happyly approved

National Arboretum: 3-mile loop

3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Daily 8 am - 5 pm


run, parks

A great stroller run or walk with kids in the National Arboretum.

The National Arboretum has several varieties of cherry blossom trees, which often means the blooms there last longer than around the Tidal Basin. Before you go, try downloading the Arboretum's app and reading through the self-guided Cherry Tree tour. That will give you a great overview of some of the trees you'll see on your run. You can also access a map of the entire Arboretum. It sounds a little complicated, but you're never really lost inside the Arboretum and as long as you check the map ahead of time, you'll be fine. 

Park at the Arboretum's parking lot next to the R Street Entrance. There are several species of cherry blossom trees right around the parking lot (stops 3 - 5 on the app if you want to look). Walk over to the Arbor House to use the bathroom or fill up on water before getting started. You'll be running along the side of the road in the Arboretum, which plenty of runners and bikes do, but still keep an eye out for cars. 

Head south along Eagle Nest Road -- there are a few cherry blossom trees off to your left as you run. When you reach the intersection with Azalea Road, turn to the right and run just a bit to check out a few others. Turn back around and run east along Azalea Road as it turns into Crabtree Road. You'll run right by the Washington Youth Garden and can stop to let the kids explore or return here after your run too. 

Keep heading east until you reach the intersection with Hickey Hill Road. Turn right here and you'll spy several different species of cherry blossom trees. Continue running northeast along Hickey Hill Road, and wind your way through the Arboretum. The road will curve left (west) as it intersects with Conifer Road. Run just a bit west along Conifer Road to see several additional species of blooms.

Then turn back around, but stick to Conifer Road this time and run the loop north until you reach Hickey Lane. Turn left to catch Hickey Lane and you'll see one more species of the tree just before Valley Road. Continue down Hickey Lane to return back to the parking lot by the R Street entrance. 

Refuel or cool off after at Tropical Smoothie Cafe at Dakota Crossing in the nearby Gateway neighborhood, or drop into Union Market to peruse the options there.

The closest metro station is 


Paved Sidewalk Gardens Running Paved Loop
Thoughtfully captured by:
Rebecca Green
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