Rock Creek Park
5200 Glover Road NW, Washington, DC
Open during daylight hours year-round
One of the District’s biggest and most loved parks, Rock Creek Park is operated by the National Parks Service and stretches from Maryland all the way through Northwestern Washington D.C. to the Potomac River. The park can be accessed from many different points in the city, but the main entrance is located at the Nature Center. To access the Nature Center by Metro, take the Red Line to Friendship Heights and then board the E2 or E4 bus to Military/Glover. Other Metro access points are available further south, however. For those hiking, running or cycling alone who are concerned about safety, stay on the popular trails near the Nature Center. There are 3 hikes from the Nature Center ranging from 1.75 – 3 miles and varying in difficulty, and the park offers a free map and brochure with detailed information. While there are many other trails throughout the park, some are more remote than others, and the park has been known to have its share of problems with muggings and assaults, so I personally recommend staying close to the Nature Center if you are at all unsure. Cycling is allowed only on paved trails, and Beach Drive is closed to traffic on the weekends, making it a haven for runners, walkers, and cyclists. Restrooms and water are available at the Nature Center, and horses are welcome along the trails, so stay alert.