1/31/2015: Rock Creek Park

posted Jan 28, 2015, 10:44 AM by Alex Fuller   [ updated Feb 5, 2015, 6:26 AM ]
This week we're running through Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. This is a scenic trail that leads right to the Mall and is filled with weekend warriors. The half group will run 10 miles and the full group will run 18.


Meet at 8:00 am by the ranger building in Meadowbrook Park. There is parking along Beach Drive, next to the bridge that crosses the stream. There is also a parking lot inside the park that is accessible from Meadowbrook Lane. It's a 50-minute drive from Baltimore, so plan accordingly and make sure you have a road map or navigation system. Sign up for carpooling if you need a ride or can provide one.


  • From the start, head east on Rock Creek Trail and find Beach Drive. This road is usually closed to traffic on weekends and will be filled with runners, walkers, and bikers.
  • You will cross Military Road shortly after 3 miles and Blagden Avenue at 5 miles. 
  • Blagden Avenue is the turnaround point for the half marathoners.
  • Marathoners keep going, and at 5.5 miles Beach Drive will open to traffic. Cross the river and get on Rock Creek Park Trail. If you encounter Piney Branch Parkway, you went too far.
  • Follow the trail past the zoo on your right.
  • After the zoo you will encounter a traffic tunnel. Do not run through the tunnel! Follow the path around the hill and rejoin the road on the other side of the tunnel. (Unless the path around the hill is closed...then run through the tunnel.)
  • Follow the trail into downtown DC. Your turnaround is at 9 miles. There's not really a landmark, so use GPS or look at the map ahead of time.
  • If you can make it to 10.3 miles, you can see the Lincoln Memorial!


  • The Friday night low is 18 F (-8 C), and it will probably be close to that when we start running, so dress warmly.
  • There's not supposed to be any more snow, so expect the trails to be clear and dry.
  • If you're running 18 or longer, bring water and something to eat on the run (energy gels, nuts, granola bars).