Explore the most popular road biking 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.

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.

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.

Great walk. Enjoyed the bonsai garden. Free parking!

Great scenery that changes with the seasons. Great for seeing small rabbits and deers.

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nice hike. Great for a nice morning 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

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
9 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.

10 months ago

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

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
Monday, January 22, 2018

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
Sunday, January 07, 2018

Great walk to all the monuments.

walking
Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Friday, December 01, 2017

2/3 pavement ... some hills ... great company!

Good tour

Great views absolutely beautiful. Lots of traffic and touristy but worth it.

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