Explore the most popular views trails in District of Columbia with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The best hike to see all the Memorials and White House. Very easy, gets rather crowded at times. If you go during summer bring water and keep children/pets hydrated. Take your time, it's an enjoyable way to visit our Nation's History.

Really great and less frequently traveled trail. Going over the bridge gives you a great view of the Potomac and there is a statute of Teddy Roosevelt on the island. Very easy hike, gets muddy after rain however. You can go swimming at certain points but take caution; it's swim at your own risk.

Don’t take your pup.

The first part of the trail (clockwise) runs along Rock Creek Parkway. If you’re out for a long run, it’s worth it. If you’re out for a hike you should drop this section. This section is also a dangerous place to have a dog on a leash. The width of the path gets down to two people wide with the busy parkway right next to the trail at points - no one walks here, it’s 100% runners and bicyclists...add a dog on a leash and we’re asking for an accident that could end up with a someone in the road. For the last 5 years I’ve lived near, run down and commuted on this section...I’ve rarely seen people walking and I’ve never seen a dog on this section.

Good urban escape

This is a wonderful area to walk around and see all the memorials and history. I did this walk with my father when I was a youngster; however, the views did not get old the second time around, even in the 95 degree heat.

After this visit, we drove to Shenandoah National Park located approximately 1 1/2 hours away! Although drastically different, both are well worth your time.

great place..

Awesome views & scenery; photo ops as well!

Walked this today. Great hike to beautiful and moving memorial. My favorite were the memorials around the basin.

While this is a hot and very humid hike in the summer, it is an awesome and rewarding walk touching on our nation's history. Well worth the time for anyone wanting to see what DC has to offer.

I thought this place was cool! Some people were playing in the fountains that weren’t running... so that was freaking weird- but overall a really good place to take my dog on a walk and let her swim a bit. Super easy place to walk around. Probably one of the lesser known places to go in the area, there’s a huge statue of Teddy Roosevelt people liked to take pictures with. I’ll definitely head back soon.

Nice hike. Great for a nice morning hike.

Airplanes frequent overhead creating a lot of noise. It’s very slippery and muddy after big rains.
Great for bird watching. Lots of Redwings and mallards.

Teddy Roosevelt Island houses one of the lesser-known monuments and is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life without ever leaving the city. This is an extremely easy, flat, paved path with a few through-trails in-between the major loop. Experienced hikers who are looking for a challenge would find this trail boring, whereas tourists looking for some relief or those looking for a leisurely stroll would love this area. It is fairly deserted during regular business hours, but can get busy on the weekend.

Nice hike, you get to see all of the historical buildings and monuments throughout Washington DC. just make sure not to go on a super hot day like I did lol

hiking
1 month ago

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

Walked about the Theodore Roosevelt Island bridge entrance, my first time really exploring this area. The bridge over to the Island was closed today as a public safety precaution due to recent flooding in this area. My plan was to run around the island before running Martha Custis, but since I couldn't I just walked about taking pictures.

This is a pretty cool spot, and is also the location where you park for the Martha Custis Trail. The place was already swarming with people on a Sunday at about 10:30, so I advise doing things early, like 5-6 am on weekend visits. I will be returning.

Great way to respect a president who loved the outdoors! nice and quiet island, hike it to escape the craziness of DC, plus lots of wildlife

So first off, I would recommend doing this hike in reverse. With an easy, scenic start for the first 2 miles on the Virginia side, the next two miles have some intermittent sections of difficulty with some narrow, rugged terrain and rock scrambling/climbing and stream crossings (and waterfall sightings) if the water level is high enough. (FYI - Along this part of the trail the blazes switch between blue and turquoise). At about mile 3.5, you’ll cross the Gulf Branch waterfall, where you’ll start the uphill climb immediately up the right side (markings were a tad difficult to find). There is a steep, rocky incline with some metal handrails put in (for well-needed and greatly appreciated assistance) along the 30-40 foot climb. Then little switchbacks get you the rest of the way up (~150 ft) to GW parkway. You’ll descend under the parkway overpass towards Glebe road and then under the Chain Bridge. Allow ~3 hours for the Virginia side of the hike. Cross the bridge on left side into D.C. and then down the ramp to the tow path on the C&O canal. This section is wide and flat, and full of joggers and people on bikes, and I wouldn’t really consider it a hike, but an easy stroll/cooldown. In about a mile you’ll happen across restrooms, water and a snackbar at Fletcher’s Cove. Which can provide a well needed leg rest before pushing on to finish the loop or ending there (parking lot is large). Should allow at least 2 hours for the DC side of the walk.

hiking
4 months ago

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

Nice urban hike. We went during a rainy day with heavy fog which created deep and wide puddles. The area around the walkways was really muddy. We were not wearing the right shoes for it. Nevertheless, beautiful views of the monuments. Easy walk.

hiking
5 months ago

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. Except for tickets to the top of the monument. Those are HARD to get.

Fairly busy on the tow path. At times shoulder to shoulder with someone. On the trails off of the tow path there is not a soul in sight. I would recommend the mining trail.

Great! Even in the snow!

road biking
5 months ago

Biking this trail is great. Very diverse scenery throughout the duration of the ride. A nice mix of elevation changes and flat stretches.

hiking
6 months ago

Great walk thru the mall.

on The National Mall

hiking
6 months ago

Great sites to see. A lot of history.

hiking
6 months ago

Great walk to all the monuments.

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