One Christmas, we were driving slowly down Massachusetts Avenue in a snowstorm when an 8-point buck appeared in the road, gazing straight at us as if to say “this is my territory.” Indeed, it is. The forested hollow between Wisconsin Avenue and American University is home to not only deer but fox, raccoon, owl, possum and coyotes. In 1947, Senator Carl Hayden was denied a proposed 4-lane highway here; today the Glover-Archbold trail, a 3.5-mile trail, runs through this urban woodland from Tenleytown to the Potomac River.
The trail is flat and well traveled, popular with locals and their dogs, making it a leisurely walk rather than a hike but for a few areas. There are a couple of pieces of rocky pathway, one across a small creek, some steps and just now a section at the Foundry Branch park, running under a now defunct streetcar bridge, is closed due to “aerial hazards.” A detour is clearly marked.
Still, it’s worth the trek, especially to traverse the pedestrian tunnel filled with graffiti art under Canal Road, opening onto the C&O trail. Small paths lead from the trail to the river, where a rock or tree branch provides the ultimate spot to rest and contemplate the journey.
And PS – I’ve never actually seen a coyote there, but on my last run did observe a magnificent jet black squirrel. Read more on them in Spotted by Locals DC.