(K) Melvin Hazen Trail
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This 1.1-mile trail provides access from Reno and Connecticut Avenues to Rock Creek Park and the Western Ridge Trail (Trail L), Valley Trail (Trail N), and Rock Creek Trail (trail J). The trail approaches Connecticut Avenue from the west through an alleyway that passes along the south side of an apartment building, directly opposite the trailhead on the east side of Connecticut Avenue. There is a trailhead is at the end of the alleyway.
You can make a 2.5-mile loop by hiking on the Melvin Hazen trail, the Western Ridge Trail (Trail L), and the Soapstone Valley Trail (trail M). Complete this loop by walking six blocks along Connecticut Avenue, between the Melvin Hazen Trail and the Soapstone Valley Trail (trail M).
From the western end of the trail at Reno Avenue, you can walk six blocks further west on city streets to the Glover Archbold Trail (trail F). To reach the Glover Archbold Trail (trail F), go right (north) on Reno Road for two blocks and left (west) on Van Ness Street for four blocks. The trailhead is on the left, one block past Wisconsin Avenue. A more scenic but complicated route is to cross Reno Road and go west to the end of Springland Lane, right (north) one block on Idaho Ave., left (west) one block on Tilden Street, right (north) one block on 37th Street, and left (west) for three blocks on Van Ness Street.
Metro Access: From the Cleveland Park Metro station, go two blocks north on Connecticut Avenue.
(M) Soapstone Valley Trail
This 0.9-mile trail provides access from Connecticut Avenue through a remarkably beautiful little valley to Rock Creek Park and the Western Ridge Trail (Trail L). Between the lower end of the trail and Rock Creek, walk carefully for about 50 yards along Broad Branch Road.
You can make a 2.5-mile loop by hiking on the Soapstone Valley Trail, the Western Ridge Trail (Trail L), and the Melvin Hazen Trail (trail M). Complete this loop by walking six blocks along Connecticut Avenue, between the Soapstone Valley Trail and the Melvin Hazen Trail (trail M).
From the Connecticut Avenue end of the trail, you can walk nine blocks west to the Glover Archbold Trail (trail F). Go left (south) two blocks on Connecticut Avenue, turn right (west) and go seven blocks on Van Ness Street. The Glover Archbold trailhead is on the left, one block past Wisconsin Avenue.
Metro Access: From the Van Ness/UDC Metro station, go one block north on Connecticut Avenue and turn right on Windom Place. Walk down the driveway alongside the apartment building and look for a trail sign on the left.
(L) Western Ridge Trail
This 4.3-mile trail runs along the west side of Rock Creek Park from Rock Creek Trail (trail J) at its southern end, up to the northern end of Rock Creek Park at the Maryland border. At either end, it connects with the Valley Trail (trail N), which provides an alternate, parallel route on the east side of Rock Creek.
It also connects with the Melvin Hazen Trail (trail K) and the Soapstone Valley Trail (trail M) (via Broadbranch Road), which provide access to the Cleveland Park and Van Ness/UDC Metro stations. These trails, plus a number of other trails that criss-cross Rock Creek Park north of Rock Creek Trail (trail J) allow for a myriad of looping routes (see detailed map).
A 2.5-mile loop route recommended for its scenic beauty and distance from the sight and sounds of cars (along portions of the Valley Trail): Beginning at the intersection with the Melvin Hazen Trail (trail K), go south (downstream) along Rock Creek about one-quarter mile to a pedestrian bridge (on the way, you will walk along rock ledges above Rock Creek). Cross over to the east side of Rock Creek and go north (upstream) for several hundred yards. Look carefully for the blue trail blazes on the far (north) side of Beach Drive, which mark the beginning of the Valley Trail (trail N). Walk up an embankment and cross Park Road, continuing up the Valley Trail. Go nearly one mile, and after you begin to descend to Blagden Avenue, take the right fork (away from Rock Creek), which allows you to cross Blagden Avenue and continue up the other side on the Valley Trail. The trail crosses a hill to Pulpit Rock, where there is a scenic view of the Rock Creek valley.
At this point, you can return to your starting point by going left on the Theodore Roosevelt Trail, crossing Rock Creek on the Beach Drive bridge and rejoining the Western Ridge Trail on the west bank of Rock Creek. Or you can continue a bit further along the east bank of Rock Creek on the Valley Trail to the Boulder Bridge on Beach Drive. Here you can head back down Rock Creek, following Beach Drive (this portion of the drive is closed to traffic on weekends), and rejoin the Western Ridge Trail just after you cross Broad Branch Road. Or, after crossing Boulder Bridge you can take a trail straight up the west bank of the Rock Creek Valley, turning left at the first trail intersection and following the trail back to the Western Ridge Trail.
Beginning just north of the Boulder Bridge is perhaps the most beautiful stretch of Rock Creek, where it tumbles down over large rocks and boulders at the fall line, which is the edge of the piedmont plateau. There is a trail on the west bank of Rock Creek that starts just south of the Boulder Bridge. Take this trail straight up the west bank of the Rock Creek Valley and turn right at the first trail intersection to continue up along Rock Creek. You can make a loop by hiking up Rock Creek on this trail for about 1.5 miles to Military Road and the Park Police station, then doubling back on the east side of Rock Creek on the Valley Trail, or on Beach Drive when it is closed on weekends (total distance for this loop is a bit less than 3 miles).
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