Capital Crescent Trail

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Maryland

Distance7.4mi
Elevation Gain15ft
Trailhead Elevation14ft
Top15ft
Elevation Min/Max8/15ft
Elevation Start/End14/14ft

Capital Crescent Trail

Capital Crescent Trail is a hiking and biking trail in District of Columbia and Maryland. It is within Little Falls Branch Park, Georgetown, Clara Barton Parkway, Maryland, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Dalecarlia Reservoir, and Georgetown Waterfront Park. It is 7.4 miles long and begins at 14 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 15 feet. Colonial Parking, Colonial Parking, and other parkings are near the trailhead. There are also bicycle parkings and a bicycle parking. Central Parking, Waterfront Center, and other parkings, the Fletcher's Cove picnic site, and the Fishing Shore (elevation 20 feet) beach can be seen along the trail. There are also drinking waters, parkings, restrooms, bicycle parking, and a water along the trail.

Capital Crescent Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Very popular with local commuters, this shady, gently descending paved rail-trail travels through historic areas in Maryland and Washington, D.C., offering views of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, the Potomac River, and several attractive old railway crossings."

"This is a weekend favorite of many riders in the D.C. area, who know it as the “Yuri Ride”—named for a Guatemalan with a Russian cosmonaut’s moniker. Every Sunday for years, Yuri led a procession of bikes along this route. He led them on in-line skates, and they had to work to keep up!

It now includes quaint riverside trails in addition to a scenic tour of Bethesda, Rock Creek Park, and Georgetown. Things to see: Area’s newest rail-to-trail conversion project, the C & O Canal, a bit of downtown Bethesda, old Chevy Chase houses, Rock Creek Park."

"Named for the crescent-shaped path it takes through the District and Montgomery County, this tree-lined trail transports commuters and outdoor enthusiasts through quiet, wooded neighborhoods and parklands, along the banks of the Potomac River and beyond.

Notes: Road bikes are fine for the first 7 miles; mountain bikes or hybrids are recommended for last 4 miles of gravel. Surface: Asphalt and crushed gravel (Georgetown Branch extension)."

"A former railroad right-of-way, the multi-use trail curves through close-in suburban Maryland and Northwest Washington. Its paved lower segment provides hikers with a good workout and scenic outing in a parkland setting. The 10-acre Georgetown Waterfront Park offers visitors a place to enjoy river views at the edge of a historic urban neighborhood.

The Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) is a narrow, parkland-encased pathway that arcs smoothly through affluent neighborhoods for 11 miles between Maryland’s Silver Spring and Washington’s Georgetown waterfront. The country’s most used rail trail, it has been heralded by the International Project for Public Places as one of the world’s “21 great places that show how transportation can enliven a community.”"

"This ride will start in a revitalized area of Georgetown, then move through the Capital Crescent Trail to hip Bethesda, Maryland, and then back down through Rock Creek Park. I offer you two options, one that uses most of Beach Drive along Rock Creek; the other makes use of the bike trails along the same area. Either one is great, but the “bike trail” version is a little more mellow (sans traffic) and scenic."

Capital Crescent Trail Reviews

4
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon3 Total
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
10/4/2009
This was my second time on this trail. This time started in Bethesda at great parking lot near the metro - parking free on weekends. Biked down to waterfront in Georgetown and back. I'd recommend starting in Georgetown as trail inclines up towards Maryland and it's an easy coasting ride most of the way back the whole way. Fletchers Boat House is great pit stop to and from just off the trail with restrooms. Great info provided. Thanks.
0
Comments
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
7/10/2006
The Capital Crescent trail is well paved and fairly easy biking conditions from Bethesda to the Washington Harbor. It can be crowded on weekends but not enough to avoid the path. Speeds are moderate and the slope from the Harbour to Bethesda is easy to moderate. Higher speeds are possible during the week with less traffic on path. Past Bethesda, the trail is unpaved and becomes very suspect. It is a future trail at this time but would avoid unless you desire to connect the Captial Crescent trail with Rock Creek Bike Trail. But the signs to link the two are not marked, so you will need local knowledge to connect the two.
0
Comments
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
1/2/2003
Rode CCT on Jan 2, 2003 as an after-lunch ride; day was cloudy, but trail's easy grade makes for the perfect exercise ride. Rode about 10 miles, from downtown Bethesda (where I work) to Fletcher's Boat House, where trail parallels the C&O Canal - from an urban setting to a quiet, park setting. Very relaxing, and necessary after all of the holiday celebrations! A great way to burn a few lunch time calories!
0
Comments

Capital Crescent Trail Photos

Trail Information

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Nearby City
Georgetown Waterfront Park
Parks
Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Skating, Fishing
Additional Use
Elm Street Park
Local Contacts
USGS: Washington West
Local Maps