Sign Up for the Active Life DC Newsletter ...

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

8 Montgomery County Running Routes

8 Montgomery County Running Routes

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 7:29am

"C&O Canal Towpath Georgetown to Anglers Inn-8" blu Flickr user Trailvoice. License

About Community Posts

In order to promote community participation, open debate, and facilitate the sharing of fitness-related news, Active Life DC allows members of the local fitness community to contribute posts. We do not vet these posts, and the opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Active Life DC. More information can be found in our Terms of Service. For information on how you can submit a post, visit this page.

26 Days of Marathon Racing Tips
Marathon Tip #1 - Trust Your Training
Marathon Tip #2 - Prioritize Sleep
Marathon Tip #3 - Rest is Best
Marathon Tip #4 - Hydrate
Marathon Tip #5 - Visualize
Marathon Tip #6 - Practice Drinking
Marathon Tip #7 - Practice Eating
Marathon Tip #8 - Shoes
Marathon Tip #9 - Limit Junk Food



We live in an area that without question has some of the most scenic running routes in the country.  Whether it’s the National Mall, the Mt. Vernon Trail, or Rock Creek Park, you are guaranteed to see beauty (and maybe a few members of Congress) on your running routes.  Most of us, though, due to time constraints, end up running the path of least resistance over anything else—the familiar loop(s) along our neighborhood streets that allow us to squeeze in the requisite mileage before leaving for work in the morning.  If you are tired of running the same circuitous routes every single day, check out some of our favorite running routes on the Maryland side of the river:

Lake Needwood and the Rock Creek Hiker/Biker Trail: 
A portion of the trail is part of the Parks Half Marathon and includes a short, steep hill known as “the Silencer” that provides a great hill workout.  (  To pick up the trail where it begins at Lake Needwood, park on Needwood Lake Drive  just south of the boat house.

Millennium Trail
The Millennium Trail (MT) is a 10.6-mile loop around the City of Rockville.  The trail is marked and wide enough to accommodate bicyclists and runners and includes a couple of steep hills to provide some decent variation and hill training along the way.  Beware, though, that the portion of the trail along Gude Drive between 355 and Norbeck is downright ugly and not as well maintained compared to the rest of the beautifully paved trail.

Capital Crescent Trail (  
This popular local trail can get crowded with runners, walkers, and cyclists on weekend mornings, but provides a well-marked 11-mile route from Georgetown to Silver Spring.  While the majority of the trail is paved asphalt, note that the section of the trail from Bethesda into Silver Spring is crushed gravel.

C&O Canal ( 
Take a break from pounding the asphalt on this clay and crushed stone surface.  Park at the Old Angler’s Inn and pick up the Canal here, at Mile 12.6. 

Sligo Creek Trail (
This 10.2-mile hard surface trail runs from Silver Spring to Wheaton Regional Park.

Seneca Creek State Park (  provides a great option for trail running, with multiple trails within the park and connecting to the broader Seneca Creek Greenway Trail system (

Bethesda Trolley Trail (
Pick this trail up near the Whole Foods in North Bethesda at Edson Lane and Woodglen Drive.  Once you cross the I-270 overpass, turn right to follow the trail along Fleming Avenue to continue into Bethesda. 

ICC Trail
While not quite scenic, the biking trail along the Intercounty Connector (Route 200) does provide a traffic-free, paved and relatively flat option for a running route.  Park at East Norbeck Park (3131 Norbeck Road) and enter the trail at Norbeck and Wintergate Drive.  Once you hit Georgia Avenue, the trail connects to the Georgia Avenue Trail along Georgia Avenue and Emory Lane. 

Whichever route you choose to try, make sure you run aware and ideally with a friend or furry companion.  Music, if you must run with it, should be sufficiently low for you to hear others around you.  If you are trying a new route for the first time alone, let others know where you are going.  Lastly, if you choose to drive to a destination to run a new route, do not leave valuables in your car while running.

About the Author

Lisa Reichmann & Julie Sapper are RRCA-certified coaches, locally ranked runners, and co-founders of Run Farther & Faster.  They have guided hundreds of runners of all levels and abilities, from beginners completing their first 5K to marathoners aiming to qualify for Boston.  They coach both individuals, through their virtual coaching, as well as group programs.  



Add new comment

Filtered Text for Comments

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain text

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.