Best Trails/Neighborhoods to Run Through (DC Edition)

With the weather getting warmer, D.C. natives are pulling out their running shoes (which are probably stashed deep in their closets) and starting to hit the pavement in attempts to lose that weight they packed on this winter. During the winter months the average person gains about 10 pounds from the sweets they insist on snacking on around the holidays to excess alcohol being consumed at all of the additional happy hours taking place, and the lack of motivation to exercise. Good news! If you start now that weight will be gone in no time and what better way to do it then to run around our beautiful city. Outdoor running is a fantastic way to get your body beach ready before the summer hits and you take your annual trip to Rehoboth. D.C. is an amazing city to run through and has a plethora of trails/paths to be discovered, here are my top 5.

5)  Embassy Row – When people think of Washington, DC, they probably think first of the White House, then the monuments, then maybe corruption at the Capitol.  What probably isn’t the first thing to pop into most minds, but is something those of us who live in DC see all the time, are the more than 175 embassies scattered all throughout the city. Massachusetts Avenue, NW, aka Embassy Row, offers a unique experience you will not find many other places.  Starting from Dupont Circle, run straight up Mass Ave for a few miles of gradual hill.  Along the way you will pass embassies from Haiti to India. With wide sidewalks and low foot traffic, this is an ideal spot for your road marathon training.

4)  Beach Drive –  On the weekends, miles of this beautiful road — which winds its way through Rock Creek Park — are blocked off to cars.  Runners, bikes, roller bladders, (do people still rollerblade?) and walkers unite in a community of fitness at all hours of the day.

3)  C&O Canal - The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail runs 184.5 miles along the Potomac River from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD.  This is an extremely popular trail for both bikers and runners, as it is very well kept and consists of a mostly crushed stone surface.  It’s because of this trail that many DC runners are actually trail runners and don’t know it!

2)  Trails of Rock Creek Park – Rock Creek Park is home to over 30 miles of dirt singletrack and horse trail.  Much of it is smooth and wide, making it perfect for fast trail running, while other sections are technical and steep, allowing for some more technical terrain.  It is quiet, cool, and peaceful deep within the park.  I consider this the perfect escape from the bustling roads just a short jog away.

1)  The National Mall – Nothing says DC like the National Mall. Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to this small portion of the city to soak in the sights, explore the numerous museums, and nearly melt from the unprotected heat. But that shouldn’t keep the runners out.  In fact, the smooth paths circling the National Mall offer a very unique, very American experience.  To beat the crowds, all you need to do is go out for that run in the morning or evening.  On a Sunday morning in early fall, you’ll be joined by hundreds of runners just like yourself. Be aware that due to construction on the “National Mall” many footpaths have be blocked off, this made add time and miles to your workout”

“Do something healthy today”