Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park

Washington, DC 20525

Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park

Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Roaming the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park on foot serves as a wonderful introduction to hiking in the nation’s capital and to learning firsthand about the city’s heritage and treasures. West Potomac Park is adjacent to the National Mall and the site of some of the most popular attractions in the nation’s capital. The National Park Service refers to the Mall as “America’s Front Yard—a public space that evokes the pride and patriotism of our nation.”

This 4-mile, clockwise loop begins at the Smithsonian Metro stop, circles around the Tidal Basin, extends to the Lincoln Memorial, and returns to the Metro station. It features sites of historical and cultural interest, with emphasis on presidents and, inevitably, war. It is planned as a daytime and outdoor hike, but you can detour indoors if you want; just maintain a good pace between stops, be careful crossing streets, and use the paths and sidewalks."

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Trail Information

Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
4 miles
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
2 hours
National Capital Parks, 202-619-7222, nps.gov/nacc
Local Contacts
USGS Washington West; ADC Metro Washington; posted map on display boards on and near West Potomac Park
Local Maps
The National Mall is a high-security area. Obey signs, don’t trespass, be prepared to modify your route if necessary, and finish hiking by dusk.
Parklands, public buildings

Activity Feed

Dec 2018