Monday, October 21, 2013

Trail Running on the Cabin John Park Trail

Yesterday was the perfect day to be outside. So how could we not finish it up with a nice trail run through the fall foliage? But where to go? In a hurry to find a location, I visited LocalHikes.com and started reading down the list of DC recommendations.

I'm not exactly sure why, but Cabin John Park Trail jumped out at me. Looking at the description, it appeared easy to find, the distance seemed about right (6 miles) and the instructions to just stay on the blue blazed trail seemed nice and simple.

We jumped in the car, and 23 minutes later (why, oh why, is there massive traffic on Sunday afternoon on the Beltway?!) we were at the Locust Grove Nature Center, ready to start our run.

To my surprise, the trail absolutely lived up to all my expectations. It was beautiful, free enough of obstructions to truly run on and well marked. It was hilly enough to keep things interesting; but not so steep that the downhills were unrunnable. We got a little disoriented when we popped out at the road 2 miles out, and didn't catch that we were supposed to walk down it a ways (the instructions say 40 yards, I think it's longer) to pick up the trail again. Instead, we followed a blaze into a camp ground by accident, which still made for a fine location to run in.

Apparently, the section of trail we covered is only part of the Cabin John Stream Valley Trail, which has a full length of 8.8 miles. That means that we've got plenty more miles to explore.

Definitely recommend this for trail running, or any other excuse for getting out into nature.

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