Explore the most popular birding trails near Bethesda with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

road biking
2 months ago

This is a great trail to travel from Bethesda to Georgetown. It is green and clean; I use it weekly. During peek hours it can get very busy. If you are with children be careful of fast cyclist, the max speed is 15 mph but they go faster on their commute.

3 months ago

Not very well marked and All Trails was way off with the red lines. There is no trail east of 7 Locks Road.

Great for running! easily accessible. Nice and flat.

Hiked about half of this. Easy.

Great biking path around and through DC under the trees. 23 miles round trip through sylvan woods and history. Occasional restaurants along the way in Georgetown and Bethesda.
A real Gem.

The trail is closed. They had a “detour” so we thought that eventually we would get to the trail but they are renovating pretty much the whole thing. You walk through the city and basically walk a mile out of the way to not not see anything. Would have rather driven to the park /spring and parked in the residential area to check out other trails in the park. I wish there was a notice that the trail was actually CLOSED and not put up the detour sign.

Dog Shit Trail is the new name, very disappointed! Great weather brings out the best in Fido’s friend. Dog waste every where on the trail! Wake up America!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Heavily trafficked by dog walkers, bicycles and others. Would have enjoyed more if more remote and less noisy.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pretty trail. Hard to believe it's nestled in between congested areas. Good for getting back into shape, mostly flat with a few up hills!

Friday, July 21, 2017

5-miler @ 4.2mph speed. Two tiny jogs at road crossings, otherwise all hiking. Took 3 pics: one at the beginning (public parking), one at the 2.5-mile turnaround, and at the end (Calypso). Smooth summer night hike!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wanted to finish hiking this super-low elevation trail at 4.0 mph or faster. This is an excellent, well-paved, easy trail for many activities -- walking, hiking, running, biking, rollerblading and skating, bird watching, the list goes on and on. Although usually populated, this trail's environment offers enough individuality, tranquility, and inner peace to allow one to not mind the crowd. I will be visiting this trail frequently.

I actually hiked 3.5-3.6 miles because my out-n-back turn-around point was at 1.75-1.8 miles -- so, about 0.2 miles was unrecorded. I was trekking along nicely when I looked and my recorded track was stopped. I'm not sure why it stops sometimes. Perhaps toggling back and forth between apps (which is what I was doing, listening to music while hiking) is a cue to stop recording the track. I was consistently checking, so I missed only 2/10 of a mile's worth of data.

I'm happy with this hike. My challenge for this trail is to finish 2.5 hours of hiking at 4.0 mph or better, with absolutely no running (5-mile turn-around point in 75 minutes). This is easier said than done for many.

A beautiful hike with great scenery, ample wildlife, and interesting insights into the history of the canal.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

This was a lovely hike. All Trails' map is inaccurate at the end of the first half and puts you out on a large road with lots of traffic. Avoid going out onto the street and simply turn back. We'll do it again by modifying that way. Pretty creeks, trees, nice shade for hiking without too much direct sun.

on Cabin John Trail

trail running
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ran the southern portion of the trail with my dog on a leash. Ran into lots of dogs off leash. Normally this does not bother me but when I asked two guys to control their dogs after I had to get in between their dogs trying to bite mine they started threatening me and luckily only harsh words ensued. I doubt I will ever run this beautiful trail again.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Great for biking, C & O canal (which runs parallel) is better for walking

Friday, September 02, 2016

It's a nicely manicured trail. Beautiful scenery along the way. I'd definitely do it again

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Loved it! Very shaded so I didn't feel so hot

Flat and fun!

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Nice trail within reach of Washington DC. The trail is hilly when you start at Chain Bridge and head west and eventually flattens out as it runs by the river. The trail was well marked and ran along side GW Parkway for a short distance and at one point you have to cross a road. The trail starting from about 3 miles west of Chain Bridge looked less used as there were many trees that had fallen across the trail that you had to climb over. At one point, within about a mile from Chain Bridge, you have to cross a stream by hopping stones if you don't want to get your feet wet. Overall an enjoyable hike and not very crowded, especially if you go earlier in the morning.

Great walk

on Cabin John Trail

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Took off from the family park area and walked all the way down to the Potomac (might've been the C&O Canal I joined up with). Ended up being 19+ miles but it was a really pretty walk. Not terribly challenging but glad I brought fuel

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Great. We took our dogs and they loved the creek too. Nice trail.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Great day for a hike. The falls looked very powerful today. Glad I got there early because on my way back there were a lot of people headed out to the trail.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

I took the Billy Goat session B and C on the way. This way I had hiking instead of just walking. Love the trails.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Great ride into DC stayed to see the fireworks

Sunday, August 30, 2015


trail running
Sunday, August 02, 2015

Love running the towpath. Haven't completed the entire trail but it's in my to-do list.

road biking
Sunday, August 02, 2015

Great biking trail!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Enjoy the trail while it remains quiet! The Purple Line light rail has been approved and will soon run along the trail. A "pedestrian path" will run alongside, but the trains will create noise, and huge swaths of trees will need to be cut down in order for it to run properly.

This is a nice trail. It's not secluded, and houses are always within earshot on the other side of the trees. The path is well-used by walkers and bikers, so stay to the right! The bikers have always given warning shouts or bell-rings in my experience, which makes this a nice shared experience.

The trail crosses a few busy streets, but there are crosswalks. Along one spot, you cross a high bridge over a creek and another trail. It's a nice place to sit and relax for a bit. I wouldn't code this as a hiking trail, really, but it is a nice way to get out in nature near the city.

And if you're hungry when you get to the Connecticut Avenue crossing, eat at Manoli Canoli. It's a great Italian restaurant!

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