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Autumn Hiking: Sugarloaf Mountain — Smithsonian Associates

West View Parking Lot: Sugarloaf Mountain Dickerson, MD, United States

Natural beauty and fascinating history await this fall. Spend an autumn day hiking to the summit of Washington, D.C.’s local mountain, a natural treasure less than an hour’s drive from the city. The picturesque and rocky Sugarloaf offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside of Montgomery and Frederick counties in Maryland. With color in the trees and fallen leaves on the ground, exciting rural vistas open up. Guided by popular study leader Melanie Choukas-Bradley, learn about the mountain’s plants and wildlife, seasonal changes, geology, and history. Spend time on the summit, composed of pink quartzite and forested with uncommon table mountain pines and mountain laurel, for a light lunch and a bit of “forest bathing.”

$55 – $75

Autumn Tree Walk at Theodore Roosevelt Island — Audubon Naturalist Society

Theodore Roosevelt Island

This fall tree walk will take you deep into the island, where swamp and tidal inlet can be explored by boardwalk as willows, bald cypresses and cattails frame views of the city behind it. We’ll see autumn color among the trees as well as exciting new vistas as the leaves fall. In addition to sharing her knowledge and love of the Island’s trees, Melanie will share details of this National Park’s fascinating history.

$40 – $49

The Beauty and Magic of Winter Trees


Winter reveals the forms and d
etails of trees that often go unnoticed during nature's busy seasons. There is magic in the air, even if we've had no snow!

Join Capital Nature and naturalists Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Alonso Abugattas as we explore the subtle beauty of trees in winter. We’ll look at trees you may find in your neighborhood or local parks, highlighting their winter garb and their special stories.


Zoom Talk: Potomac Conservancy


Explore the Potomac Gorge’s fascinating landscapes & plant life through the seasons with Melanie Choukas-Bradley via Zoom.

A Journey Through the Potomac Gorge: Afternoon Lecture/Seminar (Smithsonian Associates)


The Potomac Gorge is one of the most biologically diverse and ecologically significant landmarks in the nation, supporting a wide range of habitats, plants, and animals, including many rare species. It has held an important place in human history since the Ice Age. Although many people are aware of sections of this treasured landscape, few know and appreciate the Potomac Gorge as a whole.

$25 – $30

U.S. Capitol Grounds Tree Walk With Melanie Choukas-Bradley

U.S. Capitol Grounds and Arboretum Washington, DC, United States

Washington DC has been known as “The City of Trees” for over 100 years. With a rich arboreal history and amazing ecological diversity, it’s easy to understand how we’ve earned this name! Join us for an exciting opportunity with DC naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees and several other nature books, for an early spring tree tour of the historic and botanically diverse trees of the Capitol Grounds and Arboretum (the new official name of the site).


Bluebells and Budbreak at Boundary Bridge (Nature Forward)

Boundary Bridge at Rock Creek Park

The author of the award-winning book, A Year in Rock Creek Park and the critically acclaimed City of Trees will offer her 17th year of Nature Forward walks in the country’s oldest urban national park. Under her expert guidance, you will witness the annual floral miracle of Virginia bluebells, spring beauties, and trout lilies in the floodplain forest, while the leaves of tulip tree and American beech begin to spill from their buds.

$40 – $49

Springtime on the Potomac Heritage Trail: A Wildflower Hike at Turkey Run Park (Smithsonian Associates)

Turkey Run Park (first parking lot from Park's George Washington Memorial Parkway exit), McLean, VA, United States

Discover the spring splendors of the Potomac Gorge, a 1,900-acre natural area spanning Maryland and Virginia, and one of the most geologically diverse places on Earth. Hiking north from Turkey Run Park along the Potomac Heritage Trail, experience the contrasting terrains of the more gentle, terraced landscape in Maryland and the steeper, dissected area in Virginia.

$45 – $55

Forest Bathing Walk with Author Melanie Choukas-Bradley — Politics & Prose

Tregaron Conservancy 3031 Klingle Road, NW, Washington, DC, United States

Join Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of The Joy of Forest Bathing and A Year in Rock Creek Park, and several other nature books for a spring forest bathing walk through the enchanting Tregaron Conservancy, a woodland garden tucked away in the midst of northwest Washington that has been restored and stewarded by a non-profit organization since 2006. We will meander under tall trees, cross picturesque bridges over musical streams, and climb stone steps through a century-old cultivated and wild woodland landscape reminiscent of “the secret garden.”


Capitol Tree Walk with Author Melanie Choukas-Bradley — Politics & Prose

U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, United States

Join naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees and several other nature books, for a spring walking tour of the historic and botanically diverse trees of the U.S. Capitol Grounds and Arboretum


Botanical Bliss: An Immersive Nature Walk (On-site Tour)

U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, United States

Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, City of Trees, and other regional nature books leads this slow-moving, immersive tour through the USBG outdoor gardens. The tour aims to promote wellness and reflection on nature. Join Melanie as she guides you to explore the beauty and wonder of the gated outdoor gardens through all five senses. You will pause throughout to witness exquisite May flowers and abundant pollinators of the Garden, share experiences, and explore observations. At the conclusion of the journey, you will have the opportunity to reflect and sip some pure maple sap “tea.”

Free With Registration

A Spring Walk on Theodore Roosevelt Island (Smithsonian Associates)

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Enjoy a spring morning walk on a natural oasis in the Potomac with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, the author of the book Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island. The nearly 2-mile path follows the island’s shore and moves deep into the swamp and tidal inlet along the boardwalk where willows, bald cypresses, and cattails frame views of Washington, D.C.

$55 – $75