Boulder Bridge Loop
ElevationAscent: 270' 82 m
Descent: -263' -80 m
High: 339' 103 m
Low: 96' 29 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)
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“This lovely route circles part of the park President Roosevelt frequented over one hundred years ago.”— Megan W
Follow along the creek for about a ½ mile, and cross the unmarked Rapids Bridge footbridge (enjoy the view upstream and downstream!) Then cross Beach Drive, and take a right (south) onto the Valley Trail - South, marked by blue blazes. Continue south for 1/2 mile until you reach the historic Boulder Bridge.
Constructed in 1902, Boulder Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the park. It’s an example of rustic architecture, or ‘parkitecture’ (architecture designed to blend in with the natural landscape). Keep an eye out for Theodore Roosevelt’s ring, which he lost at Boulder Bridge during one of his many walks in Rock Creek Park over one hundred years ago. One hundred feet after Boulder Bridge, take the small, unmarked trail on the right ( Foot Trail #17) and head uphill.
After 1/4 mile, stay straight at the four-way trail intersection, following the unmarked, Cross Trail #9. Soon you cross Ridge Road and arrive at the Equitation Field. Circle around the southern end of this horse field and then head north. Follow the green blazes of the Western Ridge Trail northward, following the “foot traffic only” signs when it turns off of the wider horse trail. After 3/4 of a mile, the trail seemingly ends as you come upon Picnic Grove 13 and a grassy field. Cross the field and the two roadways, and then continue just up the hill to the Nature Center to complete the loop.
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Land Manager: National Park Service, Rock Creek Park