Outdoor Recreation in Washington DC, MD and Northern VA

Ice-skating at front of National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.
Jason Colston / Getty Images

The Washington DC area offers endless outdoor recreational opportunities for all ages. See the following guide and discover beautiful parks and the best outdoor activities of the DC/Capital region. Find information about hiking, biking, boating and much more.

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    Hiking trails
    Getty Images

    With hundreds of miles of great hiking and walking trails, the Washington DC area has many scenic destinations for the outdoor enthusiast. Head out on your own or join a group to get some exercise and fresh air.

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    West Potomac Park, Washington DC
    Jason Colston / Getty Images

    Washington, DC is becoming one of the most bike-friendly city's in the nation. Explore more than 800 miles of biking trails throughout the metropolitan region.

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    Parks and Picnic Areas

    View Of Urban Park At Waterfront
    Brett Godfrey / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Find the best parks for outdoor recreation around the capital region.


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    Hisham Ibrahim / Getty Images

    Got kids who need to burn some energy? Learn about the best playgrounds in Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

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    aerial view of a public swimming pool with many people playing
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    Find indoor and outdoor swimming pools, public swimming pools, and private swim clubs in Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
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    Kings Dominion
    Courtesy of Kings Dominion

    Spending a hot summer day at a water park is a great way to cool off and have some family fun! Enjoy splashtime in Maryand and Northern Virginia.

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    USA, Virginia, Alexandria, Aerial photograph at sunrise of Fords Landing
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Enjoy boating in the Washington, DC area, including sailing, canoeing, kayaking, power boating and scenic cruises along the Potomac River and in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

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    Men fishing off boat
    Scott K. Brown/VA Tourism Corp.

    The Washington DC area offers endless opportunities for fishing. You can spend the day fishing in a nearby lake, river or stream or enjoy a weekend angling at many beautiful destinations along the Eastern Shore in Maryland or Virginia. Here are guides to fishing around the region:

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    Zip line
    Roberto A. Sanchez/Getty Images
    Fly through the air, swing through the trees, and challenge yourself with obstacle courses. There are several zip line tours and treetop adventures available near Washington DC, including locations in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
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    Horseback riding
    Rachel Cooper

    Learn to ride a horse in the Washington, DC area. Find stables, horseback riding lessons and trails in Washington, DC, Maryland or Virginia.


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    Noah Clayton/Getty Images
    Enjoy a day of winter fun - skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing within a few hours drive from Washington, DC.
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    Find information on recreational sports in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia including football, baseball, soccer, basketball, golf, ice hockey, and more.

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    Ice-skating at front of National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.
    Jason Colston / Getty Images
    The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden's ice-skating rink is a favorite destination, attracting thousands of visitors to skate in the parklike setting on the National Mall. Enjoy some outdoor recreation in the heart of Washington DC.