Washington’s Fitness Monuments
For exclusive access to all of our fitness, gear, adventure, and travel stories, plus discounts on trips, events, and gear, sign up for Outside+ today.
Politics might be the focus of our nation’s capital, but D.C.’s greatest resource is adventure.
Rock Creek Park
Consider this D.C.’s Central Park, only bigger, with 1,700 acres of hiking and biking paths. Hike the creekside Valley Trail.
The National Mall
It’s two miles from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol, with the Washington Monument, the Reflecting Pool, and Smithsonian Castle in between.
Air It Out
American Parkour Academy
Drop by for backflip classes in the first parkour training center in the country.
Key Bridge Boathouse
Rent a kayak and paddle around Theodore Roosevelt Island.
Great Falls Park
This 800-acre playground is 30 minutes from town and has 15 miles of hiking trails in the rocky Mather Gorge and more than 200 trad and top-rope routes on 60-foot-high walls.
Port City Brewing
Hop across the Potomac River to Alexandria, Virginia, and grab a porter from this local fixture, which won Small Brewery of the Year at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival.
Capitol Hill Bikes
Chef Jeremiah Langhorne goes all in on the locavore movement, sourcing fare from the mid-Atlantic and cooking it over the embers of an open fire. Order the oysters and hearth-roasted vegetables.
Mary Breed, masters national champion road cyclist
“When I’m looking for a fast place to ride, I crank out laps at Hains Point (8), an island in the middle of the city with a three-mile loop and little traffic.”
Michael Wardian, ultrarunner and marathoner
“I could run the Potomac Heritage Trail every day. It’s gnarly, full-on rock hopping with decent climbs. Start at Roosevelt Island and run it to Chain Bridge, then pick up the Towpath back for a six-mile loop along the river.”