Runners run through Georgetown's front gates.
Category: Student Blog

Title: The Best Places to Go For a Run Around Georgetown

Author: Aneesh (C’20)
Date Published: February 15, 2019

Feeling bored of your running route? Want to get motivated to see more of the city? With the Spring weather approaching, DC is gearing up to be a wonderful place to go for a run. One of the appeals of this area are the plethora of spaces to go for a trot, so check out these prime running spots that are truly under appreciated, hidden treasures of Washington.

1. Mount Vernon Loop

From the front gates, this is a mostly flat run that includes a variety of sceneries, from M street to the woods by Teddy Roosevelt Island to the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials. The whole loop is about 7 miles, but a shorter loop is about 5 miles.

A path through the woods.

2. Custis Trail

Want to go for a run outside of DC but not have to drive there? Simply cross over the Key Bridge from Georgetown and turn right. This out-and-back run will take you into Maryland, and it goes on for miles and miles. Undulating hills make this a good workout, but the fellow runners and bike riders on the trail will keep you motivated.

A running path across a bridge.

3. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Another out and back run, the C&O Canal is a classic for beginning to advanced runners. Right alongside M street, getting onto the canal is nothing but a simple hop, skip, and a jump. Its flat, sandy terrain makes for an easy recovery run or an option for a speedier workout. Also, it goes on for over 20 miles, so there is always more to see, from wildlife to boathouses.

The C&O Canal path.

4. Gravelly Point

Fascinated by big fields or planes? This run is perfect for you. About 4 miles out from Georgetown (8-9 miles out and back from Georgetown), this makes for a wonderful long run. Once at the actual Gravelly Point, there is a huge field that often has food trucks and pick-up games of soccer and frisbee on a nice weekend day. Further, Ronald Reagan airport is half a mile away, and you can watch the planes taking off and landing.

A plane flies overhead at Gravelly Point.

5. Capital Crescent Trail

The Capital Crescent Trail goes on for miles and miles alongside the C&O Canal. Scattered with many cool bridges and some elevation change, this makes for a slightly challenging yet exciting out-and-back run. Yet, my favorite run around DC is a 12 mile loop that incorporates the Capital Crescent trail for the first 7 miles, then goes past American University, up Massachusetts Avenue, and down Wisconsin Avenue on the way back to Georgetown.

Two bikers bike along a path in the woods.

6. Theodore Roosevelt Island

As the wild, outdoorsy man Theodore Roosevelt was, TR Island reflects his sense of adventurousness and provides a haven from the big city rush right in DC! Only about a mile from Georgetown, the loop of the island is about 1.3 miles. Experience rickety (yet safe) bridges, marshes, and a mammoth statue of Teddy Roosevelt himself at the center of the island.

A statue on Roosevelt Island.