Although living in a dense city doesn’t scream “bike-friendly,” you’d be surprised: Washington DC, for example, has many bike trails throughout the city. Whether you’re looking for a beginner trail to ease into your new cycling era or looking for something that can challenge the years you’ve already spent on the saddle of a bike, there’s something for everyone.
For both new residents and those who’ve been here for a while and want to discover something new, these are the best Washington DC bike trails. If you’re looking for something to ease you in, these are also the best bike trails in Washington DC for those just starting out.
The Capital Crescent Trail extends from Georgetown all the way to Silver Spring in Maryland, taking 11 miles to complete fully if going one way. It follows the old Georgetown Branch rail line and offers a relatively flat and paved surface, making it ideal for beginners.
The trail passes through picturesque neighborhoods, parks, and wooded areas, which also makes it a good trail to get to know the area around you and appreciate the beauty that Washington DC has to offer despite being a major metropolitan city.
Rock Creek Park in the heart of DC has many trail options, extending up to 20 miles, making it a good choice for beginners who can choose their own adventure.
It’s one of the most conveniently located DC bike trails for those who live in the city, providing a peaceful escape for those who need it because of its gentle slopes and scenic beauty.
Biking along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail in Washington DC offers a beautiful blend of urban exploration and natural sights. This ever-evolving trail system, following the course of the Anacostia River, is right in the heart of the city, too, even putting it at walking distance for some.
The trail encompasses a mix of well-maintained paved paths and boardwalks, creating a diverse and enjoyable riding experience. As you pedal along the water’s edge, you’ll find panoramic views of the river and city skyline. The well-maintained ground makes it an easy choice for beginners.
If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, try one of these trails. These aren’t for beginners, but are invigorating nonetheless.
Just remember if you choose to take on one of these trails, you should be confident in your ability to handle rough ground and very comfortable on your bike. If you’re fairly new to DC bike trails, or have even just taken a break for a while, it’s advisable to start on the beginner paths.
Stretching many miles from Georgetown in Washington, D.C., to Cumberland, Maryland, this trail follows the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal and offers a diverse mix of terrain you should be cautious of.
Cyclists with more experience on this bumpy ground can navigate a packed dirt and gravel surface, encountering occasional challenges such as mud patches and tree roots—but it’s well worth it. The towpath runs parallel to the Potomac River with breathtaking views, known to be especially worth seeing in the fall.
The Fort Circle Park Hiker-Biker trail, vastly underrated in DC., is historically significant for those looking for a little enrichment on their trail. This approximately 8.5-mile trail winds through Fort Circle Parks, connecting Civil War-era forts.
Experienced cyclists seeking a challenging ride will appreciate the varied terrain, featuring both paved and unpaved sections, steep ascents, and thrilling descents. You will encounter remnants of military history, including well-preserved forts, earthworks, and some incredible views of DC.
Although it’s a vibrant city, DC has some amazing scenic escapes at its heart, and some of these are biking trails. Washington DC bike trails range from easy paths that you can sail along while enjoying the views to thrilling terrain with deep connections to history so you can immerse yourself in the city’s past along the way.
If you’re moving to DC, make sure you have a home that can support your hobbies. Many of Keener Management’s properties offer a bicycle storage room, giving you a convenient and secure place to store your ride. Our luxury apartments are also centrally located to put you in the perfect position to access these magnificent trails.