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Washington, DC: G.R. Thompson Loop

Pick a sport: fish, bird watch, or hike. Next: tour parts or all of this 5.8-mile loop for a quick getaway from the noisy Capitol City.

Trip Tools

You’ve toured the Smithsonian, walked the Mall, and photographed Capitol Hill. Now, tour the wilder side of D.C. on this 5.8-mile loop. This hike strings together a small lake (fine fishing), several overlooks, (views to a local vineyard), and a segment of the Appalachian Trail (America’s classic long trail).Begin by heading west just south of the lake. The first mile quickly ramps up, climbing a hillside overlooking nearby valleys. The trail follows an old dirt road and joins up with the Appalachian Trail. Head north on the AT for about a mile then swing east for a quick descent back to the lake. Grab lunch at one of the few lakeside benches. Return to trailhead.Warning: Hunting is open along parts of this trail. Wear hunter orange or avoid the fall hunting seasons.
Mapped by Fletcher Caldwell

To Trailhead

From Washington, DC, head west on I-66 to exit 18. Turn right on VA 688/Leeds Manor Rd. and continue 3.9 miles to trailhead parking.

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