Rock Creek Park Trails

District of Columbia

Rock Creek Park Trails Facts

States: District of Columbia
Counties: Washington
Length: 8.5 miles
Trail end points: Chestnut St. at Oregon Ave. and Kennedy Center
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Dirt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6032439
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Register for Free with TrailLink Today!

View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
Share your trail photos
Save Your Favorite Trails
Find New Trails Near You
Leave reviews for trails
Submit new trails to our site
Register Now

Rock Creek Park Trails Description

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 area for a variety of uses. Trails are numerous and are a mix of natural surface for for hikers, runners and equestrians and paved paths for cyclists and other users.

The paved trail runs parallel to Beach Drive and Oregon Avenue, although many other routes are available. The trail systems runs from the Maryland Border at Beach Drive south to the Roosevelt Bridge (I-66) behind the Kennedy Center. At the Maryland border, you can continue north on the paved Rock Creek Trail.

Hikers and runners should use caution on the unpaved off-road trails. Equestrians, note that only some of the off-road trails are marked for horse use.

Cyclists should be aware that there is no off-road bike path option on the northern section of Beach Drive. While this section of road is marked as an on-road bicycle route, bicycling here is not recommended on weekdays. On weekends and holidays, though, Beach Drive is partially closed to through traffic, creating an on-road route that bicyclists, in-line skaters and walkers and runners flock to. For more information, including maps of the park, please see the Trail Website.

Parking and Trail Access

There are dozens of places to park to access Rock Creek Park trails. Visit the National Park Service website for more information.

Rock Creek Park Trails Reviews

I'm new to this app. It looks good but only shows nearby parking. How about those who can only come to bike trail via train or bus. Maybe useful to have nearest metro stops. ( or the number bus that runs by, though maybe that would be more difficult ). At least nearest metro would be helpful. Thanks.

I guess I can't really say that this is a bad trail, because it isn't. But if you are a road cyclist riding on slicks and hoping for any kind of smooth or speedy ride you probably don't want to use this trail. I found the trail too uneven with too many low spots that are filled with sand/dirt/mud to really get comfortable riding it. It just isn't made for that. Ultimately I jumped on the parkway that the path parallels and was much more comfortable (no bike lane, but speed limits are 25-35 so it is not uber crazy). I was on the road early - 0630 - so YMMV.

All that being said, if you are casually riding, maybe using a mountain bike or hybrid, and not looking for great speeds then this trail should fit your needs just fine.

On a very positive note: the path itself is a great way to get from the northern DC neighborhoods right to the heart of DC. It would be a great path to take in to see the monuments and the Mall.

Some of the signage needs updating but the trail is great. Bikers need to share the trail with hikers. The surface is a little uneven but passable. The angles of rise and fall are minor and the conditions are good.

Accordion

We rode up from Georgetown to Silver Springs on the Crescent Trail and took this one back to Georgetown. Around Silver Springs area the signage was a little confusing and a couple other sections of the trail, but once on the trail it was wonderful. They shut down the park for the weekend to car so you have the road to yourself and all the other bicyclist. Wonderful views and plenty of photo opportunities. When we got back in DC we took the Pennsylvania Avenue back into Georgetown where we had lunch. Look forward to the next adventure in DC on one of the many other trails available.

I Am not a big fan of urban trails but if you are in the D.C. area put this on your bucket list as it is a great system of trails. On a weekends you can expect to run into lots of Bikers some of them are going way to fast for me. This is a Greenway so there are a few grades to it. Lots of canopy and is family friendly.

This trail is a must if you live in the city or visiting the city since Rock Creek park runs straight through the city so you avoid all that city traffic and ride through the park instead. The trail terminates at the Potomac near the Watergate and from there you can go anywhere, go north under the Whitehurst freeway and go on the Canal path or go south along the fish market and Marina. or cross the Memorial Bridge to go to Mt Vernon with its wooden bridges and stop at the sailing marina for a snack or meal with a view or go north to rosevelt island. On the Va side after crossing the memorial bridge you can go south and after you pass the national airport you can go west to fairfax, or you can keep going south and enjoy the lovely waterfront and the waterfront park in old town. Another enjoyable ride is to go south along the Potomac DC side after the Rock Creek trail terminates at the Potomac and when you come to the Lincoln memorial head east and visit the mall area especially the park in front of the Federal Reserve building and the 3 gardens behind the Smithsonian castle and if in Spring keep going east and up the hill when the Capital grounds are in bloom.

"I like this trail because it is near my house and I don't need to travel by car to get to it. It's good because I can run straight to the Lincoln Memorial. Also, it goes past the zoo and I can stop in there and take a peek. Running near the water is also nice. Be careful though because there are some wooded areas that are probably not safe in the evenings. Other than that, I really like this trail for running."

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Events nearby

organizer logo
WB&A Trail
Glenn Dale, MD

iCare will be hosting its 4th Annual 5K run/walk in support of it's "Feed the 5000" campaign to provide meals and groceries to homeless citizens,...

#5k #race #run #walk
Sat Apr 21 2018

Nearby Trails

Mount Vernon Trail

Virginia - 18 miles

The 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail is one of the Washington, D.C. Metro area's most popular trails. Just across the Potomac River from D.C. in Virginia,...

Capital Crescent Trail

District of Columbia - 11 miles

Detour notice: As of Sept. 5, 2017, a 3.5-mile section between Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda and Talbot Avenue in Silver Spring at the northeastern tip...

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

District of Columbia - 184.5 miles

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...

Accordion

Custis Trail

Virginia - 4 miles

The Custis Trail is a popular urban route that links Virginia's D.C. suburbs with the District itself, connecting to both the W&OD Railroad Regional...

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

District of Columbia - 15 miles

The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is an important component of the transportation network in the nation's capital and a priority project under President...

Metropolitan Branch Trail

District of Columbia - 8 miles

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...

Klingle Valley Trail

District of Columbia - 0.7 miles

The Klingle Valley Trail spans just shy of a mile in a leafy, residential area of northwest Washington, DC. The trail opened in June 2017 and is...

Four Mile Run Trail

Virginia - 6.2 miles

The Four Mile Run Trail traverses the Four Mile Run stream valley and has many twists and turns, not to mention steep sections (mercifully short). The...

Bluemont Junction Trail

Virginia - 1.3 miles

The Bluemont Junction Trail is a short paved trail that branches off from the popular Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD) in the heart of...

Potomac Yard Trail

Virginia - 2 miles

Providing an important urban link between the Crystal City area of Arlington and the western edge of historical Alexandria, the Potomac Yard Trail is...

West Campus Access Road Trail

District of Columbia - 0.4 miles

The West Campus Access Road Trail, the newest rail-trail in Washington, D.C., travels through the sprawling former campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital,...

Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park (W&OD)

Virginia - 45 miles

The Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD) is one of suburban Washington, D.C.'s most popular rail-trails. The heavily used trail is frequented by...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Support Trails and Pick Your FREE Guidebook + Trail Kit Today!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews
OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!
OR