Explore the most popular City Walk 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.

walking
1 day ago

Don’t get me wrong, Georgetown is gorgeous and a great place to shop and eat. A little further out and it’s a quiet place full of beautiful old homes, hills, elegant embassies, etc. It’s a nice walk for sure - though I’m embarrassed to say I once just decided to wander around there for a while because I was bored and wanted to get out of the house and got pretty turned around... ended up at the edge of a wooded area on an empty road with no sidewalk that looked like the back of someone’s property. This was before Lyft took off. So keep an eye on your map because wealthy neighborhoods like Georgetown outside the shopping district, Foxhall, etc. usually aren’t catered to people who don’t live there (hence the irritating lack of transit). If you do, you’ll be treated to a very pleasant stroll, especially if you’re into the architecture of residential homes.

It’s one of those things you have to do at some point - and I recommend doing it either early or late to avoid as many tourists as possible. Keep in mind, if you’re visiting in summer, it is HOT and HUMID and there’s not a ton of shade when you’re out in the middle of the Mall. It’s also a much longer walk than it looks like it is on the map (at least, it can feel that way). If you want to do the whole walk in one go, the Smithsonian museums afford a break from the heat, opportunities to use the restroom, and places to grab a quick bite and drink (and, you know, culture and interesting exhibits but I’m focusing on the walk). The larger monuments like the Lincoln, Jefferson, and FDR also have small exhibit spaces, gift shops, and bathrooms but can sometimes be hard for tourists to find - generally look for alcoves and old copper doors. They’re usually unassuming off-season and are closed but as far as I know are open late (I see joggers stop for a quick bathroom break in them after dark frequently). Easily the highlights of this walk are the memorials around the Tidal Basin, which is a beautiful place to be - especially when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, of course! EDIT: Oh, I didn’t even realize the trail went all the way to the Capitol! Also has a visitors center if you need to use the restroom (and a cafeteria - no, not the cafeteria your representatives eat in, unfortunately, unless you’re a very special guest, heh). Not worth the lines and security unless you’re going to enjoy a tour - and see if you can get a House or Senate viewing gallery pass from your representative or senators (you get to pick it up directly from their office and might catch a glimpse of some people you see on the news in the elevator) and even if it’s a slow day (or a slooooooow day) it’s still civically interesting to see your legislature in action... or at least, what congress considers action, haha).

hiking
1 month ago

Nice and easy trail, very poorly marked though.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

road biking
1 month ago

After all the great reviews, I was disappointed in this one for road biking. This trail is in lackluster and rough condition. There are numerous areas where tree roots have buckled the asphalt, and there is one deep depression that would wreak havoc on a road bike tire. I would recommend at least 32 mm wide tires. That puts you in hybrid territory, and one could make the argument a mountain bike would be even better. The trail is one-bike wide in several spots, and there are a few tunnels, bridges and other segments for which one needs to dismount to navigate safely. This is especially true since the trail was heavily trafficked on this Saturday. Compared to trails farther outside the city, pedestrians walk two or three wide here, and some seem to hesitate--or simply refuse--to yield. FYI, parking at the trailhead is about $2.50/hr.--if you can find a space. I guess this is a nice escape for some who live in the city, but it's not worth the trip from elsewhere.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun trail. Fairly easy to follow...we also had a very detailed blog post. We clocked 3.5 mile one way though so not sure if we got lost somewhere. The one way from boundary to pierce mill was about 1hr 45min.

hiking
2 months ago

What a surprise at times you forget how close to DC you are. We started in Georgetown going up Rock Creek. we had the map downloaded and linked to GPS. It helps at times. very good trail.

hiking
2 months ago

road biking
2 months ago

Great trail, especially for biking and running.

City trails do not get any better than this! I went off route several times just to see more of the amazing memorials that were not along the prescribed path. I started trail running but as usual, I stopped in many places to show respect for the sites, to sit and reflect, and to take in all the beauty of this whole area. Not only would I do this trail again, but I run this trail every single time I can when I’m in the DC area. However, I do like the “National Mall” trail more than this one… It’s very similar but goes around to more of the sites that I love.

good.ride

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

hiking
3 months ago

A beautiful but all too brief trail

3 months ago

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!

This is a LONG walk that takes you across the entire national mall. There are several outdoor monuments but also some indoor museums to break up the walk. Recommend that you spend most of the day completing.

It's definitely a lot of fun going sight seeing but make sure to print a map of where to go and also have a comfy pair of running shoes to wear.

Solitary run. Slow. Sore knees & hip

hiking
5 months ago

Some parts of the trail are closed and not clear how to take a detour. Also, dogs are unlawfully loose on the trail, so if you're afraid of them I don't recommend this trail.

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

On a Christmas eve when pretty much everything is closed and as it’s getting dark I have decided to do this hike. It was beautiful to watch all these Memorials and Monuments exploring by foot. The weather was a bit chilly though. National Christmas Tree is a bonus today. It was closed because of the shutdown but they have to open it today. Definitely recommended hike.

Really not much to say except that it's Washington DC. More of a route to follow rather than an actual trail. Takes you by many of the major sites, monuments, and museums. Must do for anyone wanting a course to follow near and around the major sites that DC offers.

hiking
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Great walking trip. Coming from someone who does zero exercise usually, it’s a very easy and enjoyable hike. In total it took myself and my parents roughly 5 hours to see everything (including loo breaks and refreshments) over a course of 7 Miles. There was flooding around the Tidal Basin sidewalks so we had to detour slightly further out. But the views are simply stunning. However it was a very humid hot day which did take its toll!

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Great little trail — trail switches back between paved surface and dirt a few times — was a little hard to follow paired with road crossings & less than ideal markings. However, it’s a great series of trails right in DC with good views of the park and creek!

hiking
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Definately worth the trip. Much more crowded than I would prefer, but what I expected.

Definately worth the trip, I would have preferred running in the evening or early morning. The area was very crowded with tourists, wish there hadn't been protestors at the white house but some people don't care if they're ruining the experiences of others.

DC is gorgeous in the fall. Summer is hot. Spring is crowded.

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.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

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.

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