Washington, DC, is a terrific running city, full of parks, bike paths, trails and bridges. Such features are most pronounced west of Rock Creek, where the Atlantic Coastal Plain ends and the Piedmont Plateau begins.

We have broken down the routes into three categories: Runs originating from Georgetown, runs from Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park, and runs from Capitol Hill (3rd and Pennsylvania Ave, NW).

Recommendations? Rock Creek for its shade, its hills, and its trails. The C&O Canal has the rare advantage of being a route that is flat, dirt, with no interruptions.

All these routes are reasonably safe – though one should exercise caution at all times, and especially at night, in the woods, and around busy traffic areas, both auto-like and human-like. Have fun and don’t get lost!

Many thanks to David Keating, John O’Donnell, Gerry Ives, James Scarborough, and Josh Adelman for their help in developing this list. Carpe Viam!

Even More Maps, Resources, and References

Rock Creek Park, courtesy of the National Park Service

Kyle Yost 20 Miler, water available at 4, 7, and 13 miles

MilerMeter, (f.k.a. Google Map Pedometer), great for mapping routes anywhere!

Open Source Routing Machine, a high-performance routing engine for paths in road networks. Recommended!

MapMyRun, a suite of applications which use built-in GPS technology with the ability to map, record and share routes and workouts in an online searchable database

OpenStreetMap, a collaborative project to create a free editable map of Washington, DC, and the rest of the world.

Leaflet, an open-source JavaScript library which makes it easy to build mobile-friendly interactive maps, or put a dynamic map in any web page, using geographic data loaded from any source.

Irregular Updates

February 25, 2014

Experiments with sidebars for an explanatory legend, improved user locator, marker clustering of amenities pulled from OSM via OverpassAPI, and a pleasing representation of course elevations.

December 18, 2013

Upgraded the marker icons for all of our maps from awesome-markers to MakiMarkers. Also upgraded the running routes to be labeled with full name, total distance (both imperial and metric), and each active route will zoom to bounds on double clicking. The route colors are still being considered.

December 6, 2013

Upgraded the back-end to Leaflet version 0.7.1, with notable improvements and bugfxes.

November 11, 2013

Added a link to OSRM, which looks and feels like the heir apparent to gmap-pedometer. For some background reading, please see this article in Wired.

October 28, 2013

We’ve kept most of the plugins used for our maps current, but Leaflet.awesome-markers took a bit more work to update to v2.0. However, the icons used for our meeting places are now prettier.

September 25, 2013

The Big Map now features an updated user locator; so so pretty.

We’ve also limited the boundaries of the map, to prevent users from getting horribly lost by scrolling off in to the Atlantic (or Pacific).

Finally, we’ve updated the points of interest to include our revived track workouts at American University.

August 20, 2013

The Big Map now includes slightly heavier, easier to click stroke lines for the routes, new red markers for our meeting points, a better dynamic method of making permalinks using leaflet-hash, and it has been properly delinted. 🙂

Also, we’ve updated the static maps (and their previews) in the Detailed Descriptions, to reflect our progress-to-date.

Finally, we’re trying on two new styles of basemaps: Google Earth satellite images, and Toner “lite” by Stamen Design. Have a look!

August 13, 2013

The Big Map now doubles the resolution for retina displays, and allow users the option of fitting/centering a route to the screen by double-clicking along its path. We’ve also added a marker for AU’s Greenberg Track, where our Tuesday morning track workouts will commence in September.

August 07, 2013

We’re continuously improving the maps of our running routes using Leaflet. Please, have a look!

The Big Map now features layout improvements to the layer controls, and offers users the option of real-time geolocation. We’ve also included the Google Maps visual refresh, which some people prefer. However, our money is on OpenStreetMap, to which we’re carefully adding our little bit (see here and here) and so can you.

The archived versions of those routes are still available.

In time, we hope to re-issue these routes as a very sweet runner’s atlas. So we encourage you to check back occasionally, and see how that turns out!