The Lost Blossom Bicycle Tour
Springtime in Washington means the annual return of the Cherry Blossoms. These beautiful trees first arrived in DC in 1912 as a gift from Japan. Although the largest group of trees can be found around the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial, there are several lesser known groves located around town. This bike route offers a sneak peak at some of these hidden treasures (and hopefully avoids the crowds which are typical this time of year).
The suggested starting points are Theodore Roosevelt Island or
Clara Barton Parkway (which is about a half-mile upriver from the route).
The route follows popular
Capital Crescent Trail out to the Cherry Blossom grove located in the Kenwood neighborhood. From here,
the route uses the back streets of Bethesda and Northwest Washington's exclusive neighborhoods over
to Embassy Row. Here, the Embassy of Japan has a small collection of trees (which actually do appear to be
"lost" these days). The route then follows the
Rock Creek Trail down to the main blossom grove located around the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park.
The route then crosses the Potomac River to offer a grand view of the blossoms from the Virginia Shore.
There are a few short hills along this route, with the steepest being Dorset Ave as you leave Kenwood. Although most of the route is paved, there is a very short unpaved section on Glen Cove Parkway. The last 2 miles follows the unpaved C&O Towpath, but there is a paved alternative. There are also two short sections where traffic is a bit heavy (however, optional sidewalk is available).
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