Map of bike paths / walking paths in the Washington D.C. area


Recreational trails for walking, running and cycling in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. map area

Washington D.C.

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Arlington Memorial

Anacostia River Trail

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

Capital Crescent Trail

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath

Custis Trail

Georgetown Branch Trail

Holmes Run Trail

Indian Creek Trail

Klingle Valley Trail

Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove

Metropolitan Branch Trail

National Mall Area

Northeast Branch Trail

Northwest Branch Trail

Oxon Run Trail

Paint Branch Trail

Potomac Riverfront Path

Rock Creek Park Trail

Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail

Roosevelt Bridge

Siglo Creek Trail

Washington & Old Dominion Trail

Watts Branch Trail

Western Ridge Trail







South Central Maryland

Arlington, VA

Washington D.C. is nestled between the State of Maryland and the State of Virginia. There are major recreational trail systems within the city and others that extended out into both Virginia and Maryland.

The National Mall Area

The National Mall is a United States National Park that is located in the heart of Washington D.C. The mall area has numerous walking paths between the various monuments, museums and federal government buildings. The actual National Mall includes the area between West Potomac Park and Constitution Gardens, but the trails of the mall connect to the numerous other trails that connect the various destinations between the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building. This area receives millions of visitors from around the USA and the world as well as the federal employees that work in the area. The White House sits to the north of the Washington Monument and there are walkways that cross The Ellipse to reach the White House area.

The National Mall area is situated near the Potomac River and the trails connect to other regional trails that follow the river or cross the river and extend out into the residential areas of Maryland and Arlington, Virginia. There are pedestrian paths on both sides of the Arlington Memorial Bridge for those that wish to walk from the Lincoln Memorial across the Potomac River to visit Arlington National Cemetery.

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is a system of paved pathways that follow the shores of the Anacostia River on the east side of Washington D.C. The trail system connects to trails in the National Mall area and extends as far as the Washington D.C. border near Highway 50. When completed, the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail will connect with the trails of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System in Prince George County, Maryland.

The trail system connects neighborhoods, business districts and government offices with a number of historical monuments, parks and other recreational areas. The trail system is in the process of expanding and improving.The trails also include several bridge crossings for getting from the southeast neighborhoods into the heart of the city.

The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail currently goes past the following parks and other points of interest: the Fish Market, the Jefferson Memorial, marinas, Southwest Waterfront Park, National Defense University, Anacostia Park, RFK Stadium, River Terrace Recreation Center, Kenilworth Park and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Metropolitan Branch Trail

The Metropolitan Branch Trail is an 8-mile long paved pathway that extends from the National Mall to Silver Spring, Maryland. The trail connects to other pathways in the National Mall area, passes Union Station and then heads northeast passing through historic neighborhoods. The north end of the Metropolitan Branch Trail is located at Fort Totten Drive NE and Bated Road NE on the north side of the campus of the Catholic University of America and the south side of Fort Totten Park.

Potomac Riverfront

There are paved walking paths along the Potomac Riverfront. These trails connect to numerous other recreational trails in the area and have nice views of the bridges, the monuments and the boat traffic along the Potomac and go past a number of parks and other points of interest along the way.

The trails along the Potomac Riverfront connects to the walkways at the National Mall and the Anacostia Riverwalk near the 14th Street Bridge. The trail then wraps around East Potomac Golf Course to the confluence of the Potomac and the Anacostia Rivers. The trail then heads to the northwest along the banks of the Potomac going past the 14th Street Bridge, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the Arlington Memorial Bridge, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Georgetown Waterfront Park and the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Rock Creek Park Trails

There are numerous paved and unpaved pathways along Rock Creek from the Potomac River to Rock Creek Regional Park north of Rockville. The main trails are the Rock Creek Trail, Western Ridge Trail, Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail, Westside Trail and Lake Frank Trail. These trails intersect with other major recreational trails and other hiking trails in the area. The trails go past numerous local parks along the way.

The Rock Creek Park Trail is a paved pathway that follows the greenspace along the creek in Rock Creek Valley. The south end of the trails is located at the intersection of the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway and Virginia Avenue NW. At this point, the trail intersects the trail along the Potomac Riverfront. The Capital Crescent Trail also ends in this area. The Rock Creek Park Trail heads to the north and intersects the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath at a point just south of the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue NW and the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway.

The Rock Creek Park Trail then continue north as far as Broad Branch Road NW. There are hiking trails in this area, or trail users can continue on Broad Branch Road NW to the Western Ridge Trail that then connects to the trails of Rock Creek Regional Park.

The Klingle Valley Trail now connects the Rock Creek Trail with the Woodley Park neighborhood, going past the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Washington International High School.

Capital Crescent Trail

The Capital Crescent Trail is an 11-mile long paved shared use pathway that extends from Georgetown, D.C. to Silver Spring, Maryland. The southeast end of the trail is located at Georgetown Waterfront Park along the Whitehurst Freeway to the east of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The trail follows alongside the Potomac River for about 4 miles and parallels the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Trail in this section.

Near to MacArthur Boulevard, the Capital Crescent Trail heads to the north going past Little Falls Park. In Bethesda, the trail becomes the Georgetown Branch Trail and goes through Chevy Chase to reach Silver Spring.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park is located throughout much of the State of Maryland, stretching from Georgetown to Cumberland. The park encompasses the C&O Canal that follows alongside the meandering Potomac River. The Potomac River forms the border between Maryland and West Virginia and Virginia.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath is a 184.5-mile long mostly unpaved pathway that follows alongside the canal and was a pathway for the mules that tugged the boats. The towpath still exists, though much of the canal itself has deteriorated. Many of the locks and other historic structures remain. The route is very picturesque and historical. It is a great place for a family outing, learning about American history and for experiencing nature.

The southeast end of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath is located near the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue NW and the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway where it intersects the Rock Creek Trail. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath also runs alongside the Capital Crescent Trail for almost 4 miles along the banks of the Potomac.

Read more about the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath

Recreational Trails in Arlington Virginia

Arlington is situated across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. The city has a number of recreational trail systems that connect with the trails in Washington D.C. via the several bridges. These trails include the walking trails in Arlington National Cemetery, the Custis Trail, the Four Mile Run Trail, the Mt. Vernon Trails, the Potomac Yard Trail and the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.

Read more about the recreational trails in Arlington, Virginia


Following are links to official off-site resources to find out more details about the recreational trails located in the Washington D.C. and Arlington, Virginia

Individual Maps for Recreational Trails in Maryland

Here is a list of links to the individual maps for specific recreational trails in the State of Maryland.