Washington, District of Columbia

Looking for the best running in Washington? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Washington. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Running Spots in and near Washington

  • Arlington, Virginia

    Bike the Mt. Vernon Trail

    5.0
    14 mi
    Start your ride at the Teddy Roosevelt Island parking area and head southbound towards Mt. Vernon. You'll be riding next to the Potomac the entire time, with great views of the National Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the Memorial Bridge. The ride is as long as you want to mak...
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  • Arlington, Virginia

    Hike Theodore Roosevelt Island

    4.3
    2 mi
    It seems only fitting that the president who gave us our national parks would have one all to his own.  Located on the edge of Washington D.C., Theodore Roosevelt Island offers a glimpse of what the city may have looked like before the politicians, before the marble buildings, before the traffic-...
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  • Falls Church, Virginia

    Bike the W&OD Trail

    45 mi
    The Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) trail stretches through northern Virginia and is a great spot for bike riding, running, or walking. The trail is paved, well maintained, and wide enough for traffic in both directions. There are also a couple breweries along the way that you can make a f...
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  • Alexandria, Virginia

    Run or Bike the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

    3 mi
    Start your adventure at the Belle Haven Parking area then head down the Dyke Marsh Trail. To add on additional distance, head south down the Mt. Vernon Trail for more views, well maintained paths, and even some sitting areas. You'll find boardwalks that take you right across the marsh, so keep an...
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  • Derwood, Maryland

    Hike, Bike, or Run the Lakeside Trail and Muncaster Mill Trail

    4.5
    3.41 mi / 196 ft gain
    Park at the Meadowside Nature Center to Access the trailhead. This is a 3.4 mile loop with opportunities for birding and observing wildlife. Dogs are welcome on leash. 
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  • Laurel, Maryland

    Hike the South Tract Trails at Patuxent Research Refuge

    5 mi
    From the visitors center, start on the Fire Road trail. From there, it's a choose-your-own adventure (choose-your-own ecosystem, actually). Pick the Laurel and Valley Trails to stay in the quiet (and maybe enchanted? It felt enchanted) forest. Goose Pond trail is a short jut to a--yup--pond, wher...
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  • Fairfax Station, Virginia

    Explore Burke Lake in Fairfax

    4.5
    4.7 mi / 0 ft gain
    Burke Lake Park has something for everyone. Whether you enjoy trail running, hiking, fishing, canoeing, Frisbee golf, or just having a picnic with your family, you can do it all at Burke Lake. Those who want to be active or exercise can run, hike or biket the 4.7 mile trail that circles the entir...
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  • Clifton, Virginia

    Hike the Bull Run Occoquan Trail

    13 mi
    The Bull Run Occoquan Trail is located in Fairfax County, Virginia and is 50 miles outside Washington, DC and runs along the Bull Run waterway for 6.5 miles from Bull Run Marina to Fountainhead Regional Park. The blue blazed trail undulates for a total ascent of 1,510 ft and descent of 1,526 ft, ...
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  • Sterling, Virginia

    Washington & Old Dominion Trail and Broadlands Ramble

    5.0
    19.55 mi / 863 ft gain
    Washington & Old Dominion Trail and Broadlands Ramble is a point-to-point trail where you may see local wildlife located near Ashburn, Virginia.
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  • Elkridge, Maryland

    Hike the Cascade Falls and Rootball Loop Trail

    4.7
    2.4 mi / 285 ft gain
    Park on the shoulder of Landing Drive (see map) to access the trailhead. This trail is open April-September. Dogs allowed on leash. 
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  • Manassas, Virginia

    Hike and Explore Bull Run Battlefield

    4.3
    1.2 mi
    Located about 40 minutes from D.C. just off I-66 in Manassas, VA. Henry Hill is the starting point and headquarters that can lead you to multiple trails ranging from 1-5 miles depending on the route you choose here. Ample parking at HQ as well as clean restrooms. Tours are available here. Rolling...
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  • Manassas, Virginia

    Trail Run at Bull Run

    5.0
    4 mi
    Great spot for a run! Very accessible for those in the DC region.  A good starting point is the Henry Hill Visitor Center. If you want to avoid any crowds, start early.  From the Henry Hill Visitor Center, you can't really go wrong (as far as direction is concerned) since most trails can be linke...
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  • Dickerson, Maryland

    Hike the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

    4.7
    6.05 mi / 1509 ft gain
    Park on Sugarloaf Mountain Drive (as indicated on the map below) to access the trail. It is open from March-November and is dog friendly. 
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  • Baltimore, Maryland

    Hike the Fort McHenry Trail

    3.5
    0.9 mi / 16 ft gain
    Park in the lot and head out either direction on this short loop trail. Trail can get crowded, so be prepared to share the space. 
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  • Owings Mills, Maryland

    Serpentine Trail

    4.5
    2.39 mi / 226 ft gain
    Park in the area off of Deer Park road to access the trail. Dogs are welcome on leash. Trail can get muddy in the spring, and there are some stream crossings. 
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  • Owings Mills, Maryland

    Soldiers Delight Loop

    4.7
    5.33 mi / 466 ft gain
    From Deer Park Road, parking is available at the nature center or the scenic overlook (about 100 yards up the road). I typically park at the overlook as this affords the ability to hike trails on either side of the road, and always finish the hike back at the car. From the parking area you are ju...
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