Your canine companion needs lots of fresh air and places to stretch its legs. Locations where he can break out into a full stride and burn-off some energy. Here’s an update on some of the best places where both you and your subordinate sidekick can do just that.
Rock Creek Park
3545 Williamsburg Lane N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
D.C. is a bustling, congested metropolis, and Rock Creek Park is a refreshing oasis in the middle of this concrete jungle. With more than 15 miles of running trails, the urban nature park—comparable to New York City’s Central Park—is an ideal place for your dog to get plenty of exercise. The park’s Western Ridge trail is a visitor favorite. The main portion of the park encompasses more than 1,700 acres in which you and your pet are free to roam and explore. Established in 1890, Rock Creek Park is the oldest natural urban park in the National Park Service and is a go-to destination for outdoor recreation for both D.C. natives and visitors alike.
The National Mall
900 Ohio Drive, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20024
The National Mall isn’t just for monuments and museums. It’s sprawling grounds and lawns are also perfect places to run or walk with your dog. Your pet must remain on a leash, so make sure that it’s an extra long one so that Spot or Fido will have enough liberty to stretch out and strut his stuff. There’s nothing like a little fresh air and exercise for the both of you while taking in all the historic sights that the city has to offer.
The Mount Vernon Trail
George Washington Memorial Parkway
You and your four-legged friend will enjoy all 18 miles of this paved multi-use hiking and cycling path. The route of the Mount Vernon Trail extends from the George Washington Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island and covers 7,000 acres of native habitats, memorials and landmarks—you’ll see just about everything along this trail. While the two of you run or walk, you can enjoy the quietude of nature’s beauty, as well as scenic views of the D.C. skyline.
Kenilworth Park And Aquatic Gardens
1550 Anacostia Ave. N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20019
Here’s another great spot for both you and your pet to explore and enjoy. During the spring and summer months, Kenilworth Park And Aquatic Gardens come alive with all sorts of color and beauty, and park rangers provide free nature walks. You and your sidekick can take in Cherry Blossoms and Dogwoods as they burst forth with color and aromatic allure. In case you need it, the park offers water bowls for your faithful friend at its Visitor’s Center.
Fort Dupont Park
3600 Minnesota St. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20019
Open year around from dawn to dusk, Fort Dupont Park is yet another ideal location for your pet to stretch its hind legs and get in a good run. The park offers 10 miles of paved and unpaved trails that stretch along 400 acres of mature forest. This setting is perfect for a shady jog or walk with your dog during a pleasant spring day or during the dog days of summer. Springtime visitors can enjoy wildflowers, as well as flowering trees like the Mountain Laurel.
Related: Best Pet Groomers In The D.C. Area
Kevin Don Porter is the author of OVER THE EDGE and MISSING—two mysteries available on Amazon.com. Visit his website at www.kevindonporter.com..