Traveling can impact any workout schedule. Luckily, Washingtonians love their green space, so there are plenty of options for walking, running, hiking or biking all around the city.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail
1057 Thomas Jefferson St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail, C&O for short, is a long stretch of flat, wide gravel trails leading from Georgetown to West Virginia. The 184.5 miles of trail has access points all along the DC and Maryland border, making it easy to get on and get out. A popular trail on the weekend, you’ll find walkers, runners and bikers getting a little exercise. The trail runs along a canal between Washington, DC and the Potomac River, so there are always water views no matter where you go.
972 Ohio Drive S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
As part of East Potomac Park, the southern tip of the peninsula is known as Hains Point. Flanked by the Potomac River, Hains Point can make for a gorgeous out-and-back jog with stunning views of the river and ample marinas. You’ll often find walkers, runners and bikers enjoying the area, as well as people having a picnic at one of the many tables. The park offers a tennis court and playground area. There’s also a golf course there as well. The East Potomac Golf Course offers three courses that vary in difficulty.
Mount Vernon Trail
Stretching from Theodore Roosevelt Island to Mt. Vernon, the Mt. Vernon Trail is a paved path adjacent to the Potomac that offers views of the city and monuments. The trail can be accessed anywhere, but some popular points are at Theodore Roosevelt Island, Reagan National Airport and Alexandria. The trail also runs by Gravely Point, which is a popular hangout by the airport where you feel like you can almost touch the planes as they take off and land. The trail is popular on the weekend with bikers, runners and walkers, so be sure to pay attention.
23rd St. & Independence Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
The National Mall is a quick and easy place to take a jog. Your choices are sidewalk, gravel or grass, but either way it’s a flat route out and back. Start at the Lincoln Memorial and run along the reflecting pool past the Washington Monument and then to the Capitol Building. Then turn around and come back for a 3.25-mile loop. You can choose to run around the other monuments down to the Jefferson Memorial, around the Tidal Basin and back to add more miles to your run.
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
With trails stretching from Georgetown to Maryland, Rock Creek Park offers a long stretch of forest and stream-filled scenery within the heart of DC. There are interesting points all along the way from a stop off at the zoo to historic areas; you’ll be sure to have a great time. There’s even exercise areas to complete your workout. On the weekends, sections of the roads are closed off to cars allowing for bikes, joggers or rollerbladers to openly enjoy the roads from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isn’t enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.