Rock Creek Park is truly an urban oasis in our nation's capital. On almost 2000 acres of land bisected by Rock Creek itself, you and you canine can meander along the winding trails, while enjoying the fresh air and majestic trees. At Rock Creek Park, you and your adventure dog can create your own hike using any combination of connector trails, perfect for a short jaunt through the woods, or pushing yourselves on a long trail.
There is plenty of free parking at Rock Creek Park, available in several different parking lots. The Nature Center and Planetarium is a pawpular places to start off your adventure, and you can even pick up some trail maps here. There is also a trailhead located at Pierce Mill, a mill built in 1820 and on the National Register of Historic Places. Some other trailheads can be found at Picnic Areas 6-10 and Boundary Bridge.
There are two main trails that run parallel, north to south through the park. These are the Western Ridge Trail and Valley Trail. Between these there are connector trails running east and west, like rungs on a ladder. You are welcome to create your own hike and go wherever the wind takes you, or you can check out some of the suggested hikes on the park's official website. One of these is the 3.5 mile Boulder Bridge Trail loop. It starts off at the nature center, and travels through forest and along the creek.
Along your travels, you and your pupper will come across many family-friendly features. These include playgrounds, athletic fields, horse trails, a golf course, and an amphitheater. There are also opportunities for boating and a rental shop for kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddle boards. If you'd like to learn more about the local flora and fauna, you can take advantage of one of the ranger-led wildlife programs.
Dogs are welcome at Rock Creek Park, as long as they stay leashed, on the trails, and picked up after. The trails in Rock Creek Park are sure to get your pup's tail wagging!