Washington, D.C. is one of our favorite running cities. The city is beautifully laid out for runners, with wide streets and sidewalks radiating from the Capitol and miles of paths around its most visited destinations. A run on The National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial, and then out to the FDR and MLK Memorials, is one of the most inspiring runs in the world. Catching the Ellipse during Cherry Blossom season the first two weeks in April, should be on any runner’s bucket list. Embassy Row is a good area to do some hills. If you’d like to have an in-person guided running experience in Washington, D.C., we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.
In addition to some wonderful routes in the heart of the city, our guide to running in Washington, D.C. includes beautiful paths along Rock Creek Park and following the old B&O railroad. The Anacostia Riverwalk is a relatively new addition to the D.C. running scene, with 15+ miles of trails just south of the Capitol. For longer distances, we recommend the C&O Canal Trail and the Mount Vernon Trail, which bridges into our companion guides for Virginia and Maryland just over the D.C. border.
Good public transportation helps the running scene in D.C. The metro runs all over the city except and into Maryland and Virginia. Washington also has a growing bike share program and an expanding network of bike lanes on its unusually wide streets. Note: runners should be aware of Washington’s famously hot and humid summers.