Had a nice walk with friends this past Saturday along Holmes Run Trail, with a side visit to Winkler Botanical Preserve, both in Alexandria, Virginia. We visited the same stretch of Holmes Run Trail earlier this year, but this time we started from the north end, at Jerome “Buddie” Nature Center, which has nice facilities and is close to the Botanical Preserve.
Holmes Run was pleasant as always – if I lived nearer I’m sure I’d be walking along it almost every day. In another few weeks the fall colors will be gorgeous! A snake in the leaves along the way presented a little excitement. I’m pretty sure it was a Mole Kingsnake. These snakes are not poisonous and fairly common around here. It seemed to be mostly frustrated at the lack of an exit due to the stream bank.
Winkler Botanical Preserve is a pleasant little patch of nature nestled beside I-395, but parking is so limited (maybe eight cars) that a visit can be difficult for a group of any size. Combining it with a walk along Holmes Run Trail made for a nice 6-mile walk. A Google map of our route is here.
A bonus discovery during the walk was finding that the North Chambliss Street Bridge project is complete! Very cool – now you can enjoy a shady walk along Holmes Run from Columbia Pike, just south of the Lake Barcroft dam, all the way to where Holmes Run flows into Cameron Run near Eisenhower Avenue, near I-495. That’s a 4-mile distance, interrupted by only one street crossing at N Beauregard Avenue. The new bridge is marked on the map of our route and the change reported to Google, so hopefully a map update is forthcoming.