Capital Crescent Trail, Washington DC


Running the Capital Crescent Trail, Washington DC May 2018

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I had the amazing pleasure of getting some time on the Capital Crescent Trail whilst in Washington DC for work in May 2018.  I was actually staying in Bethesda, and desperate to try running in as many places as i can i packed my toothbrush, laptop and half a ton of running stuff and jumped on a BA flight to Washington Dulles Airport.  Arriving at my hotel around 5pm (local time) i thought, time to try some running – of course it was 9pm UK time so normally a time i get out and run when at home.

I had researched running in the area before heading out to DC, i was staying in the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Bethesda so wanted a park or trail nearby.  I found the following website:

Take a look, it’s worth it if you ever find yourself in the area.

The trail is an amazingly well setup route, wide and well kept, suited for cycling, walking or running.  It is a little bit of the country in the middle of town.  whats also nice is as a tourist I fancied the idea of running to the White House, which sits just off the southern most part of the trail.

Below is a map of the trail.

Capital Crescent trail map

I ran between the two black diamonds on the above map.  following the blue trail line and then working my way from the end of the trail to the White House.

The cycle icons indicate bicycle stations with puncture repair points and air.  There are also some water stations to top up your bottle or just drink from.

Along the trail there is also the opportunity to spot some great wildlife.  I saw a whole host of amazing birds (which I am keen to watch) as well as deer.

When you get to the end of the trail it’s pretty simple to continue along the Potomac river side to The George Washington Memorial from there finding your way to the White House and other famous landmarks is a piece of cake.

My run was really enjoyable.  The trail is just so well kept it is a dream and fairly flat.  admittedly I din’t appreciate the distance and ran there and back and around The White House etc and completed about 40Km !  I was only thinking I’d be out for maybe 2 hours – Doh!!

The other thing to note is that the route is very popular and is used as a commuter route as well as for leisure.  So it can be busy.  But, there are lots of signs providing you with the etiquette expected of users, and I have to admit it was really well observed.  People running or cycling on the right, overtaking to the left, and announcing their approach.  So civilised and it made an enjoyable evening run even more enjoyable than expected.

I didn’t take pictures of the trail route – only just getting into the idea of really properly logging my runs, but a look through Google images throws up plenty.  Don’t expect just flat tarmac and kerbs either.  there’s a few changes in surface, running alongside treelined paths then a creek, and in Washington ending up at a beach volleyball court – who would’ve thought it!!

Anyway, for me.  I was out for about 4 hours, returning about 9PM local time, which was 1AM UK time, having traveled that day to say I was knackered was the understatement of the century.  However, me and my Brooks Ghost 10’s enjoyed the run massively, and if I get to go back to Bethesda/Washington I’ll be back on the trail without hesitation.



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