We Choose Wednesdays: Outdoor Activities

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Please welcome our We Choose Wednesdays contributor, Jennifer Butler! Today she will give us great tips on some outdoor activities in or close to our neighborhood. I’m excited to explore all of these places as they are all new to me! Lisa

Growing up in rural central Florida meant I spent a lot of time outdoors. My friends and I would spend every summer day exploring the woods and canals that were next to our house. We would pack a picnic lunch, build forts, find snake skins and collect cat-o-nine tails. I married a country-boy at heart who longs to live in a place where he can four-wheel, shoot guns and fish in his backyard. Although we can’t do those activities on our quarter-acre lot in Cheverly (yup…a quarter-acre inside the Beltway), we found several places nearby that soothe our outdoor living needs; including a few footsteps from our front door!  Here is a recap of our three top favorites:

Hiking – 5 minute walk: Cheverly is full of trails and amazing volunteers that maintains them. The  Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek is a volunteer-led nonprofit that meets the last Saturday of every month. They created several access points from our Community Center, Woodworth Park and off Cheverly Ave to trails that walk alongside Magruder Spring. Along the walk they installed several signs labeling various plants and trees. We also enjoy hiking in Nature Park which is a woodland area along Crawford’s Adventure Spring. Nature Park can be accessed at Crest Ave and Lockwood Rd. Both springs were used by the British in 1814 as they marched on Washington. We love taking our kids and the dog for long hikes at both these locations.

Skeet Shooting – 15 minute drive: In my opinion PG County has one of the best public facilities in the DC area. They have trap, skeet and sporting clays, plus if you don’t own a gun they rent shot guns and provide lessons. My favorite is skeet, think of it like golf (you actually get a golf cart) but with guns. http://www.pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Sports/Trap_and_Skeet.htm

Fishing and hunting – 30 minute drive: Paxtuxent Research Refuge: This place is a US Fish and Wildlife Service research center has miles of trails, lakes and a fantastic interactive visitors center. I was amazed at the quietness and serenity of this place. My kids explored tadpole ponds and enjoyed the many hands-on activities at the wildlife center. Plus (for my hunter hubby) you can hunt gamebird, deer, turkey and fish in Cash Lake. http://www.fws.gov/refuge/patuxent/

It is fantastic to live in a place where you are a short metro ride from one of the most vibrant cities in the US but can still access the beauty of nature.  What are your favorite outdoor spots near Cheverly?

Best,

Jennifer

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Jennifer and her husband Matt alongside Elizabeth and Gideon. You can check out more of Jennifer’s writing on her blog: Free Market Mommy. More of her family bio can be found here

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