- How fit do I need to be to go on a Wanderbirds hike?
- How much does it cost?
- Where do I catch the bus and what time should I be there?
- Do I have to make a reservation?
- Can I make a reservation online?
- What if I have to cancel?
- What kind of footwear will I need?
- What kind of clothing should I wear?
- How much water and food should I bring?
- Do I need sunscreen and insect repellent?
- Do I need to be a club member to hike with the Wanderbirds?
- What should I know about ticks?
You should be able to walk 7 miles within 4-5 hours, including going up hills which may be steep and rocky at times. Our moderate hikes usually have between 1000 and 2000 feet of elevation gain. That's like climbing the Washington Monument 2 to 4 times! Easier options are often available. Check with the leader when signing up. Click here for more information. Back to top
How much does it cost?
The round-trip bus fare is $20 for club members and $25 for non-members. There may be additional park fees for some parks ($2 in Maryland and $5 or $8 in Shenandoah National Park, depending on the season), but we often have enough hikers with passes so that we do not need to pay the Shenandoah Park fees.
When we use car-pools, the club charges a $5.00 administrative fee and car-pool passengers pay drivers $10.00 to defray expenses.
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Our bus departs from 17th and K Streets, NW, at 8:00 a.m. sharp every Sunday morning, unless otherwise noted in the schedule. There are no parking restrictions on Sunday in the pickup area. You can take Metro to this pickup point (Farragut North Red line stop) in time to meet the bus. The Farragut West station (Orange/Blue lines) is only one block away.
Outings to Virginia and West Virginia will have an additional pickup in Virginia at the Vienna Orange Line Metro station (north parking area) at Nutley Street just north of Rte. I-66 at about 8:15 a.m.
Trips to Maryland and points north will have an additional pickup in Maryland at the Grosvenor Red Line Metro station at Tuckerman Lane off Rockville Pike in Bethesda (just north of the Beltway) at about 8:20 a.m.
When making a hike reservation please tell the leader where you will board the bus.
Click here for maps and directions to the pickup sites. Back to top
Reservations are important. Hike leaders need to know that enough hikers are planning to come out to justify hiring a bus, otherwise a hike may be cancelled. Also, if you are a new hiker, you should call the leader at the phone number listed in the hike schedule both to reserve a place on the bus and to discuss the hike and your abilities. "Walk-ons" will be accepted if unreserved seats are available. Walk-ons run the risk of showing up early in the morning and being turned away because the bus is full. Back to top
We do not accept reservations through our web site. New hikers, please phone the leader at the number provided in the schedule listing to make a reservation. If you come out with us, you may provide the leader with your email address and we will send you a weekly email notice about the upcoming hike. The notice will include a link to the leaders so that you may sign up by email. Back to top
If you do sign up it is a commitment to come because we'll be saving a seat for you on the bus. If you are a no show you are probably depriving someone else of a place on the hike. The empty seat means you are also depriving the club of revenue it needs to keep hiring buses for the hikes.
If you sign up but find you have to cancel, please make sure you cancel with the leader before 8:00 AM Saturday before the hike, otherwise we will list you as a no-show. We expect no shows pay the specified bus fare either online or by sending a check to our treasurer: Emil Friberg, PO Box 51146, Washington DC 20091.
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Experienced hikers almost always wear well broken-in boots (see an outfitter like REI or Hudson Trails.) You can sometimes get along with running shoes, but trails can be rough and boots offer better protection. Ankle-high boots offer more protection against ankle sprains than low-tops (which, however, are worn by many hikers). Water-resistant boots (Gore-Tex®-lined) are available and may help keep your feet dry in rain and during stream crossings. Back to top
You should always carry rain gear--waterproof jacket or poncho--in case of showers or storms.
In warm or hot weather, wicking tee shirts made of polyester are better than cotton, which may become sodden with perspiration. Many hikers wear shorts in hot weather, although long trousers offer better protection. Trousers with zip-off legs are very popular.
In cold weather dressing in layers is a good idea, which allows you to remove or add clothing as needed. Numbers and kinds of layers are a matter of individual needs which you will learn by experience.
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Bring about 2 quarts (liters) of water, especially on hot days. When in doubt, bring more. Many hikers also bring sports drinks.
Pack a light lunch for the trail. Back to top
Always use sunscreen (at least SPF 30) on exposed areas to prevent sun burn which may be a causal factor in skin cancer.
Insect repellent is recommended to combat ticks, mosquitoes, and gnats. However, after a hike you should always inspect yourself for ticks, which may carry serious diseases. Back to top
The best thing is that you don't have to be a member of the club to hike with us! Just sign on to a hike and come out with us. If you enjoy hiking with us and want to become a member of the club, you can do so on the bus (talk to the leader). Membership is $20 per calendar year. You can also contact us and request a schedule and application form which you can mail back.
Or, you can fill in a membership form online, print it out, and either mail it to us with your check, or pay online with PayPal or a credit card and send us the form by e-mail.
The benefits of membership are:
- Our schedule will be mailed or e-mailed to you four times a year (your choice)
- Invitations to members-only events such as the annual picnic hike, the annual party, and the annual dinner. The cost of these events for members is partially subsidized by the club. The subsidies usually add up to more than the cost of membership.
- Lower bus fare: $20 for members; $25 for non-members.
- Listing in our annual directory of members (optional).
- Receive Wanderbirds hike notifications by e-mail (optional).
- Membership helps support the club and enables us to sponsor a hike every week.
- Get to know wonderful and interesting people when you join us!
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What should I know about ticks?
You can find out about ticks and the problems they present to hikers by clicking here.
Current Hike Schedule Things you should know about ticks Where and When? What Do I Need?
How Do I Sign On for a Hike? Maps of Pickup Points
More Info? Links? Weather? Rules and Regulations Contact Wanderbirds Contact Club Officers Print a membership form
Wanderbirds Picture Album Frequently Asked Questions Home