Nestled neatly alongside Rock Creek sits my favorite trail in Rock Creek Park. The 5.5 mile Valley Trail offers a variety of rocky, technical singletrack and smooth horse trail for runners and hikers alike.I first discovered this trail at the beginning of my trail running days. I remember finding myself along a particularly technical section of the trail and thinking to myself, “People actually run this?” Turns out they did, I now do regularly, and so can you.If you are looking for a great day hike or nice trail run through Rock Creek Park, this is a perfect trail to do it on, but if you are new to trail running, keep it mind that the Valley Trail is probably the more advanced trail options in the park.Before we get in to the details, I should probably mention a few of the downsides about this trail. While it spends most of the time snaking alongside Rock Creek, sections also follow directly beside Beach Drive. On the weekends, when those sections of Beach Drive are closed to cars, this can be a good thing (you pass by a few bathrooms!), but during a weekday run after work, passing cars can make nature bathing a little difficult.
Courtesy of Rock Creek Runner