District of Columbia Trails and Maps

Looking for the best trails around District of Columbia?

Explore the best rated trails in District of Columbia, whether you're looking an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Park Trails. With more than 8 trails covering 236 miles you’re bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

City Trails and Maps in District of Columbia

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Activities
Length
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8 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

15 mi
State: DC
Asphalt

Capital Crescent Trail

11 mi
State: DC, MD
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

184.5 mi
State: DC, MD
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Fort Circle Park Hiker-Biker Trail

7 mi
State: DC
Dirt, Gravel

Metropolitan Branch Trail

8 mi
State: DC, MD
Asphalt
Accordion

Rock Creek Park Trails

8.5 mi
State: DC
Asphalt, Dirt

Suitland Parkway Trail

1.7 mi
State: DC
Asphalt

West Campus Access Road Trail

0.4 mi
State: DC
Concrete
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is an important component of the transportation network in the nation's capital and a priority project under President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative. The planned ...
DC 15 mi Asphalt
The 11-mile Capital Crescent Trail follows the route of the Georgetown Branch rail line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. It begins in Silver Spring, Maryland, east of the Rock Creek Trestle and curves ...
DC, MD 11 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel
The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (a.k.a. C&O Canal Towpath) follows the route of the Potomac River for 184.5 miles between Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and Cumberland, Maryland. ...
DC, MD 184.5 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
Washington, D.C.'s Fort Circle Park Hiker-Biker Trail links some of the District's dozens of Civil War era forts (now national parks) that were built to defend the city from attack by the southern Rebels. ...
DC 7 mi Dirt, Gravel
Following the route of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Metropolitan Branch rail line, the Met Branch Trail is a busy urban rail-with-trail that shares a corridor with Metro's Red Line, MARC commuter ...
DC, MD 8 mi Asphalt
Located in the northwest section of Washington, D.C., Rock Creek Park is the oldest and largest urban park in the national park system. Established in 1890, Rock Creek offers more than 1,700 acres of natural ...
DC 8.5 mi Asphalt, Dirt
The Suitland Parkway trail is a short paved multi-use path that runs adjacent to Suitland Parkway in SE D.C. to the border with Maryland. Proposed construction may extend the trail to the Branch Avenue ...
DC 1.7 mi Asphalt
Accordion
The West Campus Access Road Trail, the newest rail-trail in Washington, D.C., travels through the sprawling former campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital, now set to become the new home of the Department of ...
DC 0.4 mi Concrete

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Recent Trail Reviews

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Awesome, and really fun to jog!

January, 2017 by isaacwathieu

I went on a 11 mile run through swains lock and it was so fun, you would occasionally see other runners but not too much. I also enjoyed the scenery around me. It is mostly dried dirt but has some mud. Really great if you are going with family members.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Finding Mile Zero

October, 2016 by youker

It is a shame to bike 185 miles and not find Mile Zero and the River Lock in Georgetown. When biking the towpath when I meet thru bikers I offer the following advice. At Fletchers Boat House mile 3 switch from Towpath to Capital Crescent Trail. (Old RR) This takes you into Georgetown on K street under the overhead highway. Go to the end just before Rock Creek and go around the last building on your right (Georgetown Univ. boat house) and walk around to your left down stream and there is the river lock and ground zero. Youker

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

C and O/GAP - a great combo,

October, 2016 by garykeese_tl

History, engineering, and (often) mud.

Great fall colors in October, amazing canal engineering, and civil war hisory thrown in for good measure. Tow path drains poorly, so be ready for mud if it has rained recently. Lots of hiker biker campsites every 10 miles or so, but be aware some are near the busy mainline railroad tracks.
I was concerned about using a two-wheeled trailer on the sometimes double track path, but no serious problems.
Easy to connect to GAP in Cumberland, MD and ride on to Pittsburgh.

Accordion

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Beautiful scenery, but weak riding surfaces

October, 2016 by steve plattner

I loved this trail. I was surprised that there were so many people riding it--especially from DC to Pittsburgh or vice versa. The scenery is terrific. My only complaint--the riding surface is very uneven, and between Cumberland and Hancock--very muddy with many puddles even 4-5 days after rain had fallen. It's not easy, but it's worth it in the end. But compared to the best parts of the GAP trail, the surface leaves a lot to be desired. Glad I did it however.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

loved the trail

September, 2016 by dangibbs123

Cumberland MD to D.C. It rained but enjoyed it. Will do it again.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Cumberland MD to mile 161 mark on June 26, 2016

June, 2016 by socaljewel

I rented a brand new Cannondale mountain bike with front suspensions and disc brakes from Cumberland Trail Connection and set off towards Washington DC. The bucolic views of the farms, and lock houses was thrilling. But after a few hours, all I could think about was the next rest stop - a latrine with water pump. Not used to the weight and the drag of a mountain bike, especially with on a muddy trail, I finally succumbed after 24 miles and headed back. Luckily at Old Town (mile 167) there was an outdoor festival with barbeque and music where I wolfed down lunch in a flash. I admire people who can make all 185 miles to Washington.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Amazing 3 Day Journey

May, 2016 by slipsoup

My friend and I rode the GAP trail last year. So we decided to do the C&O trail over the Memorial Day weekend. We both agree that the C&O is overall more scenic than the GAP.
The most important decision to make is what type of bike to ride. The trail was mostly dry but there were many muddy spots. I rode a hybrid with 33mm knobby tires. I was able to ride with minimal fishtailing. My friend rode her road bike with 28mm knobby tires. As she is a seasoned and intrepid cyclist, it was fine. However, she fishtailed more than I did. I would definitely recommend wider knobby tires for cyclists who are less experienced. We were not overloaded with panniers and racks on our bikes. If you ride with a lot of equipment, wider tires are highly recommended.
Cumberland to Williamsport (first day)- The highlights are the Paw Paw Tunnel (have a light as the tunnel is very dark with an undulating surface) and the area around Dam 5. If you need food along the way, there's a town called Little Orleans with Bill's Bar where they have a very limited pub grub menu. It's located out of the Fifteenmile Creek campground. We stayed overnight at the Red Roof Inn, which is about a mile uphill (ugh) from the Williamsport Visitors Center. It's the only place near there. I suggest you book ahead of time. If you have AAA, make sure you carry your membership card in your pack. They won't honor it if you don't have your card.
Williamsport to Point of Rocks (second day)- This is the most picturesque part of the trail. Particularly beautiful are the miles right along the Potomac on the boardwalk and the area around Dam 4. We stayed overnight at the rustic Lockhouse 28. This lockhouse is rustic, in that it has no electricity or water. It was an experience. The major downside of it is its proximity to the railroad tracks. There were trains screeching throughout the night (think Freddy Krueger's claws). It was an experience and I'm happy to have done it.
Point of Rocks to D.C. (last day)- The very small town of Point of Rocks has a deli (not open on Sunday morning) and a gas station store a short distance from the trail. They can be accessed from the Point of Rocks parking lot. It also has one of the most photographed train stations in the country. This is the most wild or ungroomed part of the trail. The highlight of this area is Great Falls. However, it's the most crowded. There's a very short trail after you pass the Visitors Center that allows you to see the Falls from the bridge. There are also some lovely spots along the canal in this area. We were not able to find the exact end of the trail in D.C. The signage near the end wasn't good. However, we ended up not far from our hotel, the Georgetown Marriot. We had no problems with bringing our bikes to our room. The beds were comfortable and the service great - a nice reward at the end of an amazing journey.

Capital Crescent Trail

Wonderful trail in the city

May, 2016 by antonyrailtrail

Takes you away from the city life around and suburbia. What a wonderful escape. Although now threatened to become the Purple line for the metro.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

A muddy mess

May, 2016 by sharonmcneil20

Rode the trail from DC to Cumberland the last week of May 2016. After all the great reviews I was really disappointed in the condition of the trail. Entire sections covered in mud and puddles with no options to get around made it slow going for most of the trail. Large roots and tall grass down the middle of some sections. LONG sections with over 30 miles of same tree lined scenery. Think of old video games with the scene loop. Honestly, I counted less than 5 wow spots the entire trial. Most folks we encountered said the GAP trial was better in both repair and scenery .This trail would serve a purpose for local folks on a day ride, but I would not recommend it for those looking for a longer trip.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Tough Trail - when it's raining

May, 2016 by markidale

I rode this trail in May 2016 (combined it with the GAP - riding from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC). It was apparently one of the rainiest May's the area had seen in a long time.
I rented a great crossover bike and was bike-packing (stayed in B&B's but carried my own luggage). The bike was great and I wouldn't ride anything with narrower tires - although I did see a few people doing that - and those same people were having flats. As I had pre-booked all my lodgings, I had no choice to ride, and 3 of the 5 days on the trail, it was raining. From milepost 55 to milepost 21, it is absolutely miserable if it's raining, or after it's raining. The mud holes were enormous and there was no way around them. Due to the weather, there were also very few other riders on the trail, which made it a bit stressful as I was riding solo, and thus was extra careful to make sure I kept the bike in tip-top shape and made no foolish or distracted moves.
I took 5 days to ride: Day 1 was Cumberland to Little Orleans; Day 2 was Little Orleans to Williamsport; Day 3 was Williamsport to Shepherdstown; Day 4 was Shepherdstown to Leesburg; Day 5 was Leesburg to DC. Because it was raining so much and the trail was a mess, these days were long enough. I would not recommend trying to go any further in inclement weather. On the sunny days, I could cruise about 12mph, but in the rain and mud, I was down to 5-6mph.
It's a beautiful ride with tons of history. However, there's also long gaps of nothing but trees, the Potomac and stagnant canal water. In good weather, this would not be an issue, but when its cold and rainy, one gets really anxious to see towns, people and a place to warm up and dry off!
I would like to ride parts of the trail again, but I think I'd base at a central point and do day trips, allowing for flexibility if the weather's rotten. Too much of the trail is decidedly unpleasant if it's muddy.

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

warm day in February

February, 2016 by karyncrichton

We walked 3/4 of the trail with our dog and got a good workout. The bike/ped bridges are really nice with great views. Needs mile markers.

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

Inconsistent paved sections

November, 2015 by susancnett

Today, 5 of us rode our Trikkes on this trail.

This trail has a variety of surfaces, terrain and views. Parts of this trail are lovely... others, not so much.

We parked at the Anacostia Recreation Center parking lot (38°52'24.3"N 76°58'54.3"W) where there were open port-a-potties. This was good, because after that we encountered no restroom facilities (except a set of port-a-potties that were locked).

Along the river, on the eastern edge, the trail has nice views of the river, the marina, and the path is smooth and of decent width.

Near the northeast side, the trail gets rough, with broken patches and grass growing in the cracks and in large patches in the center of the path as it passes through a park.

Heading south on the west side, we had to ride on the street, because the trail is narrow and over grown.

The riverwalk in front of the naval yard is absolutely beautiful, although no wheeled transportation may be used/ridden in that section. (I am really glad we didn't have any roller-bladers with us. They would have had to take them off and walk barefoot, or turned around and not completed the loop.)

The pedestrian sidewalk crossing the Frederick Douglas Bridge (South Capitol Street SW) is very narrow. If 2 people, walking their bikes encountered each other, they might not be able to pass.

If the path were consistently maintained, and if there was another place on the western side with bathrooms, this could be a 5-star trail.

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