Christa Aiken has been hiking at Great Falls National Park for years.

Originally from Potomac, Maryland the former Redskins Cheerleader and founder of DC Fit Chick, is perpetually on the hunt for the perfect outdoor workout.

“I love trying out the different Billy Goat Trails, or even some unmarked paths,” says Christa.

“I’m also really digging Roosevelt Island. It feels like such an oasis from the city and there’s a great variety of trails to try.”

Given our impressive set of trails, it is no surprise DC has been named the fittest city in the U.S. according to the American Fitness Index. If you’re looking to shake up your workout, consider running or hiking along one of these spectacular paths:

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park has several different running paths that will surprise you with views of beautiful, raw nature that surround the city. You can choose a more populated route closer to civilization, or choose a route that takes you off the beaten path with streams and more nature than you’re used to in DC.

Address: 5200 Glover Road NW, Washington, DC 20015 | (202) 895-6000

Roosevelt Island

There’s a reason Teddy Roosevelt snuck off to this little island when he needed time to himself to think. When you’re on the inside of Roosevelt Island, you can’t see the surrounding city and you can’t hear the sounds of traffic. All you can see is trees and only hear the glorious sounds of nature. It’s the perfect place to think or to just forget about things for a little while.

It’s the perfect escape from the city without actually leaving the city. However, before you tie those sneaker laces, you may want to plan your visit in advance so you’re aware of what you can and cannot bring with you (i.e., no bikes), and how to avoid poison ivy.

Address: 700 George Washington Memorial Parkway | (703) 289-2500


When it’s a nice day in the District and you’re looking to make the most of it, the Arboretum is the perfect budget-friendly place to go.

The Arboretum consists of over 400 acres of beautiful landscapes, gardens, and exhibits. The expansive area is also great for hiking, jogging, or bike rides.

The Bonsai Gardens are a fan favorite, along with the columns which make for the perfect photo. Keep in mind that this place can get packed around the Cherry Blossom season, so try to work around that, especially if you’re looking for a quiet and open space to relax or meditate.  Panda Gourmet restaurant mentioned in the restaurant section of this guide is close by and a great spot for dinner after a nice day outside.

If you don’t mind paying a fee, the Arboretum offers a fun, moonlight hike, but due to its popularity spots tend to fill up quickly so be sure to book it well in advance.

Address: 3501 New York Avenue, NE; Washington, D. C. 20002 | (202) 245-2726

Lincoln Memorial

On a warm evening, go to the Lincoln statue while the sun is still setting to take in the magnificent views of the Mall, the reflecting pool, and the Washington Monument.

There is ample sidewalk space to jog and the steps of the Lincoln Memorial make a great workout. The best part, however, is the breathtaking view.

Address: 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037 (202) 426-6841

Stuck in the office? Here’s how to squeeze in a workout at your desk.