The entire Washington D.C. area is full of parks which offer great hiking trails with some of the most amazing scenery you’ve ever seen. The best time to go for a hike in this area is spring and fall, as summer sometimes be too hot and humid. That being said, hiking is a year-round activity and is suitable for people of all ages. Here are some of the best hikes available in the capital region.
Rock Creek Park
Offering over 25 miles of trails which stretch from Washington, D.C. to Montgomery, County Maryland, Rock Creek Park is also one of the most famous Parks in D.C. The best place to pick up the trail is at Beach Drive, Meadowside Nature Center or Lake Nedwood. If you want to take a look at some historic landmarks, make sure to check out the Pierce Mill and the Old Stone House.
This trail passes through 14 different states and stretches over 2,000 miles. The middle of this trail passes through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. It’s great for short treks and extensive hikes alike. The most popular one-day hikes of the Appalachian Trail in the capital region include but are not limited to South Mountain State Park, Washington Monument State Park and Greenbrier State Park.
This enormous regional park located in Boyds, Maryland, amazes its visitors with the incredible views of Little Seneca Lake and its spectacular hiking trails. The park can be explored on foot, on a mountain bike or even a horse. It’s got a ton of outdoor recreation activities and is one of the best places to set up picnic.
Arguably one of the most popular trails in the region, and for a good reason. The 78-foot cascading waterfall never fails to take your breath away, no matter how many times you’ve seen it. The trails aren’t too challenging too, hence why people really love this spot.
With 14 miles of challenging hiking trails, the Great Falls park isn’t suitable for elderly or people with small children. If however, you feel like you’re up to the task, you’ll be greeted by one of the most intriguing trails in the area. You can explore the falls along the Potomac River, see beautiful vistas and take some truly outstanding pictures if you’re into photography. There is however no cross-over between Maryland and Virginia over the Potomac River, so that’s something you should be wary of.
Perhaps the most family-friendly park in the region. It offers hiking trails, picnic areas, a playground, a miniature golf course and a swimming pool. There are three different trails. The 17-mile Bull Run-Occoquan Trail is the longest and most challenging. The smaller 1.5-mile Bluebell Trail and the 2.5-mile White Trail are excellent for most people and offer plenty of sightseeing along the way, including 25 varieties of wildflowers.