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Nature Retreat In The Washington DC Area

Posted Jan 14 2009 8:49pm

P1010001_4 What comes to your mind when you think of Washington DC? You might think of National monuments, Capitol Hill, politics, or even traffic jams. Being the home of one of the most significant natural areas in the entire National Park System Is not something I was aware of.

Today is Blog Action Day. I'm joining thousands of other bloggers to discuss different aspects of the environment. I wanted to do something special. I decided to visit one of the areas protected by The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for our future generations.

P1000986 A quick search on their website revealed something I didn't know. The Nature Conservancy helps manage the Potomac Gorge. They even co-own and manage Bear Island with the National Park Service. This is right in the metropolitan area of Washington DC. This protected area is the home to more than 100 rare species of plants and animals.

When I took my trip to the location, I was surprised it was so close to the busy Beltway. In a handful of minutes, I went from bumper to bumper traffic to a nature retreat full of the sounds of rustling leaves and rushing water.

P1000988 Most of my time at the Potomac Gorge was spent hiking on the Billy Goat Trail. The trail is broken up into three sections. I walked Section A. Actually, I walked most of that section and rock climbed the rest.

I had a great time at the Potomac Gorge. It's great to know that The Nature Conservancy helps manage these important areas. They protect the land, plants and animals as well as provide people a natural retreat away from their busy lives.   

To learn more about The Nature Conservancy and how you can get involved, go to

If you want to see more of the photos I took during my visit, go to

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