8/29/2015: Rock Creek Park

posted Aug 26, 2015, 7:59 PM by Claire Ruberman   [ updated Aug 26, 2015, 8:13 PM ]
This week we're running through Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. This scenic trail is paved and filled with weekend warriors. The half group will run 10 miles and the full group will run 19!


We'll meet at 8:00 am by the ranger building in Meadowbrook Park. There is some parking along Beach Drive, next to the bridge that crosses the stream. There is also a parking lot inside the park, but it is not accessible from Beach. You'll need Meadowbrook Lane for that. It is a 50-minute drive to the start from downtown 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. 
  • For half-marathoners, Blagden Avenue is the turnaround point.
  • Full-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.
  • Immediately after the zoo, you will encounter a traffic tunnel. IF POSSIBLE, DO NOT RUN THROUGH THE TUNNEL. Instead follow the path around the hill until it rejoins the road on the other side of the tunnel.
  • Follow the trail into downtown DC. Your turnaround is at 9.5 miles, next to this guy
  • However, if you run just one more mile, your turnaround will be this guy!


  • The high for Saturday is 86 F so BRING WATER. There are a few fountains in the park, but they become increasingly rare as you approach downtown. It's better to have too much water and dump out what you don't need.
  • Marathoners should eat during the run to replenish calories. Bring some energy gels, granola bars, nuts, etc. This is a good opportunity to test your strategy for refueling on race day.