5 great hikes within 60 minutes of Washington, D.C.

In the course of writing the newest edition of “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Washington, D.C.,” Rachel Cooper and Renee Sklarew scrambled across boulders and bushwhacked through thorny underbrush — but mostly, they logged their total of 252 miles taking peaceful walks through the woods. Along the way, they learned that the D.C. area offers a wide variety of hikes.

“We have the Chesapeake Bay to the east, we have the mountains to the west, and we have urban areas with so much history in between,” Cooper says. “There are so many different ambiances you can take in,” Sklarew adds.

Whether you’re interested in communing with nature, logging some serious exercise or just getting a crabby toddler out of the house, there’s a hike for you, Sklarew says. Still not interested? Consider the activity’s meditative benefits.

“Hiking gets you out of your head, it gives you a chance to stop and look around, and it’s such an easy, low-stress way to get in shape,” she says.

Here are a handful of their favorites…


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