Washington, DC: Perimeter Trail

This 5.3-miler in Greenbelt Park loops through a wooded urban jungle and along gentle streams, just 15 minutes from The National Mall.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.7



Location: 38.9939193725586, -76.8953475952148

From car, wind back toward park entrance on road and take right onto yellow-blazed Perimeter Trail (follow yellow on entire loop).


Location: 38.989990234375, -76.8899307250976

Path descends on small switchbacks; trail courses between open grasslands, wooded marshy pockets and mellow streambeds, listen to chirpy birds nesting in the surrounding Virginia Pine and oaks.


Location: 38.9885215759277, -76.8937072753906

Enter wooded gully and cross Still Creek


Location: 38.9818992614746, -76.8943328857422

Left at T intersection as trail rises


Location: 38.977970123291, -76.896728515625

Cross campground road and then take left at Perimeter Trail sign for slight decline


Location: 38.9746398925781, -76.9007797241211

Cross paved bike path then turn right onto crushed gravel path leading through a quiet, sheltered hollow lined with oaks that grow to majestic size


Location: 38.9766502380371, -76.9089965820312

Cross fire road then small ripples of Deep Creek; on the second half of the loop, cruise past American holly and mountain laurel over streams and slopes in a Leopold-like bubble, feeling far off the grid of highways and suburbs.


Location: 38.9815788269043, -76.9059524536133

Cross another fire road and stay left at next two junctions before jetting over Still Creek bridge for a small climb ahead


Location: 38.9902305603027, -76.9004669189453

Near the park boundary, keep left past spur trails


Location: 38.9922485351562, -76.8973770141602

Cross bridge at North Fork Still Creek and return .6-mile to close loop at Park Central Road