If you like to walk, run, jog, or stay active in the Washington DC area, we’re FINALLY approaching that time of the year where we’re not buried in snow or hunkered down inside and can start to fully enjoy all the fabulous outdoor recreational opportunities our nation’s capital has to offer.
For longtime Washington DC residents, chances are you already have a regular running route or trail that you routinely use, but for those new to the area or are perhaps looking to change things up a bit this warm season, here are a few of the best places to go for a run in Washington DC:
Short for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail, this scenic route runs 184.5 miles along the Potomac from the heart of Washington DC all the way to Cumberland, MD. Both runners and bikers use the C&O Canal Trail, and because it mainly has a crushed stone surface, it’s especially great for running.
Perhaps one of the best DC running spots around is the section of Beach Drive that winds through Rock Creek Park. on the weekends, this stretch of beautiful roadway is blocked off to cars making it completely safe for runners, bikers, rollerblading, and walkers wanting to enjoy a nice quiet day in the park.
Capital Crescent Trail
Another favorite jogging trail in DC, primarily because of its location, the Capital Crescent Trail is an 11-mile stretch of an old abandoned rail bed that was part of the B&O Railroad. Running from Georgetown in Washington DC all the way to Silver Spring, Maryland, this truly is one of the best off-road pathways in all of DC. From Georgetown to Bethesda, the Capital Crescent Trail is paved, while the remaining 4 miles from Bethesda to Rosemary Hills is mostly all gravel.
Mt. Vernon Trail
If you’re looking to enjoy great views of the Potomac River and many of DC’s most famous monuments while going for a bike ride or a jog, head on over to the Mt. Vernon Trail, which stretches 18.5 miles from George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington DC.
Rock Creek Park
Great for just about any form of outdoor recreation, this 13 mile trail runs from Lake Needwood in Montgomery County, MD to right near the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Natural surface trails are available for hiking, while paved trails are make for a great surface to jog, rollerblade, or bike.