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The National Mall is a 5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Washington, District of Columbia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.0 mi Elevation gain 114 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Wheelchair friendly Kid friendly Stroller friendly Hiking Walking Running River Views Snow City walk Historic site
Description
Waypoints (11)
Tips

Highlights for families along the National Mall Put on your walking shoes and get ready to explore the National Mall. This is a quick, one-day itinerary for families who have just a little time in Washington, D.C., and want to get the most out of their trip. The tour includes plenty to keep children occupied, with a few historical and political tidbits in between. It is meant to span morning until lunch, but depending on your child's interest in some of the attractions it could take even longer. All attractions are absolutely free. This guide can be coupled with a second itinerary as well.

Be sure to warn your kids that they'll be going through security at each building you enter along the National Mall. If carrying bags, security personnel will either peek inside or have visitors put the bags through metal detectors. Some museums do not allow large bags, so plan accordingly. There aren't a lot of places to eat along the National Mall that aren't affiliated with museums, so to save some time and money, bring along some nonperishable snacks. Most museums don't allow liquids, but packaged goods should be OK if they are tucked away in your purse or a bag. If you don't have time to get snacks, vendors sell snacks outside museums that are generally less expensive than food sold in cafes. Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot to see along the National Mall, but buildings and monuments are spread out. Be sure to use the crosswalks when crossing major streets. At each intersection, blinking signs count down the seconds until lights change, so make a game out of counting down with the kids.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (102)
Photos (552)
Recordings (77)
Completed (475)
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Kristy Littlejohn
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Hiking
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Kaitlyn Rivera
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Hiking

Went on a Monday morning during COVID season at 8:30. Highly recommend before that hot sun comes out and little shade! Super empty walking paths to enjoy the monuments.

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Andrea Cagle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 15, 2020
Hiking

Please give a full 5 days to take in all of the buildings and museums! This is a wonderful place to take the family and children! Many, many things to see and do!

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Joe Zwick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 9, 2020
Hiking

Such a beautiful walk. Really hard to stick to the trail since there is so much to see.

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Moe Ahmed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 28, 2019
Hiking

Turkey Trot 5k 2019

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Uncl3 Mik3 Mik3
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 20, 2019
Hiking

Great, easy walk around the National Mall. Search YouTube for “Uncl3Mik3Mik3 Trail-Away” for video.

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Edwin Robledo
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Road biking

Majestic!

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Sylwester Fronczak
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Running

a classic, must-do

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Jean-Claude Linossi
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Hiking

Great place to visit. Take your time to enjoy the sights.

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Jesus Magana
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2019
Hiking

Great place for a nice walk (wear good walking shoes), very busy - a lot of people and tour buses, bring hat, sunglasses, and water, Lots of vendor for water and food. Lots to see and enjoy.

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Van Zbinden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2019
Hiking

Did this with the family. It was busy, as is to be expected. It was cloudy and there was a cooling breeze. Got off course a couple of times to check things out and play the tourist.

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Joe Colasanto
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Hiking
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Caron Whitlock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2019

Washington is a Great place to visit. you can see most everything by foot. Beautiful sites to take in!!

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GT W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 3, 2019

Shorter than the full National Monuments route as it skips the Jefferson Memorial, but still longer than you might expect. Bring hat, sunglasses, and plenty of water because the National Mall is huge!

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Jason Hoke
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Hiking
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Vanessa McKnight
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Definately worth the trip. Much more crowded than I would prefer, but what I expected.

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Daniel Riley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 22, 2018
Hiking

Every time I visit DC, I always find something new while walking around the National Mall.

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Bill Crain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 1, 2018
Hiking

My HQ for 30 years was pretty close to the Washington Monument... Glad i'm retired!

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Elliott Albin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 9, 2018
Hiking

Heh... it said “moderately trafficked.” I’d say more “extra heavily trafficked” Good trail considering that it has many Monuments that the US takes pride in. Good that it’s free.

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Carly Collins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2017

The National Mall is always an inspiring destination with all its beautiful monuments and visitors from all over the world. It's a deceptively long walk (unless it's summertime with its infamous D.C. heat) as you often don't realize that you've walked miles just going from sight to sight. Fantastic way to share in America's history and also get some exercise!

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Bill Watson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 27, 2017
Walking
First to Review

Nothing like visiting our nation's Capitol and the National Mall. Know that with everything to see you will walk more than just along the mall paths. You can spend hours inside the Air&Space Museum, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, and other sights. Two days of exploring might be a better bet. We really enjoyed it and still didn't see everything. Must visit for anyone in the world.

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Bruce Phillips
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Hiking
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Ellen Schwenk Medlock
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Road biking
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CNL 4426
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Hiking
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Lynette Henry
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Hiking
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Hailey Wellenstein
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Hiking
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Warren Wolf
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Hiking
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Will Richardson
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Road biking
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Saleem Sullivan
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Mountain biking
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William Brinkley
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Hiking
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