Exploring Rock Creek Park

Exploring Rock Creek Park

John Muir once said, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”  Though Washington D.C. is a bustling metropolitan city full of bright lights, noisy cars, and an abundance of people, the District is also home to Rock Creek Park, an enormous urban park just north of Georgetown that serves as the perfect getaway from city life.


I love Washington D.C., but sometimes I need to escape the fast-paced urban lifestyle for some fresh air and peace of mind. Since arriving to our nation’s capital, I have explored the park multiple times and have some key takeaways from each experience.


Rent a Bike

Rock Creek Park is huge! This 1,754-acre park is filled with over 32 miles of hiking and biking trails. Located near the Cleveland Park Metro station a few blocks from the park entrance, Capital Bikeshare bikes offer a quick and convenient way to explore the park’s vast wilderness. The expansive bike trails are well paved and wind through the dense trees alongside cascading waterfalls and flowing creeks.


Riding a bike in Rock Creek Park


Explore on Foot

Though biking is a great way to navigate Rock Creek Park, it’s important to park your bike for a bit to explore the surging streams and immense boulders on foot. Just off the beaten path, you can climb down the rocky bank to the water’s edge and jump from boulder to boulder until you’re in the middle of the stream. Sit for a while and take in all your surroundings. Listening to the flowing water and the rustling leaves is a great way to decompress and appreciate Earth’s wonders.


Streams in the park


Bring the Essentials

Though Rock Creek Park is in the middle of D.C., most trails are isolated far from the city. Make sure to bring all the essentials including a camera, water bottle, sunscreen, snacks, and a first aid kit in case you fall off your bike like I did. Though wandering through nature alone is rewarding, make sure to explore with a friend because SAFETY FIRST!


Patching up after an accident


Exploring Rock Creek Park is one of my favorite things to do in D.C. It allows me to escape the buzzing D.C. urban environment and appreciate Earth’s beauty just a few miles from my apartment. To anyone living in the D.C. area, I highly recommend visiting this peaceful location.


Ciao for now,

Emily Pingleton


Read Emily's previous blog posts

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