We checked the temps in KC against the temps in DC, for this weekend, and decided it would be good to get out of Kansas City where 101 was going to be the high, to a milder high somewhere between 75 and 85 degrees in D.C. Actually we’ll take any reason to head to our nation’s capital. We love running the trails, and discovering new ones, plus we have kids and grand kids there. To top that off, one of our grandsons was soon to celebrate his 9th birthday. All good excuses to hop on the plane. A few weeks back we found an awesome trail in Georgetown and wanted to explore more of the others we have seen in the area.
We arrived into DCA at about 10:50 AM Saturday morning. Donetta and I travel light. Never checking bags. It’s a waste of time. In our case on this trip we had some running around to do, so we reserved a rental for later in the day, made arrangements to stow our little carry-ons, found a restroom and changed into our running gear. Right there in the airport. Time to run! The D.C. metro stops at Reagan International so we hopped on and headed for Georgetown.
If you are traveling to D.C. and would like to experience this awesome run, we would highly encourage it. We ended up running 10.5 miles and had a blast. Beautiful scenery, trails, and people. You don’t have to go as far as we did, but you can go as far as you want. Your choice. Here’s what we did.
From Reagan Airport get on the D.C. Metro Blue line toward Largo Town Center. First pay your $2.05 + $1.00 for your fare. It will be $6.10 round trip. Why the $1.00 added to each fare? I have no idea! I have yet to get a good explanation. I guess they see the airlines charging for everything, so, hey, why not cash in. I think they are trying to go to the fare card system, but I’ve yet to figure out how it’s suppose to work. It’s not as simple as buying a fare card, saving a dollar each trip, and adding money to your fare card. Doesn’t work that way. Much too simple. But, before you get the wrong idea. We love the D.C. Metro. A lot. We take it as much as we can when we are there. The staff are wonderful and most helpful when you are trying to figure out the price of your ticket.
Anyway, you are on the Largo Town Center Blue LIne. You will get off at the 6th stop which is Foggy Bottom. When you come up out of the metro station–at this point underground– to the street level, you will be right in the middle of The George Washington University campus. We enjoy going to the Whole Foods store which is straight ahead on I St NW. You are staring at it when you get to street level. Maybe a 2 minute walk. We’ll usually grab a banana and some water before we head out on our run. Love Whole Foods. Head back toward the metro station. It is located on 23rd St NW. When you get to the metro station take a right on 23rd, sort of NE at this point. A block away will be Washington Circle Park. Traffic will be going around the circle. We usually are still walking at this point. Keep going left around the circle until you come to Pennsylvania Ave–yes, same one. Take Pennsylvania for a couple of blocks. We are usually running about now. After you pass 26th St NW you will come to a bridge that goes over a trail, creek, and a road. Immediately on the other side of the bridge, on the left side in our direction of travel, is the path that drops down to the Rock Creek Trail. Once down on the trail you have several options at this point.
For this run we took a right in our direction of travel, back toward the Potomac. We had seen this area on our last trip and wanted to do more exploring this way. Immediately we saw the entrance to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park which you see in the photograph above. This little trail is made up of red brick that is uneven and a bit rough for running, but it doesn’t last long. You will head north along the canal and through Georgetown. Even though it’s in the middle of Georgetown it is secluded with the only other people you will meet are the runners, walkers, and bikers. You will cross a couple of Georgetown side streets on this part, but we were not bothered by traffic. As you continue on sort of NW on the trail it will eventually, after about a mile turn into what is none as the Tow Road. Apparently when the canal was operating hot and heavy this was the road they used to help the boats along the canal.
The Tow Road continues on, but on this day after about 2 miles we decided to drop down onto the Capital Crescent Trail. This trail is beautiful. It is paved and runs 11 miles along the Potomac beginning at the intersection of Virginia Ave NW and Rock Creek and Potomac Pwy NW. in Georgetown. On the trail you will meet other runners, walkers, skaters, and bicyclists. It was a beautiful day with temps on the trail hovering around 80. The scenery is gorgeous with the Potomac on one side and the canal on the other. And of course the trail is tree lined with lots of shade. At mile 3.5 you will come to Fletcher’s Cove which is a nice stop for water and bathrooms. The Abner Cloud House, an old miller house from the 1800’s–pictured above–, is also located here. You will find very nice and clean bathrooms as well as a place to buy snacks and water. This also serves as a boat and canoe rental shop. Many adventurous people wanting to play George Washington crossing the Potomac were standing in line to rent watercraft. Or maybe they just wanted to have fun in a boat.
We continued 1.5 miles past Fletcher’s Cove and turned around. We ran the Capital Crescent Trail all the way back into Georgetown. When we came to Wisconsin Ave NW we turned left and ran up to M St NW into the hustle and bustle of the Saturday afternoon shoppers. This part of M St and Georgetown is very popular with lots of shops and quaint restaurants. We continued running on M St NW until we intersected with Pennsylvania and back to the metro station. With a quick stop back at Whole Foods for a smoothie and water. Then it was back on the metro, Blue Line toward Franconia-Springfield, to pick up our bags, rental car, and wish our grandson a happy birthday.
Donetta and I highly recommend this run. Very easy to get to using the metro. On a weekend moderate to high traffic makes safety a non-issue. There are emergency call centers at intervals along the way. Give it a try and enjoy!