Spring Flora of Clermont Park and Loftridge Park

Loading Map....

Saturday, April 27, 2019
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Clermont and Loftridge Parks


Field trip co-sponsored by the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society and the Botanical Society of Washington

Leaders: Rod Simmons and Scott Graham

 This field trip will record flora and fauna for the Washington, D.C. region’s participation in the City Nature Challenge.  Participants are encouraged, but not required to record findings on iNaturalist during the walk.  (The City of Alexandria, Virginia’s City Nature Challenge flier is at https://adobe.ly/2VMvKd4.)

Scenic Clermont and Loftridge parks comprise a large, floristically diverse, forested area in Franconia, Virginia.  Both parks contain numerous seepage wetlands and streams, sweeping ravines, a diversity of native plants and trees, and excellent geologic exposures, such as ancient gravel terraces and underlying clays and deposits of the Potomac Formation.  

Pinxterflower (Rhododendron periclymenoides) in bloom in Oak-Heath Forest. Photo by R.H. Simmons

Pinxterflower (Rhododendron periclymenoides) in bloom in Oak-Heath Forest. Photo by R.H. Simmons

Directions: From Capital Beltway (495) heading south from the American Legion Bridge, exit onto southbound S. Van Dorn Street (Rt. 613) and proceed south on S. Van Dorn Street app. 8/10ths mile to Franconia Road (Rt. 644).  At the light at the intersection with Franconia Road, turn left onto Franconia Road and proceed app. 2 miles to the entrance to Clermont Park on the left.  

From Capital Beltway heading south from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, exit onto southbound Telegraph Road (Rt. 241) and proceed south on Telegraph Road app. 6/10ths mile to intersection with Franconia Road on right.  Turn right onto Franconia Road and proceed app. 1 mile uphill to park entrance on right.

Bring: Wear sturdy shoes and bring lunch or snacks and water.  Most of the walk traverses rolling, fairly open forest along trails, though some steep grades will occasionally be encountered. 

*In the event of pouring rain, the program will be cancelled. 

For more on the geology of Clermont and Loftridge parks, the Franconia terraces, and underlying Potomac Formation, see

Plate 5. Geologic Map Showing Surficial Geology, Landforms, and Major Areas of Artificially Modified Land,  Expanded Explanation of Plate 5,

Plate 4. Geologic Map of the Potomac Formation, and Expanded Explanation of Plate 4 of the Geologic Atlas of the City of Alexandria, Virginia and Vicinity athttps://www.alexandriava.gov/89974.

This field trip is free and open to all.

For ARMN members, this field trip applies per usual towards advanced training hours in botany, ecology, and geology.