Family Hike: Julie J. Metz Wetland Bank

March 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm 3 comments

Today was a lovely spring day and with more winter-like temperatures in the forecast for Monday, I decided to take my 20-month old son out for a quick hike this afternoon. I aimed to take him to Leesylvania State Park, but while we were on Neabsco Road, I spied a tell-tale trailhead sign, so I turned around to investigate. It looked like a humble little park, the Julie J. Metz Wetland Bank, but boy, it was just a wonderful hidden gem.

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Smiling Sagan with Water
Sagan Enjoys View at Julie J Metz Wetlands Bank

Trail Overview
This trail system was absolutely perfect for a toddler! The trails were flat and at the same time, they had numerous bridges and wooden walkways to intrigue your child (and keep you elevated out of the wetlands). We had some rain earlier in the day, so we had a bonus perk– muddy puddles! My son loved splashing in them, stomping in them, and then he leaned down and put his hands in. At that point, he didn’t love muddle puddles so much (he despises dirty hands).

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Sagan Crosses Another Bridge
Sagan Crosses One of Many Bridges/Wooden Walkways

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Yeah! Mud!
YEAH! Mud is AWESOME!

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Two Legged Tree and Wetlands
Misc View of Wetlands

Flora
Honestly, I wasn’t paying that much attention to the trees. I did spy some flowering catkins and the tiniest of baby leaves making their first spring appearance. There was plenty of evidence of Sweet Gum, from the ample collection of spikey balls on the ground to the distinctive “alligator-wood” of the branches. I also noted American Sycamore. I don’t recall seeing any Red Maples.

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Yellow Flowers
Yellow Catkins Flowering

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Sagan Evaluates First Leaves
Sagan Examines One of Spring’s First Leaves

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Gumballs Before and After
Souvenirs of Sweet Gum

Pawpaw Alert! I did see a sign that indicated there are pawpaws in the park. Translation: This might be a good park to visit in September. : )

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Pawpaw Alert
This Sign Wouldn’t Tell You to Identify Pawpaw, If There Were No Pawpaws

Fauna
Like Huntley Meadows Park in Fairfax, Virginia this little park gives you a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to wildlife. So many birds were singing and so loudly that it almost seemed as if we had a radio on. As you can expect, waterfowl were plentiful. As dusk neared, we had a wonderful serenade of spring peepers. It was reminiscent of the Spring Peeper Serenade from my 35th Birthday, though not quite as loud. During our hike we also saw lots of souvenirs left behind by beavers (in the form of gnawed tree stumps) and deer (in the form of many, many, many footprints in the mud).

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Geese
Geese

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Signs Of Beavers
Just One of Numerous Tree Stumps Left Behind By Beavers

Julie J Metz Wetlands Hike - Deer Tracks
Deer Track in Mud

Julie J. Metz Wetland Bank was an accidental find, but I highly recommend it, particular to families with small children. I don’t think we could have had a more enjoyable afternoon.

Julie J. Metz Wetland Bank

Neabsco Road
Woodbridge, Virginia

Length: Varies

Elevation Gain: FLAT!

Directions from Occoquan, Virginia

Take Route 1 South

Turn left on Neabsco Road

Trailhead will be on your left in a couple of miles

Entry filed under: Hiking, Julie J Metz Wetland Bank, Sagan. Tags: .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. narami  |  March 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    That pic os Sagan enjoying the mud is priceless!!!!

    Reply
    • 2. narami  |  March 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Of*** not os. (phone. meh)

      Reply
  • 3. Michele Wong  |  March 21, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Great pic’s! Looks so incredibly peaceful and Sagan looks like he’s having great fun! Really….he despises dirty hands? But, he’s a BOY!!!🙂

    Reply

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