Glover-Archbold–Palisades–C&O Canal Loop

A lovely loop exploring the Palisades area of the District.

  • 7.5 miles
Running time
  • 1–1.5 hours
Total ascent/descent
  • 550 feet
    75 feet/mile


From the Roosevelt Island parking lot take the pedestrian bridge over to Key Bridge. After crossing the Potomac, turn right through Francis Scott Key Park, dropping down to the C&O Canal towpath. Follow the towpath upstream to a tunnel under the canal, hooking up with the Glover-Archbold Trail on the other side. Follow the “pipeline” to intersection with Wesley Heights Trail, taking a left on Wesley Heights.

The Battery Kimble Trail in the fall
The Battery Kimble Trail in the fall.

At Battery Kimble Park, take a left on Battery Kimble Trail and follow to MacArthur Blvd. Cross the road and enter trail near the old schoolhouse. Follow trail down to tunnel underneath Canal Rd, and emerge on C&O Canal towpath at Fletcher’s Cove. Take the canal back to Key Bridge and then cross over to Roosevelt Island.

Urban trail running
Urban trail running.

Last updated February 25, 2021

What you do is up to you, but you shouldn't rely on these directions alone; they are often not specific enough to navigate by, and may be incorrect or out of date. Review a map beforehand and carry it with you. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return. Do not count on having cell phone service while on the run. The VHTRC is not responsible for your welfare on any of these runs. If you go on one of these runs and get lost, run out of water, get injured, mauled by a bear, or die, or if anything else goes wrong, it's your fault; not ours. You assume all risks here and the VHTRC assumes none at all. Legal issues aside, some of these runs are more remote than others and the VHTRC is not suggesting that you do any of these runs, unless you are prepared to accept full responsibility for yourself.