Spring is here, Washington Parents! Now’s the time to take your family outside at one of the DMV’s many beautiful parks, sidewalks and river walks. These six scenic walks are perfect for families of little ones still learning to walk or for families with members rebuilding their stamina after a long winter. So get out and get to know the area with these six springtime walks for the family.
Rock Creek Park
It’s impossible to talk about a family walk in Washington without mentioning D.C.’s largest and best-known park. With a whopping 30 miles of trails, there are dozens of quick-and-easy routes that you can discover with your family every day this spring. Our recommendation is to start somewhere near the park’s Nature Center or the National Zoo and branch out from there.
Nature Center 5200 Glover Road NW Washington, D.C. 20015 (Near the intersection of Military Road NW and Glover Road NW)
The gorgeous four-mile pathway opened in 2016 and has quickly become one of D.C.’s most beautiful walking trails. With paths on both sides of the Anacostia River, your family’s springtime walk won’t be lacking for gorgeous riverbank views. Be sure to keep an eye out for passing cyclists!
Anacostia Park 1900 Anacostia Drive Washington, D.C. 20020
Easily Washington’s most iconic stroll, the National Mall is the perfect place for a springtime walk with the family. From the historic monuments to family-friendly museums, you can’t escape the awe-inspiring views. Be sure to plan your National Mall walk while the National Cherry Blossom Festival is taking place for a doubly memorable family walk!
Washington Monument 2 15th Street NW Washington, D.C. 20024
Great Falls Park
Visit the National Park Services website for Great Falls before you go, to help you choose which trail you’ll take based on level of difficulty, whether you’ll be pushing a stroller, etc. North River Trail to Riverbend County Park, designated “Easy,” runs next to the Potomac River and affords views of wildflowers, beavers, herons and even the occasional bald eagle. Although the Great Falls Visitors Center is closed for construction, public restrooms remain open. And the trail links to Fairfax County Park Authority’s Riverbend Park and its 10 miles of hiking trails.
Great Falls Visitors Center 9200 Old Dominion Drive McLean, Va. 22102
C&O Canal Towpath
It’s true that the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail extends some 180 miles beyond D.C.’s historic Georgetown neighborhood to not-so-nearby Cumberland, Maryland, but there are plenty of smaller sections perfect for a springtime family walk. Our recommendation is to start at the towpath’s brick-lined walkways behind Georgetown’s M Street. If you start early enough in the day, the trail can be a quiet refuge from the busy city for you and the family to take in the surrounding Colonial architecture.
Georgetown @ 29th Street NW, south of M Street Washington, D.C. 20007
Washington Parent readers will love this trail for both its notable history of sheltering enslaved freedom seekers, on their way to the free town of Sandy Spring, and for its flat, two-mile walking trail suited for families of all sizes and skill levels. If you make it to the Friends Meeting House at the end of the trail, take your kids to the 300-year-old white ash tree, just off the main path.
Woodlawn Manor 16501 Norwood Road Sandy Spring, Md. 20860