Washington, D.C.:

National Mall

National Mall

Washington, D.C.

Open daily 24 hours


If you go to Washington D.C. and don’t take the chance to run, bike or walk around the National Mall, you are missing out on a great opportunity to see the most iconic sites of the city while getting in a workout. The multi-use path varies from a dirt path near the Smithsonian Museums to asphalt near the Reflecting Pool, but there is also the option to cycle on the roads if desired. Long, straight stretches make the paths ideal for speedwork if you happen to find a time in which they are not too crowded, and with public restrooms, water fountains, benches, and trash cans, it’s a great place for runners or cyclists who don’t want to carry around a ton of supplies. The National Mall can be crowded depending on the time of day, but don’t let that deter you – there is great people watching to be done! It’s a fantastic place to run at night as well; the monuments are lit up each night and the views are truly spectacular. Those looking to get in additional mileage can add in the trails along West Potomac Park/Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park, or continue running through the city itself. The National Parks Service also offers free cycling and running tours of the National Mall and the monuments on weekends – click on the “NPS Events” button for more information!  As part of the Marine Corps Marathon route, the National Mall is a must-do for D.C. if you have the time to get a workout in!

2 Responses

  1. On the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, from roughly April to November, there are ranger-led running tours of the monuments (for free!), starting/ending at the Washington Monument. According to our ranger, the tour varies slightly each time, so if you have specific interests, those can be accommodated. All abilities are welcome, but I found the pace to be somewhat fast; frequent stops to discuss the details allowed plenty of time to catch up or catch your breath. Check the NPS site under Events for upcoming dates

    • Danielle Hastings

      This is fantastic information, Kevin! Thank you so much! I will definitely be adding it to the site – this sounds like a great resource!

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