Training: DC Trail Running… Part I


Glover Archbold Park is tranquil getaway from concrete and city noise in Northwest Washington DC. The long and narrow park runs three miles due south from Wisconsin Ave and Van Ness St to the Capital Crescent and C&O Canal trails at Canal and Foxhall Rd on the Potomac.

A rugged, creekside trail extending the length of the park is a delight to hikers, dog walkers, and runners alike. Southbound, the trail steadily drops over 300 ft in elevation, making the return trip a good challenge.

Out and back elevation profile starting at the Tenleytown bus stop, a few blocks north of the Van Ness trailhead

Out and back elevation profile starting at Tenley Circle, a few blocks north of the Van Ness trailhead

Glover Archbold Trailhead, indicating 0.6 miles to Mass Ave, 2.4 to Reservoir Road, and 3 miles to Canal road, single track trail and office building are visible in the background

Glover Archbold Trailhead on Van Ness St downhill from Wisconsin Ave

Single track trail on an open grassy area heading int the woods

After passing through an open grassy field, the trail enters the woods, and the adventure begins

View of a wide dirt trail in the heavily wooded park, green leaves are resplendant in the sunlight

This natural oasis in the city is enchanting and restorative

Wooden rail tile steps leading to a rocky creek crossing

Spots like this will keep you on your toes

The wood bridge crossing a small creek in along the heavily wooded trail

One of the few bridges in DC without excessive traffic!

Long straight section of hard-packed dirt singletrack cutting across a hillside in the forst

Straightaway sections let you open up your stride and feel the speed

Dirt singletrack approaching an open grassy field

The trail exits the forest in this field adjacent to Mass Ave

Trail meets Mass Ave, yellow pedestrian sign beside the four lane road

Be careful at theĀ  Mass Ave crossing

Sidewalk along Mass Ave leading to the trail, a set a wooden steps lead downhill

The trail immediately resumes across the street

Narrow single track in the lush green woods

The singletrack narrows between Mass Ave and Cathedral Ave

Crosswalk markings along Cathedral Ave, a parked Red Vespa in view on the left

The Cathedral Ave crossing features crosswalk markings

Wooden staircase at Cathedral Ave leading to the trail

Again, the trail immediately resumes across the road

Dirt single track trail continues, with ample shade from the dense forest

Ample shade throughout the trails provides relief from the heat

Trail leads to New Mexico Ave, forest visible across the street

Shortly after the Cathedral Ave crossing, the trail crosses New Mexico Ave

Across the street from New Mexico Ave, the dirt singletrack continues, entering dense woods

As always, the trail resumes immediately

Shaded downhill trail, with a wooden bride crossing a creek, green leaves shine in the sunlight

This is my after work “happy hour”

Large concete pipe with the entire side covered in moss

Moss nearly envelops this concrete pipe

Straight section of trail nearly covers the concrete pipe

The trail continues along the straight path of the concrete pipe underneath

Trail continues on top of the concrete pipe, with a dirt path on the left, and a stream on the right

It may be as long as the Shawshank Redemption escape route

Wooden footbridge on a flat section of trail at the bottom of a hill

Trail builders did a great job with footbridge placement in low lying areas

Trail intersects with Reservoir Road, crosswalk marking and pedestrian sign are visible

The last road crossing before Canal is Reservoir Road

Large grassy hill, with a flat grass field below

After crossing Reservoir, the trail resumes at the bottom of the field below

Wide, shaded dirt trail, with the bright green leaves on the trees overhead almost glowing in the sun

The leaves glow with life in the late summer sun

Glover Archbold Trail Sign indicating 3 miles to Van Ness St

The trail ends at Canal Road, where runners can continue along a bridge under the road to the Capital Crescent Trail

Pedestrian walkway leading to a bridge under Canal Rd to the Capital Crescent Trail

Pedestrian walkway leading to a bridge under Canal Rd to the Capital Crescent Trail

Bridge underneath Canal Rd

I look every time, but have yet to see a bat

Potomac River dividing DC and Virginia, sun overhead in a partly coludy sky, trees line both sides of the river

And finally, the river

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3 Responses to Training: DC Trail Running… Part I

  1. John O'D says:

    Thanks for the post – I used to run that trail 30 years ago during my lunchtime and glad to see it is still around. Making that climb back up though was always a challenge in the heat of summer!

  2. Oshri says:

    Beautiful trail! Awesome that you’ve found this in DC, too.

  3. Pingback: Training: DC Trail Running Part II … Rock Creek Park | Alex Modestou Racing

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