2/28/15: Capital Crescent Trail

posted Feb 25, 2015, 7:45 PM by Emily Clay   [ updated Feb 25, 2015, 8:31 PM ]
This week is our longest training run of the season! Marathoners will tackle a grueling 20-22 miles, and half marathoners will run 12 - only one less than their race distance! Traditionally, we go to the beautiful C&O Canal for our longest run of the season. However, severe winter weather has left the canal - along with nearly all of our other running routes - covered with snow and ice. However, reports from DC claim that the Capital Crescent Trail, a pleasant commuter greenway from SIlver Spring to DC, and the National Mall have both been cleared. We'll link them together for a scenic tour of the District!

Meet Up

Meet at our usual 8 AM. We'll start at the location where the CCT intersects Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland. This is just south of the intersection of Newdale Road and Connecticut. There is not a parking lot for trail users here. However, you should be able to park along Newdale, or east of Connecticut along Chevy Chase Lake Drive, or in the neighborhood north of Newdale. (Please refer to the map below.) Call me (Emily) if you have trouble parking. 

CCT and Connecticut


Please study this map carefully! This is HMT's first trip to the CCT, so don't rely on being able to follow someone else.


  • For the first several miles, simply follow the CCT. It should be obvious and well-signed. 
  • The first mile will be on crushed gravel and thus may be snowy or icy. Be careful! The CCT will soon become a paved path that is reported to be cleared. 
  • At about 1.5 miles, you will go through a tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda. It can be just a little tricky finding the trail again once you exit, but this map is helpful. Essentially, the tunnel ends at a small parking area near the intersection of Woodmont and Bethesda Ave, and you have to cut diagonally across the intersection (crossing both roads) to pick the trail up again. To make matters more confusing, construction has been ongoing in the area, so the CCT maps and Google maps could possibly be dated. Look for signage!
  • Follow the trail all the way to Georgetown. You will eventually run parallel to the C&O Canal and Towpath. Shortly before mile 6, you will cross over both of them on a footpath. Half marathoners turn around here.
  • Once in Georgetown, follow the CCT along Water Street, which is under the freeway. You will pass several small boatyards with rowboats and kayaks. 
  • Water Street ends at Rock Creek (the stream for which the park and trail were named). Cross the creek on the paved bike path and merge right onto the Rock Creek trail. If you did the full distance at Rock Creek Park, you'll recognize this section. 
  • Follow the Rock Creek Trail south for about a mile to the Lincoln Memorial circle. Marathoners that "only" want 20 miles turn around at the Kennedy Center. Otherwise, exit onto the Circle and follow it to the National Mall.
  • Run along the reflecting pool, past the WWII Memorial, and circle the Washington Monument. Run back along the reflecting pool and get back on the Rock Creek Trail where you got off.
  • Follow your steps back to the start!


Guess what you guys - it's going to be cold, yet again. Friday night's low is 8 deg F, and the high for Saturday is 31 deg F. Bundle up, just like you've been doing since Christmas.

Carry calories and water. There are bathrooms on the National Mall. Water fountains will probably be off, but bathroom sinks should still work. 

Sign up for carpooling! Its about a 45 min drive from Baltimore.