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North Rock Creek Park 5K Loop

Intermediate
 3.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Lively 5K run with some short climbs, a couple of small hills, and enough uneven terrain to keep you focused.


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Map Key

3.2

Miles

5.2

KM

96%

Runnable

302' 92 m

High

165' 50 m

Low

258' 79 m

Up

245' 75 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

13%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Leashed

Overview

The route is typical Rock Creek Park terrain. The sections on the Valley Trail - North and Western Ridge Trail are wider than the sections on un-named, but still maintained, trails. During peak times—late morning and early afternoon—there are lots of people out in groups, walking dogs, etc. Call out and let slower walkers know you're coming up on them. More than once I've failed to do so and nearly collided. They move unpredictably.

Need to Know

There's a small parking lot at the starting point and some parking along the road near it. There are trash cans at the lot.

Runner Notes

Some of the sections are un-named but still maintained trails; you won't see blazes as you do with the Western Ridge Trail, the Valley Trail - North, and Valley Trail - South. The first couple times you do it check your location after crossing Riley Spring Bridge and before the big turns. If you miss a turn there's lots of small maintained trails so you can take them to get back on track or double back the way you came. It's similar to the Boulder Bridge Loop but with more up and down instead of that loop's general down slope to the midpoint and then generally up to the end.

Description

The terrain is typical Rock Creek Park terrain. The first landmark is at the very beginning, Boundary Bridge. Proceed northeastward on the Valley Trail then turn southeastward on the same and continue until it approaches Beach Dr. NW.

Cross Beach Dr. at Riley Spring Bridge, continue 1/10 mile (˜150m) and turn left to follow Beach Dr southeastward for 1/2 mile (800m) , then turn right onto a singletrack footpath and go generally west to the Western Ridge Trail. It's easy to miss this turn so stay alert. If you do, you can lengthen the run by continuing to the next right turn and heading west to the Western Ridge Trail. If you don't wish to do so, turn around, backtrack and the second time around you'll see the footpath.

Turn northward on the Western Ridge Trail. In just under 0.4 mile (640m) you'll cross Wise Road. Continue on the trail to head back to the start point.

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  3.0 from 1 vote

#4711

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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#4,711

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Photos

Pine Trail.
Mar 8, 2016 near Washington, DC
Cross-country skier in Rock Creek Park.
Mar 8, 2016 near Washington, DC
Ash leaves.
Mar 8, 2016 near Washington, DC
Yellow Trout Lily.
Apr 15, 2016 near Washington, DC
Hen of the Woods.
Mar 8, 2016 near Washington, DC

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