4:14P.M. for 29 minutes
Temperature: 82° F
Remember: If you're walking down a hill, you're going to have to walk back up that hill.
This was relevant to today's hike as I watched a group of college-age students clad only in swimsuits and flip-flops laboriously hiking up the long gravel trail that connects the parking lot to the river. They looked like they were about to die, and I actually asked if they were okay, and they waved me off. (Not that there was much I could do.)
But if you're going to die of over-exertion, Seneca Park is a lovely place to do it. Trees rise what seem like hundreds of feet above you in a pristine forest that feels almost primeval.
This trip, I finally made it down to the water--which is about a 15-minute hike from the parking lot--where I discovered a few dirt trails and wooden bridges over the rivulets off the river. The Potomac is of moderate size here, perhaps 20 to 30 feet wide, but impressive, with frequent rapids punctuating its steady trek eastward.