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The Rock Creek Park 10 miler

The Rock Creek Park 10 miler

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 8:35am
Pack a lunch and enjoy a day outdoors! Spend the better part of a day in Rock Creek Park with this challenging ten mile hike. You will cross a stream, climb over rocks and up hills, and get some much needed nature time. The hike begins at Peirce Mill, about a 15 minute walk from the Van Ness Metro Station.
Very Good
Photo Op: 
Great shots of Rock Creek from many vantage points.
Metro Accessible: 
Closest Metro Station: 
Distance to Metro Station: 
Parking : 
Peirce Mill
Tilden St.
Washington , DC
What to Bring: 
Food and plenty of water. There are no opportunities to purchase either on the hike. We suggest you pack some food as there are many great places to stop and eat near the creek.

Don't forget the bug spray during the summer.
Additional Information: 

As always, check the Rock Creek Park home page for park warnings before beginning the hike.

There is parking across the street from Peirce Mill adjacent to the picnic area. It can fill up on weekend mornings when the weather is good. There is also some street parking along Tilden on your way to Peirce Mill from the east.

If you are coming via train, simply walk down Connecticut Ave (south) until you hit Tilden. Make a left and follow to Peirce Mill. Be careful walking along Tilden. There is not a sidewalk the entire distance to Peirce Mill.

This is a challenging hike. It has quit a few hills and can be very rocky, especially on the Valley Trail between the Police Station and Blagden (see map). This stretch of trail can also be very slick when wet. Given the hike's length and difficulty, it is not a good hike for kids.

You will also need to cross the street several times. These crossings can be blind, and let's just say not everybody obeys the local speed limit, so be extra careful.

Be vigilant when walking, as the trail splits occasionally making it easy to get on the wrong trail.

The attached map and trail instructions will help you stay on track.

If ten miles is too much, check out this article outlining three shorter hikes, each about three miles.

Environmental conditions in cities, parks, etc. can change rapidly and without our knowledge. We do not make any claims as to the accuracy of information presented on this page. Further, hiking can be a dangerous activity that may result in bodily harm and possibly death. We hope the information that we provide will help you prepare for your hike, but do not imply that the information provided is complete. It is your responsibility to prepare yourself for whatever challenges you may face. If you decide to use any of the information on this page, you do so at your own risk.
Rock Creek Park - Peirce Mill
Rock Creek Park - Picnic Sign
Rock Creek Park Trail Marker
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park Stream
Rock Creek Park Boundary Bridge
Rock Creek Park Valley Trail Marker
Rock Creek Park Valley Trail



Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Just did this hike. Could not have done it without the directions on this trail map - thank you!

The only thing I'd note is that you don't need to walk on Tilden to get to Peirce Mill. You can take the Melvin Hazen trail off Connecticut Avenue (a little north of Cleveland Park), which is probably one of the nicer little trails in and around Rock Creek Park.

Submitted by Lizzie (not verified) on

For people who have done this hike, I was wondering how long it took you? Obviously the speed of your group and how long you stop for lunch will have a big impact, but I wanted to get a ball park idea of how much time to plan for.

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