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Walking Trails

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  • Report a Problem

    Notice damaged sidewalks, missing street signs, broken streetlights or trail maintenance issues? Submit a report to the District Department of Transportation.

  • Know Your Rights

    DC has unique pedestrian laws. Before you hit the streets, familiarize yourself with walking rules and etiquette. Learn more.

  • Find a Trail

    Whether you’re looking for a short, easy walking path or a long hike, DC has a handful of trails to choose from. Visit the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy site for trail descriptions, maps, photos and reviews.


Walking Benefits:

  • Improved Health
    Just 30 minutes of walking per day can reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and depression.
  • It’s Good for the Economy
    Walking isn’t just free; it’s good for business. DC’s most successful commercial streets have the highest numbers of people walking on them.
  • Meeting People in the Community
    Walking helps you get familiar with a neighborhood and increases the likelihood of meeting your neighbors.
  • It’s Good for the Environment
    Walking is emissions free and doesn’t produce greenhouse gases. Trails and sidewalks are also an efficient use of limited land.
  • Improved Performance at Work
    Walking, as a form of aerobic exercise, improves time and workload management, helping you feel motivated and more prepared to deal with stress.

Safety Best Practices:

  • Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections.
    Remember, jaywalking is illegal and unsafe.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
    Use pedestrian pushbuttons and begin crossing the street on the “Walk” signal. If there aren’t any pedestrian crossing lights, wait until it is safe to cross. Bear in mind that cyclists have the right-of-way.
  • Look both ways before crossing.
    Always check that the intersection is clear and that drivers and cyclists see you before stepping onto the crosswalk or road. Make eye contact and wait for cars to stop.
  • Watch for drivers making unexpected moves.
    Assume drivers can’t see you. Even cars that appear to be slowing down may not stop. Watch out for trucks and buses backing out of parking spaces and driveways.
  • Stay visible.
    Make yourself visible by wearing bright or reflective clothing. Consider carrying a flashlight or blinking light at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
    Remove your headphones and put away distracting devices when crossing the street.
  • Be bike-friendly.
    Avoid blocking, standing or walking in dedicated bike lanes. Keep in mind, bicyclists have the right-of-way and always ride with traffic.

Washington, DC is designated as a Gold-level Walk-friendly Community due to its high transit and walking mode share, and exceptional planning and engineering. DDOT continually undertakes infrastructure projects that make moving around the city safe and convenient, including installing sidewalks, crosswalks, and crossing signals.

Learn more about DDOT’s Pedestrian Master Plan

Every trip begins and ends with a walk. Increasing walking for any type of trip has the potential to reduce traffic congestion, add to the city’s livability and improve the environment and public health. moveDC is DDOT’s long-term transportation plan and contains recommendations to improve the pedestrian experience – better crosswalks, more sidewalks, and safer streets.

image01The walking pedestrian light signals that it’s safe to cross the street.

The time remaining may appear next to the signal. When you see the flashing hand and countdown, it’s too late to begin crossing. Wait until the next walking pedestrian light.

The steady hand means don’t cross and wait until the next walking pedestrian light.

The HAWK is a signal-beacon with an activated push-button, designed to help pedestrians safely cross busy streets. HAWK-hybrid pedestrian signals have four sequences:

  1. Blank signals upon activation with Steady Don’t Walk
  2. Flashing yellow signals upon activation with Steady Don’t Walk
  3. Solid RED with Steady Don’t Walk
  4. Alternating Red with Steady Don’t Walk

image02An RRFB is a high-intensity LED flasher activated by a pedestrian movement that supplements warning signs at unsignalized intersections or mid-block crosswalks. RRFB’s are designed to alert drivers that pedestrians are in the crosswalk.

I travel by foot because

See what others are saying #walkDC


  • Metrorail Walking Map PNG 1.89mb
  • Pedestrian Network Map PDF 10.09mb
  • National Mall Walking Tour PDF 1.59mb
  • A robust, interactive transit map that shows metropolitan DC’s complete network of paths, trails and more

  • Walk Score

    Available on:   iOS Android

    Walk Score rates neighborhoods based on the ease of walking to shops, restaurants and other…

  • The Pocket Guide to Transportation is a compilation of statistics that provides key info for the U.S. transportation system…

  • Find fitness at your own pace – Plan, track, study and share your journey with Under Armour’s MapMyWalk


Take a stroll through DC history when you follow one of Cultural Tourism DC’s self-guided Neighborhood Heritage Trails. Follow the trail signs at your own pace, sampling neighborhood character, businesses and restaurants along the way.

Plan your next walking adventure with our transit map.




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The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit. Think of ways to include walking into your daily routine. Strike up a friendly competition with colleagues and friends to see who can get those most steps in each day.

We provide step-by-step instructions on how to kick-start your walk challenge.

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