The Best Running Routes in Arlington & Washington DC

Written by Joey Daoud

On February 19, 2018
View from Arlington across the Potomac to the Washington Monument

A few weeks ago I was in Arlington, Virginia (sadly, for a funeral at the National Cemetery).

It was cold. It was windy. But I was still determined to get my training runs in. And being somewhere as cool as Washington I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to explore.

I’ve mentioned before how running is a great way to explore a new area. While I’ve been to DC a few times before, I’ve never stayed in Arlington or had a chance to run and explore.

The first place I knew I wanted to hit up was Theodore Roosevelt Island, where my favorite (and mostly unknown) memorial is for Teddy Roosevelt. You’ve got your usual statue but what makes it unique is it’s surrounded by pillars of his best quotes (organized by category) and situated on an island with a good amount of trails.

I looked at a map to figure out the best way to get there (which was pretty easy once I found the Mount Vernon trail). Then I had some fun exploring the island. After a run around I kept moving south where I got a beautiful view of Washington.

The next day I figured I could make a nice loop running over to DC on one bridge and coming back over another one. I had a bit of foot traffic issues, figuring out how to maneuver to the route along the water while avoiding traffic. But it turned out to be a beautiful loop running past the Kennedy Center with some gorgeous views of Theodore Roosevelt Island.

So how’d I find these trails? I made them up. I looked at Google Maps and thought “that looks doable.” I’d have to check my phone every now and then to figure out where I was at. But it was freeing to just get out, run, and explore.

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