Letter: More Trails, Please

Letter: More Trails, Please

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:


Pooka Belle takes in the view at the Mount Vernon Estate.

Among the many benefits of living in the Mount Vernon area, my family and I count the Mount Vernon Estate as among the top. As members for many years we have enjoyed all the seasons at this cherished historical site. Residents of the Mount Vernon area are very fortunate to live near the home of our nation’s first President. Most of you have undoubtedly visited Mount Vernon and enjoyed, firsthand, walking in the footsteps of the Father of our Country.

In particular, we are grateful for the gracious hospitality of the Mount Vernon Estate — that not only opens its doors and beautiful grounds to people — but welcomes our canine family members as well. We have walked many dogs over the years around the Estate, some better behaved than others, but what remains unchanged is our enthusiasm and love of its walkability and natural beauty.

However, while there are wonderful walking paths in and around the estate, hundreds of acres remain largely inaccessible to visitors. Mount Vernon encourages nearby residents to join as yearly members both as a way to ensure its solvency and to bolster support from the community. While many local residents enjoy the wine tastings, fireworks and other events, many of us simply join each year for the benefit of walking the grounds and taking in one of the most outstanding views of the Potomac in the D.C. area.

For this reason, I hope the Mount Vernon Estate would consider opening up additional grounds to visitors through the creation of more trails. I do understand that the Estate has limited funds and many financial obligations, however, I believe that more Mount Vernon residents might be drawn to yearly memberships by additional walking paths throughout the estate. I know there are many in our local community who enjoy

hiking the grounds of the Estate and the creation of more walks — down by the water or in the forested areas — would be a welcome benefit.

Perhaps the trails could be a blazed as part of a community project or during the summer months when many students seek temporary employment in our area. And, while there are certainly costs associated with these additional trails, they could be offset by the increase in membership.

In short, I believe the creation of additional walking paths at Mount Vernon could be a win-win for the Estate as well as for local residents and out-of-town visitors alike. John Muir said, “in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” I thank the Estate for providing my family such a wonderful sanctuary and hope that by opening more of the beautiful natural surroundings to visitors we can offer even more than we seek.

Anne P. Holloway