- Go through Rosslyn and across the Key Bridge.
- Take a sharp right after bridge down to the river side of C&O Canal.
- Left on C&O Towpath and QUICK right down steps to K St.
- Go right on K St. to trailhead of Capital Crescent Trail.
- Follow Capital Crescent Trail a little more than 5 miles until it crosses over Massachusetts Avenue. You will remain on the trail the whole time. Among the “landmarks” you will pass are: Fletcher’s Boathouse (near mile marker 8); bridge over the canal; the “Entering Maryland” sign (near mile marker 7) and the Dalecarlia tunnel (just past mile marker 6).
- It is important to pay attention so that you don’t miss Mass. Ave. The turnoff at Mass. Ave. is just before mile marker 5.0 and about a mile from the tunnel.
- Just before the trail crosses over Mass. Ave., there will be a dirt downhill trail on your right. Take that (short) trail down to the sidewalk and turn right. You are headed up Mass. Ave. toward the D.C. line.
- At the top of the hill, you will be at Westmoreland Circle. Go halfway around the circle counterclockwise (basically stay to the right) and make a right to continue on Mass. Ave.
- Continue on Mass. but make a quick right onto 49th St. It is the third right you can possibly make after the circle (and is after 50th St.!)
- From 49th St., make the fourth right onto Tilden St.
- Continue on Tilden St.–it curves around after Fordham Rd.–until it ends at an intersection with Rockwood Parkway.
- Make a left onto Rockwood Parkway and take that up the hill until you get to Indian Lane.
- Make a right onto Indian Lane and you will soon come to a big intersection. This is Nebraska Avenue.
- Cross Nebraska Avenue and bear right down Chain Bridge Road. It is a narrow, shady road with a very steep downhill slope and some really cool houses.
- When Chain Bridge Road hits MacArthur Boulevard, make a left onto MacArthur.
Take MacArthur back toward Georgetown. Be careful not to take Reservoir Road when you get near the Dalecarlia Reservoir–it is easy to get confused because the two of them meet and then divide again. If you are near the fence next to the water, you are in the right place.
- Once you hit Foxhall Road in Georgetown, MacArthur basically turns into Canal Road. Stay right when Foxhall meets MacArthur, but quickly cross to left side before heading down the hill.
- Stay on Canal Road (there is a sidewalk only on the left side heading in that direction) and it will turn into M Street at the Key Bridge. Be careful crossing M Street to go over the Key Bridge because there isn’t a crosswalk there.
- Take the Key Bridge back to Rosslyn.
From North Meade Street Park, go through Rosslyn and cross Key Bridge. Take a sharp right after the bridge down to river side of C&O Canal. Turn right (go under Key Bridge) and run for miles!
The mile markers are conveniently situated to match up with the distance traveled from Rosslyn. In other words, mile marker 3 (near Fletcher’s Boathouse) is 3 miles running from Rosslyn. Note that the mile markers are not all perfectly accurate, so don’t count on splits, but general distance is close.
- 12 miles to Towpath Mile Marker 6 and back.
- 19 miles to Capital Beltway and back. (Towpath Mile Marker 9.5)
Water stops (water turned off in winter):
- Water and facilities at Fletcher’s Boathouse at Mile Marker 3
- Water at Towpath Mile Marker 5
- Water just before Towpath Mile Marker 9
0.0 Begin at Iwo Jima
Go through Rosslyn
Cross Key Bridge
1.0 Sharp right after bridge thru Key Park down to river side of C&O Canal
Left on C&O Towpath and QUICK right down steps to Water St.
Right on Water St. to trailhead of Capital Crescent Trail
Continue on Capital Crescent to mile marker #6.5 (see note below about shortening route)
5.0 Just past MM #6.5 U-turn at water fountain
Left onto trail about 100 yds after DC border and about 1/4 mile from U-turn
Follow trail (with chain link fence on left) to Potomac Avenue
Follow Potomac Avenue (Enjoy the nice homes and scenic views of the river)
6.0 Turn left onto Galena Place. Run a little more than 2.5 blocks.
Turn right on unmarked trail just before Sherier Place
(The trail is an abandoned railbed for streetcars from Georgetown to Glen Echo Park!)
(If you miss trail, continue to MacArthur, make a right and follow to left on Chain Bridge Rd)
Continue on trail across pedestrian bridge over Arizona Ave.
Continue on trail through parking lot at Palisades Rec Center
Turn left onto (paved) Chain Bridge Road (#2402 will be on your left)
Cross MacArthur Blvd
6.75 (Begin Loops of Battery Kemble)
Continue UP Chain Bridge Rd. Enjoy the hill–You will see it again 😉
Right onto gravel road toward parking area
Right onto trail at bottom of the hill
Continue on main trail that follows creek (on your left) through B.K. park
Exit woods at MacArthur Blvd.
Right along MacArthur for about 50 yards
Right onto Chain Bridge Road.
8.0 End of first loop. Repeat loop (see note below about shortening route)
9.25 End of second loop
Return by retracing your steps (see note below about shortening route)
Downhill on Chain Bridge Rd to #2402
Right onto unmarked trail (old railway line)
Run through parking lot at Palisades Rec Center
Cross pedestrian bridge over Arizona Ave.
Left onto Galena Place
Right onto Potomac Ave
Straight onto trail that connects to Capital Crescent
Right onto Capital Crescent (see note below about shortening route)
11.0 U-Turn at Water Fountain at Capital Crescent MM #6.5
Follow Capital Crescent to Georgetown
Cross Key Bridge
Through Rosslyn to Iwo Jima
Ways to shorten:
- Do not run all the way to MM #6.5 Instead turn right onto trail about ¼ mile after MM #7 and follow directions from Potomac Avenue.
- Do not run the 2nd loop of Battery Kemble.
- After exiting woods on MacArthur Blvd. at end of loop turn LEFT instead of right to return to Georgetown via MacArthur Blvd.
- After connecting to Capital Crescent on return trip do not run to MM #6.5 before turning around; instead turn left onto Capital Crescent. to return to Georgetown.