Coming from a small town on the coast, I always had great places to run. I could run through the woods, on the beach, on the edge of an island with the sunset over the water every day. I was a little spoiled.
I'm personally not a fan of running through concrete jungles on crowded streets. But here are five places in D.C., or close by, that are great for running and won't completely destroy your knees from the concrete.
1. The National Mall
Y'know, just a little iconic. This run is best in the mornings or as the sun is setting. There are so many options to run that you can go from 3 mile loop to 7 mile loop. I personally like to get off at Judiciary Square on the red line and then run to the Jefferson and back. The Lincoln Memorial to Captiol and back is about 3 miles. You can run on the gravel, grass, or concrete, whichever you prefer. You get to admire the monuments as you run which always takes the mind off of the exercise and you get to cruise around. It'll be even better when it starts snowing and the Mall is just beautiful.
2. Roosevelt Island
Located near Georgetown, Roosevelt Island is a great spot I just recently found. It's a secluded island with a great trail around the whole island. The trail is small, and you get good marsh-like views and wildlife throughout the entire run. You can loop around as many times as you want and it never gets old. It's about a 3-4 mile loop depending on which trails you take, but there are maps and it's very easy to get around. There is a parking lot right outside, or you can metro to Rosslyn and start there, (it'll make the run a little longer.)
3. Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park is another great area. There are so many running trails around here and there are always tons of other runners. You can run up and down the hills or on the trails and really, the distance is up to you on how far you want to run. Definitely a great place to run if you haven't already.
4. Sligo Creek
Sligo Creek has a nice trail that goes around the park. It follows a road most of the way but you are behind trees and there is the creek next to you the entire time. It's a really relaxing run, there's always people on it, and there are parking lots along the way so if you want to start at one point you can. It's also a biking trail for those of you bikers. The only bad part is it is mostly concrete but it makes up for it with the calamity of it.
5. Great Falls
Great Falls in Maryland is classified as a "hiking" trail, but it's fairly flat and not too hard to run. It gives a great atmosphere as you run and see the gorgeous views as well as the river being next to you throughout it all. You can do anything from a 3 mile loop to an 8 mile loop and there are always people on, (especially on busy days). It's only about 30 minutes outside of the city and it's great to change up the city running with some wildlife trails every now and then.
So wherever you are in the city or close to the city, make sure to check out these awesome places to run