder Watch, a community science project that collects data on birds visiting feeders in the winter. The Kings Gap Environmental Center is located just north of Michaux State Forest in Pennsylvania. Enjoy hot tea, cocoa or coffee while watching the Center’s  bird feeders and collecting count data.  No registration required for this free program.  Experienced birders and beginners welcome! This program is ongoing with multiple dates available from Dec. 17 to March 25. Kings Gap Environmental Center, Carlisle, PA. More details 

March 12, 2023

Main image: Carol Highsmith, National Park Service