There is so much to see and do in Washington, D.C. But you haven't seen it all until you've seen it on one of the incredible local trai... more »ls. These three trails have been chosen because of their location, their accessibility, their scenic wonder, and their safety.
For example, the Mount Vernon Trail starts on the south side of the Key Bridge, just across from Georgetown. It is concrete or boardwalk for most of its length, and there are very few road crossings. From the trail, you are able to see many of the most famous monuments, yet you are also able to wander through gorgeous urban countryside as you wind your way along the Potomac River and cross numerous wetlands. It also offers special treats such as an up-close-and-personal look at airplanes landing and departing from Reagan National Airport, a fun & historical jaunt through Old Town Alexandria and, of course, it ends right at the home of our first president George Washington. After a nice lunch at Mount Vernon, you get the opportunity to explore the trail again or take a riverboat down the Potomac.
Speaking of history, you would be challenged to find a more historic trail in the entire world than the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath (C & O trail). It starts right in Georgetown and follows the course of the old C & O Canal as it takes you back in time to the days of canal boat travel, Revolutionary stirrings, and the great Civil War. On your way, in addition to historical sites, you will see such natural wonders as the Great Falls of the Potomac, beautiful forests, and abundant wildlife. You will come across numerous side paths such as the Billy Goat Trail and eventually the Appalachian Trail.
For a change of pace, the Western Maryland Rail Trail is completely paved and is best accessed from the town of Hancock, Maryland. After days of site-seeing and maneuvering through the crowds of metropolitan Washington D.C., you will welcome the slower pace of rural Maryland.
These three trails are sure to provide you not only with exercise and fresh air, but a renewed sense of the beauty that is found just on the perimeter of one of America's greatest cities. less «