Dasha has seen a beaver at Seneca Creek, but all I have seen is ample evidence of their presence. They appear to be quite industrious and prolific, but perhaps shy.
C'mon up to Canada! We often see them out for an evening swim when we're on a canoe trip - proof that you should definitely purify your drinking water to avoid giardia. We see signs of them in the woods around here - fallen trees with pointy, chewed ends - and once I had to wait for a beaver to cross the road less than a mile from our place.
Jon's commute does sound pretty amazing though!
Someone I met on a trail next to a beaver-flooded field said that they were going to take over the world and elect their own Beaver president.
Cool beaver sighting.
Though you go further, the section from Blagden Rd. to the DC/MD Border is just under 5 miles. The first part of that (Valley Trail on the east side of the creek) south of Military and Joyce Rd. is only 1.5 but constantly up and down. I think that's hillier than the west side. See:
Agreed. I was especially surprised that the beaver wasn't bothered by being caught in the light from my headlamp - I stood watching it for maybe half a minute once I spotted it and it didn't do a thing until I turned to leave and took a step again. Then submerging with the slapping sound again.
I find it a bit strange that I can't recall seeing any evidence of beaver activity (dams, lodges, felled or chewed on trees) along that stretch of creek. Maybe my beaver was out for an evening swim.
Hmmm.... if that's five miles, maybe my distance estimates for the whole trip are slightly low. The Valley Trail between the Park Police station and slightly south of Pulpit Rock is certainly big on continuous climbs and descents and it's the roughest trail in the park so good for orienteering. Plus there are a couple of large steep climbs immediately north and slightly south of Pulpit Rock. I almost always include that section in both directions because of that. For long gradual climbs though, I'd say the western side of the park is the place to go. Ideally, I want to work more of that in somewhat longer runs home than I've done as yet.