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District of Columbia
Featured National Recreation Trails

A sampling of National Recreation Trails in the news or recently designated. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.


National Recreation Trails... America's great trails!

Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths.

arrowSearch all of Washington, DC's designated National Recreation Trails in the Online NRT Database


map of District of Columbia

photo of runners on trail

Fort Circle Park Trail ( photo by Stuart Macdonald)


Black History Trail — This walking route directs visitors to sites in historic neighborhoods of Washington that illustrate aspects of African-American history. For a free brochure, write Washington, DC Black History Recreation Trail, National Park Service, National Capitol Region, Office of Public Affairs, 1100 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20242 or call (202) 619-7222.


Fort Circle Park Trail — This 7.9-mile rail conncects historic forts built to defend the nation's capital during the Civil War. Winding through hilly forest land, the trail is suitable for hiking or mountain biking. The trail is located across the Anacostia River in the southeast part of the District of Columbia (designated 2002).


Potomac River Water Trail — This water trail and greenway traverses over 300 miles, offering diverse experiences and exciting opportunities to view the varied landscapes and rich history of the Potomac River. The route runs along the borders of District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia (designated 2006).



trail noteWe frequently add NRT information, photos and maps to these pages. Send suggestions and information requests to American Trails. Research additional NRTs in the NRT database.

See how to update online trail information in the National Recreation Trails online database or send changes by e-mail to



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The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails:


The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training


Promote your trail through the National Recreation Trails Program


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