Get out onto DC’s best paths:
Rock Creek Park: Hiking and biking trails travel 13 miles from Lake Needwood in Montgomery County, Md., to the Potomac River, ending in DC near the Kennedy Center. There are natural surface trails for hiking and paved trails for jogging, rollerblading and biking.
C&O Canal Tow Path: The trail begins at the C&O Canal Visitors Center in Georgetown. The towpath is a favorite of hikers, joggers and bicyclists. The surface is typically clay and crushed stone. One of the area’s most spectacular natural spaces, Great Falls Park, is located near the trail about 14 miles from Georgetown.
Mt. Vernon Trail: This 18.5-mile trail is part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and a favorite of area cyclists. The trail offers wonderful views of the Potomac River and monuments, passing points of interest like Theodore Roosevelt Island, Old Town Alexandria, Arlington National Cemetery and the local favorite Gravelly Point (at the north end of Reagan National Airport's main runway, where planes take off and land overhead).
Capital Crescent Trail: This rail-trail was built upon the abandoned rail bed of the 11-mile Georgetown Branch of the B&O Railroad. The trail is paved from Georgetown to Bethesda (approximately 7 miles), then becomes a temporary gravel trail from Bethesda to Rosemary Hills in west Silver Spring. Four bridges and two tunnels offer trail users gentle gradients and grade-separated roadway crossings. The trail closes at dusk (open to commuters). To reach the trail, take the DC Circulator's Dupont Circle - Georgetown - Rosslyn or Georgetown - Union Station route to Georgetown.
Custis Trail: This is a 4-mile paved bike trail in Arlington extending from Bon Air Park, off of Wilson Boulevard, eastward to the Key Bridge at Rosslyn. It merges with the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River and the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail at Bon Air Park. To reach the trail, take Metro to Rosslyn station.
W&OD Trail: The 45-mile W&OD Trail begins in the Shirlington area of Arlington County, just off I-395, exit 6 and ends in rural Purcellville, Va. Along the way, it passes through quaint villages like Falls Church and Leesburg, and high-tech centers such as Reston and Herndon. To reach the trail, take Metro to East Falls Church station.