Park Views: A Walk To Boulder Bridge

I walked to Boulder Bridge along Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park today. It’s one of my favorite areas of the park and gave me a great chance to mess around with my new GoPro.

What is Boulder Bridge?

Boulder Bridge is a historic bridge that carries Beach Drive over Rock Creek. It’s 80 feet long and rises 12 feet.

Boulder Bridge, Rock Creek Park – April 2021

It might look like something from the colonial era or earlier, but it was actually built in 1902. As the story goes, the distinctive look of the bridge may have results from a misunderstanding. With a contract that supposedly called for “man sized stone” (intended to mean stones of the size that a man could carry), the builder instead found stones the size of a man. All in all, I think it was an upgrade.

Where is Boulder Bridge located?

Boulder Bridge is located along Beach Drive NW in Rock Creek Park in northwest Washington, DC. It’s located approximately a half-mile from the intersection of Beach Drive and Blagden Avenue. This portion of Beach Drive is currently closed to automobile traffic.

Directions and How To Get To There

Boulder Bridge is about 0.8 miles from the nearest public parking area near Peirce Mill. You have two options for getting there – the easy, flat, gravel and paved path along Beach Drive, or the slightly more challenging route on the Western Ridge Trail. The Valley Trail (on the east side of the creek) also runs past the bridge. Your closest access point for this trail is from Blagden Avenue to the south (0.7 miles). But the trail runs much of the length of the park and can be joined at various points. Bikers can also easily access the bridge via the paved and car-free portion of Beach Drive.

Boulder Bridge is also commonly accessed using the popular Boulder Bridge Loop trail, a three-mile round-trip hike that begins near the Rock Creek Park Nature Center off Military Road NW. There’s usually parking available in one of the several lots in the area. Keep an eye out for horses on portions of this route!

The Video

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately, trying to learn the best ways to use my GoPro. I tried to apply some of the shots I saw there in this video. This is all entirely handheld or filmed with the camera resting on the ground. I brought my chest mount with me but didn’t end up using it. But I was hiking with a pack with weight in it and didn’t feel like adding another thing strapped to my chest. Yesterday, I impulse purchased a 50-in-1 GoPro accessory set which includes a chest mount, head mount, helmet mount, tripod, and selfie stick. It’s already making me feel like the chest mount wasn’t the smartest purchase.

I set my resolution to 2.7k this time, which made editing less abusive to my poor Surface, which did not sign up for this. The GoPro’s battery pleasantly surprised me with my first intensive test of the GoPro’s battery as well. Frequently turning it on and off, and starting and stopping various shots only used about 60% of the battery in about two hours of active shooting.

Bonus Video: Slow TV at Boulder Bridge (9:46)

I didn’t plan on doing any long-form video stuff today. I set up my camera to film myself walking across the bridge, and some lady who was walking decided to stop in the center and rest. My pain of an extra 10 minutes of waiting is your gain, because this is pretty relaxing. The grassy area just north of the bridge is a great place to rest for a few minutes, in any case.

Thanks as always for reading.

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