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Ascent of Point Reno on 2014-12-02

Climber: Christopher D'Aiuto

Date:Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Point Reno
    Location:USA-District of Columbia
    Elevation:415 ft / 126 m

Ascent Trip Report

To make what is mostly driven a hikable peak, and to experience the majority of its vertical face, I hiked from the Foundry Branch on the Potomac river up Grover Archibald Parkway.

First I took the Metro to Rossyln station (Blue, Orange & Silver lines). Walked Moore St north, crossed Lee Parkway, and crossed the Potomac on US 29 (0.8 mi). I chose to walk the C&O Canal Towpath. Once the bridge leads to the 'T', go right and down on the asphalt path, then take a right and go over the canal's pedestrian bridge. Take a right onto the C&O Trail. Walk this westward. You will notice after 0.5 mi stairs to the left that lead down to the lower Capital Crescent Trail and a tunnel (at 10 ft above sea level). Go right to follow the tunnel and emerge on the north side of Canal Rd NW. Walk the sidewalk west and the Grover Archibald Trail begins on the right shortly.

The Grover Archibald Trail is a scenic 3 miles north to Tenleytown. I saw four deer and a few black squirrels. At a quick pace this only took me an hour to walk since it was near sunset and I didn't want to be in the park at night. It drizzled rain a bit. The signage was good and you stay straight on the trail. The only guess work was when at a road intersection and you had to job east or west a bit to continue the trail, but this was not too hard to navigate. The trail was very pretty in fall and a gem of nature in the middle of DC. I would love to walk it again.

The trail ends at 40 Pl NW. Here I walked north, then a right on Van Ness St NW, took Wisconsin Ave to Nebraska Ave, passed Wilson High School, then took a left on Fort Dr. ~0.9 mi from the end of the park to the high point depending on your road route.

Here is where no other trip report was helpful: finding the marker! Note that contrary to most reports and the current picture on the summit page, the 'natural' (undisturbed) highpoint of Point Reno and DC with the National Park Service marker is not around the fence line of Fort Reno nor around the reservoir (though on the north east side of the reservoir you get the farthest distance views). These areas have all been modified and built up.

Approaching from Nebraska Ave along the south side of Fort Rd, the marker and natural high point lie south of Fort Rd and east of the asphalt path (the NE-SW path between Deal MS and Wilson HS, to the west of which is a small wooded area and then the fort). If you then get off the south side of the road and sidewalk and walk the grass west, looking for the highest bit, you will end up near the marker. It is nearby to a tree line with a steep slope to the asphalt path. If you passed the asphalt path toward the fort you went too far. The coordinates are approximately 38.952036, -77.076059 from what I can tell using Google Maps.

To return I walked south on Wisconsin Ave to the Tenleytown Metro station at Albemarle St (Red line). On this route there are a few bars where one could grab a celebratory drink!

Really hope this helps everyone else find the marker more quickly and easily, with 400 ft of elevation gain altogether, and a pleasurable hike to boot!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:405 ft / 123 m
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:405 ft / 123 m
    Distance:5.2 mi / 8.4 km
    Route:Grover Archibald Trail
    Start Trailhead:Foundry Branch, Potomac River  10 ft / 3 m
    Time:2 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics



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