Are you an outdoors lover who’s on the fence about moving to the city? This post is for you! As someone who was in your shoes, I’m here to share my tips for how to get out in nature while you’re in D.C.
What do you think about when someone mentions Washington, D.C.? Probably not the great outdoors. I know I didn’t, and I certainly didn’t expect to see a nature trail here either. I love spending time in nature, so before I arrived, I mentally braced for Mount Vernon to be the closest I got to that (on an unrelated note, I do highly recommend visiting Mount Vernon – best view of the Potomac you’ll find). Consider this post a short guide to some of the best ways to experience nature while in D.C.
My absolute favorite is Great Falls National Park (pictured). It is in McLean, Virginia, just 15 miles outside of town. It’s only accessible via car, unfortunately, but it’s absolutely worth it. I hiked almost 7 miles while I was there and still didn’t cover all the trails. There’s a lot of variety in the types of trails too – outdoor junkies like me would love the River Trail, where there are a lot of places to do some rock climbing. The view of the falls is close to the entrance and is ADA accessible so that everyone can enjoy it. Connected to the north side of the park is Riverbend State Park, which features similar trails along the river.
Another cool way to get outside is to rent the Capital Bikeshare bikes and bike the Potomac! I did an hour and a half ride, and it only cost $5.70 – easily one of the cheapest things to do in the city. Plus, you get to decide where you want to go, and there are racks all over the city to return the bikes to, so you can tailor your trip.
If you are on the fence about going to the city just because of the lack of nature, don’t worry! There are plenty more options outside of these to get you out there. Where will you go next?
Office of Congressman Kevin Brady
Summer 2022 | Washington, D.C.