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Rock Creek Park - Valley Trail, Fort DeRussy, and Western Ridge Trail

This short, but pretty hike starts at Parking Lot 8 on Beach Drive. After crossing the bridge on Sherrill Drive you will be treated to a pleasant hike along the creek. After crossing the creek you will make your way to the remains of Fort DeRussy and the Western Ridge Trail. Large elevation changes on this part of the hike make for pleasant scenery and a challenge for runners. After a short stint along Bingham Drive, you will take a horse trail back to Beach Drive and to the parking lot.
Distance: 
3.3mi
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Scenery: 
Fair
Photo Op: 
You will be able to get some good shots of the creek from the bridges. In the winter, bare trees allow you take advantage of large elevation changes for interesting views.
Location: 
Parking Lot 8, just south of Beach and Sherrill
Sherrill Drive and Beach Drive NW
Washington , DC
Metro Accessible: 
No
Parking : 
Parking Lot 8, just south of Beach and Sherrill
Sherrill Drive and Beach Drive NW
Washington, DC
Additional Directions: 
When parking keep an eye out for the brown sign with the number 8. This is the parking lot you want. People without cars see below.
What to Bring: 
Map and water. Print out the written directions below, they could come in handy. Bug spray in the summer.
Food Options: 
None. However, there are picnic tables adjacent to the lot if you want to picnic.
Additional Information: 

As always, check the Park website for warnings and safety information.

Much of Beach Drive in the park is closed on weekends and holidays, so the parking lot will not be accessible on these days. However, you can access the Valley Trail via the Whittier Trail just south of Sherill Drive (see map). The Whittier Trail is 0.2mi and connects to 16th St. If you do not have a car, you can take the S2 or S4 buses to the Whittier Trail.

Note all distances mentioned below are from the starting point in Parking Lot 8.

Begin at Parking Lot 8. Walk north along Beach Drive until you come to the bridge crossing Sherrill Drive. Cross the bridge, make a right, and make your way down to the path near the water. Make a left onto the path, it is called the Valley Trail. After about 0.2mi you will come to the intersection with the Whittier Trail. Continue along the Valley Trail. After about 0.5mi you will notice the Rolling Meadow Bridge on your right. Continue on the Valley Trail.

After about 0.75mi bear right onto the horse trail (dashed line on the map). Continue straight until you come to the bridge (about 0.9mi) that crosses Beach Drive. Walk up to the street and cross the bridge (there is a sidewalk). After you cross the bridge make a left on the paved trail.

The trail will eventually end. Make a right. You will be greeted by a substantial hill at this point, on your way up to Fort DeRussy. There is really nothing left of the fort except for a sign commemorating it. After Fort DeRussy you will travel a short distance and make a right on the Western Ridge Trail (green trail markers).

You will eventually pass a small fenced in field on your right. Follow signs for the Western Ridge Trail. You will cross a paved road and continue on the Western Ridge Trail until you reach Bingham Drive. Cross the road carefully and make a right. Follow the path along Bingham Drive. At the intersection with Beach, there will be a trail on your left. Take the trail back into the woods. You will make your first two rights and then cross Beach Drive (be careful, cars can speed here). Make a left and the parking lot should be visible.

Disclaimer: 
Environmental conditions in cities, parks, etc. can change rapidly and without our knowledge. We do not make any claims as to the accuracy of information presented on this page. Further, hiking can be a dangerous activity that may result in bodily harm and possibly death. We hope the information that we provide will help you prepare for your hike, but do not imply that the information provided is complete. It is your responsibility to prepare yourself for whatever challenges you may face. If you decide to use any of the information on this page, you do so at your own risk.
Images: 
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park
Fort DeRussy, Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park
Western Ridge Trail, Rock Creek Park

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