Explore the most popular Partially Paved 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
4 days 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.

Trails can be hard to locate. I missed crossing the bridge to do full hike.

Late summer hike

The trail has some high and low points. It was not easy to follow. We started by crossing the Francis Scott Key Bridge and walking the north part of the loop on the towpath, Not sure if there was a different path we were supposed to be on, but this seemed right. Very flat and paved, lots of bikes. We crossed the Chain Bridge, which was not at all marked on the towpath but we found a small path to get us there. From that point we were on more of a trail with lots of fun rock scrambles. However, again it was not well marked and we lost our way a couple times. This side it is very poorly maintained and overgrown. We even had to walk along the GW Parkway for a little bit, very strange. At the end there was a sign the path was closed, but never saw a sign indicating that from the other direction. Was and adventure, of sorts. I will not be doing this one again.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice and easy trail, very poorly marked though.

Great trail, nature center is awesome.

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.

Too much of the trail is near roads. I don't like hearing honking horns while hiking. Still a decent option though if you aren't able to travel far from DC. (Also watch your step cause there's LOTS of horse poop on the trails.)

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.

Would rate as moderate and many opportunities to make your own way. Some dirt paths, some rocky/hiking/hilly, and some flat paved. Gorgeous along the creek no matter the season.

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

3 stars for the trail , +1 for the location. We hiked most of the north side of military road, it took around 3 hours Some muddy areas and closures

Did this trail the other day and it was fun. Very cool, a stream valley trail type hike. I followed the recommendation of another review to do the trail backwards, I agree with this because the mid to end of the trail you end up in the city and it's nice to get lunch there. Just make sure you are walking on the west side of the 66 (walking with traffic) to get back otherwise you will end up stranded and having to loop back if you walk against the traffic going East. This adds on another 2 miles or so lol. But it was so fun and you get to scramble a bit and see multiple waterfalls. Be careful because you dont see blue marks for a while around the time you end up seriously rock scrambling before hitting the final waterfall (assuming you do the trail in reverse, otherwise this will be your first waterfall. Oh and you might get a little wet, just a little though.

9-22-2018 Beautiful day for a hike. The four of us started out in the parking lot on Canal street(the down the ramp) We crossed the little foot bridge by the bathroom and took a left onto the upper gravel trail deciding the lower paved trail is for road bikes. following this trail for about 3.5 miles we wound up in Georgetown Waterfront Park. We continued along the water front (which was our first mistake) we should have stayed up, so when we got to the bridge we were standing Under it, so had to figure out how to get UP to bridge. When we got to top, we walked across only to figure out we were on the wrong side, so had to do U turn back under and across the parkway. Back on the trail we walked another 7.5 miles along the Potomac through the weeds and over some pretty good rock scrambles. Thank goodness the river wasn't any higher or not sure what we would have done. As is was we had to get wet crossing in a few places. All of our devices said total miles were closer to 11.

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!

Very pretty, but would not advise on bike. Very overgrown in some places, and occasionally narrow and dangerous

mountain biking
Friday, August 17, 2018

always there to provide awesome suggestions on almost everything I want to do trailwise. love it

Great hike, but it is more moderate than easy. The trail was also had to follow since it was comprised of a couple of other trails.

This trail was....interesting with two dogs haha. It’s listed as dog-friendly and for most of the hike it totally is! But once you get to the Potomac Heritage Trail portion it gets a little (and by a little I mean a lot lol) confusing. The blue markers totally disappear for the most confusing part (right when it splits off into this incredibly rocky area). I was very doubtful because I thought it was supposed to be a more standard trail, so I was walking in circles retracing my steps trying to find more of those blue markers! But alas, I just trusted my instincts which told me to stay parallel to the river and I eventually saw some more of those beautiful markers. The “rock climbing” aspect of the hike was very unexpected but soooo fun. And luckily my dogs freaking loved it! I thought I’d have to turn around at first because those boulders were tough to manage with the two of them, but we all did it and I’m so glad we did :) by far one of the most interesting and fun hikes I’ve been on. Just be prepared for the rocky section and the occasional lack of trail markers. Trust yourself that you’re going the right way (as long as you’re following the river) and have fun!! Edit: oh also! There’s a part where you’re walking directly parallel to this major highway directly in the hot sun. Just be prepared for this if you have dogs!! We had to take a ton of water breaks on this stretch and I had to make sure I was holding their leashes extra tight and watching them like hawks.

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.

Good for a day's workout. Trail has good tree cover and stays cooler.

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