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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.