As a runner, you almost certainly have a short list of your favorite running routes. The routes are familiar, probably close to home or work, and you know how much time they normally take you to complete. All of these are good reasons to continue running these routes. However, variety is the spice of life, and it can't hurt to try something new every once and awhile. In this article, we highlight running trail recommendations from Washington D.C. area running bloggers. These recommendations were originally made when the runners were interviewed as part of our Featured Blogger series.
Madeline Dolente of Madfitness
"my favorite run starts in Cleveland Park, where I run past the Zoo on Connecticut Ave, make a left on Tilden and take Rock Creek running toward the monuments, loop the monuments, and run across the Memorial Bridge to the lower trail coming up to the Key Bridge, running across into Georgetown and back up Connecticut Avenue. It's a long run, but great for those training for marathons. I love running Rock Creek. You can run road or trail and the sites are amazing!"
Storme Gray of The Curvy Road Runner
"I am in LOVE with the Mount Vernon Trail...no matter what portion of it you happen to start on, it's guaranteed to give you some amazing views of nature. There is nothing like it."
Erin Masterson of Happiness in Hindsight
"I have lots of local runs that I would list among my favorites. I do most of my long runs for marathon training in DC, usually starting on the Georgetown Waterfront and combining loops around Hains Point, the Tidal Basin, the Mall, C&O Canal, and Rock Creek Park. I also like the Mt Vernon trail and running through Old Town Alexandria."
Doug Cassaro of I run because
Photo by Flickr user paularps
"Nothing beats running along the mall, especially at night. All the buildings and monuments take on a completely different look when the sun goes down. Outside of DC, there are some awesome trails I like to run on, like the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail in NoVA and the Appalachian Trail out in the hills and mountains of the Shenandoah."
Mar Adams of Mar on the Run
"I love running through Rock Creek Park and ending up alongside the monuments in DC. This is a great city to run in!"
Megan Kelly of Food and Fitness
"I live in Crystal City, which gives me direct access to the Mt. Vernon trail. My all-time favorite run is hopping on the Mt.Vernon from Crystal Drive, running north to the Teddy Roosevelt Island, doing a loop of the island, and then coming back. It is about 10 miles round trip. This is my favorite route because you are running on the Potomac the entire time and the Teddy Roosevelt Island is gorgeous. My second favorite run is probably Fountainhead Regional Park, it is challenging but the scenery makes it all worth it!"
Paula Arevalo of DMV Runner Girl
"I love Rock Creek- it never ceases to amaze me that you can step into the middle of a forest just a few miles from the center of the hustle of the city of DC."
Colleen Dahlem of Live Free and Run
"I love running the trails through Rock Creek Park."
Courtney Birst of Courtney Runs
"I live near the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail and so that’s where I do most of my running – it stretches out for 45 miles so I never run out of trail."
Mary Doman of Minutes Per Mile
Teddy Roosevelt National Island. Read more for details about the island and its trails.
"To pick just one would be difficult! I live near Adams Morgan, so the north end of Rock Creek Park (by the zoo) is one of my favorite hangouts. The most beautiful running sight I've seen is from atop Chain Bridge, in Virginia... I also think the Howard University reservoir, Teddy Roosevelt Island, and Beach Drive are somewhat of undiscovered gems that many runners might not know about. For tough hills, I like to torture myself by running up the zoo, up 13th or 15th street (by Meridian hill park), or to the Cathedral."