Nestled in the middle of the forest, off of a narrow trail, lies the dumping ground of the Capitol Stones, the historic stones that were once part of the U.S. Capitol building.
In fact, many of the huge blocks of stone were part of the original Capitol construction. Now they sit, in the middle of Rock Creek Park, collecting moss and dirt on top of their ornate facade details and inscriptions.
As the story goes, renovations on the U.S. Capitol began in 1958. Parts of the facade were removed and replaced with new stone. Since a law prevented the renovation crew from selling or disposing of the old stone, they chose to instead store (or dump) it in the middle of the forest, stacked 10 feet high in some places.
My hike to the Capitol Stones felt a little bit like a treasure hunt – I was heading out on unmarked trails in search of something long lost and forgotten. The hike alone was worth it – it was a misty day during the peak of the fall colors.
If I’ve caught your attention and you want more information, check this Washingtonian article, where I first read about these mythical Capitol stones.