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

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Washington, District of Columbia Map
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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.

This trail is really pretty, half of it is along the river. The only thing is that because of construction, you are unable to see the bridge (the best part of the hike).

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
28 days ago

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

It's most beautiful when the cherry blossoms are out, but the crowds are intense.

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.

on Boulder Bridge Loop

hiking
1 month ago

Unexpected trail in the middle of the nations capital. Will definitely get a good workout in with the hills and dodging of the horse dung located throughout the trail.

I love going here when the lotus are blooming or even after with the seed pods. I cool!

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
1 month ago

Awesome!! Went with the kids and had tons of fun. Beautiful trail!

2 months ago

Easy walk through the cherry blossoms and fishermen trying for catfish.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great hike right in the downtown DC area. You can combine it with the eastern side to make it a nice loop vice an out and back. Interesting bits of history at signs and markers along the way.

Great hike this time of year. When I do this hike again, I will try to hike it when there are fewer people.

2 months ago

Love the hill at the end. Great hike! Beautiful walk by the creek.

Not well marked at all, with lots of smaller branching trails. Overall, a good trail but poorly marked.

hiking
3 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
4 months ago

Great scenery even in the winter.

hiking
4 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!

hiking
4 months ago

Had a good hike, but was frustrated by the poorly marked trail system. Hiked north from the nature center on the western ridge trail, then returned on the valley trail. Many forks in trail with no indication ofwhich trail is which. Blazes and trail markers seemed sparse.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike for a decent workout with the pups. We added an extra mile by parking on Colorado which was awesome

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