Rock Creek Park, DC | Adventures with Shelby
United States,  Washington DC

Hiking Rock Creek Park in the Fall

Rock Creek Park is one of my favorite parks in DC!  Founded in 1890, the park is located in the upper NW quadrant of DC.  Within its 1,700 acres, this park offers more than 32 miles of trails, as well as open areas for gatherings and picnics.  

In my opinion, the best part of Rock Creek Park is obviously Rock Creek!!  There are trails on both the East and West side following the creek from Miller Cabin down to Boulder Bridge.  You can also follow the creek on the East side all the way up to Boundary Bridge on the border of DC and Maryland.  

Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC | Adventures with Shelby

I usually drive to Rock Creek Park and park beside the Nature Center and Planetarium .  Though the Nature Center is currently closed, they have the hiking brochures and other information on a table by the entrance.  This parking area connects with a few different trails – the Western Ridge Trail, Woodland Trail, and White Horse Trail.

Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC | Adventures with Shelby


The park is huge and there are so many different trails inter-connecting throughout – I recommend grabbing a map at a visitor’s center or using a hiking app like All Trails to make sure you don’t get lost!  All Trails has different suggested loops and trails to follow, but you can also improvise and find different cut throughs.

I like to try different variations of trails each time I visit Rock Creek park (the possibilities are endless!).  So far, one of my favorite areas of the park is Boulder Bridge, which was actually frequented by Teddy Roosevelt!  There is a fun 3.5 miles loop trail from the Nature Center to Boulder Bridge and back around. 

Boulder Bridge in Rock Creek Park | Adventures with Shelby

Boulder Bridge looks especially beautiful as the leaves change color in the fall!  The bridge is where Beach Drive crosses Rock Creek, just beside Valley Trail.  When taking the Boulder Bridge loop trail I like to stop here for a minute to enjoy the views.  

Which part of Rock Creek Park is your favorite?  Share below!


Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC | Adventures with Shelby


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