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Anyone know any good hills in/near Washington D.C.?(11 posts)

Anyone know any good hills in/near Washington D.C.?BAi9302010
Mar 7, 2002 3:49 PM
Anyone know any good hills in D.C., or within, say, an hours ride (That don't require driving to get to.). I can't think of a single one worth mentioning, so if you know of one, could you give me the location and if possible, a short description.-thanks
I cycled from Mass to DC this summerBarnyard
Mar 7, 2002 4:16 PM
And I did not encounter any hills down around DC. I rode the cresent trail and the bike path that goes out to Mt. Vernon. On the way out of DC (on my way to western NY)from Potomac I encountered a lot of road riders. Go up 190 from Bethesda up towards Dickerson. You'll find some beautiful riding in that area. I passed a government animal research facility. Lots of nice land. Some roads closer to the river around Whites ferry are hard packed dirt roads. They would nice to explore with some fat tires. Anyways, up 190 you'll find more hills and some very pretty riding.
re: Anyone know any good hills in/near Washington D.C.?DrPete
Mar 7, 2002 5:16 PM
What part of DC? I'm in Gaithersburg, MD, and I've found some good rolling hills right outside my door. No major climbing in DC that I know of. I know some good rides further out with some good hills (approx. 20 minute drive from Rockville/Gaithersburg). Drop me a line--I know that's not really what you're looking for.
re: Anyone know any good hills in/near Washington D.C.?Fignons_ponytail
Mar 7, 2002 5:25 PM
Sugarloaf Mountain. You can take backroads that have little if any traffic from D.C. to get there once you are in Maryland, it's a 1.5 mile climb, complete with switchbacks.

Right in D.C. there's the Mass. ave. climb out of D.C. Not a terrible grade, but a good length. If you stay on Mass., you get one or two more decent climbs if you stay on it to where it ends in Bethesda.
Have you ridden in the National Arboretum?MB1
Mar 7, 2002 5:33 PM
There are some good rollies there and a pretty good climb in the middle of the park to the Capital overlook(It looks like it is closed off, you have to go around a chain. Don't worry though, there is a bike rack at the top).

In Arlington there are some pretty good climbs getting up to Ridge Road.

If all else fails try riding up the side of the Washington Monument. ;-) Better yet take the Metro out to Shady Grove and ride around and up Sugarloaf from there.
re: plentycyclopathic
Mar 7, 2002 5:40 PM
if you wanna see them come over this Sat. I'll be riding a century with ~13,000' of climbing.
THere're a couple good climbs. my e-mail
Waldorf, MDDWridesGT
Mar 8, 2002 12:21 AM
Come out to Waldorf, MD about 20 mins from the beltway. Take Route 5 south. Good climbing on nice country roads all thoughout White Plains, La Plata, Brandywine, etc....

The LBS does weekend rides also. Give me an email, I'll show you a couple nice routes.

North Arlington has some hills, but nothing sustained, really.bill
Mar 8, 2002 8:28 AM
So does Montgomery County, although, as with all good Virginians, I've been there but still don't know where I've been.
Actually, Squadra Coppi ( has two routes laid out that you can see on their website, both of which include some hills (I've yet to try the Falls Church, Sleepy Hollow route, but I've wanted to go there even before I saw that Coppi had a route laid out). Coppi's Sunday morning rides, which leave from the Java Shack in Arlington at 9 a.m., include some of said Montgomery County hills and are open to all who want to hang on. NCVC also has a Sunday a.m. ride that leaves from Dean & DeLuca in G-town same time, which does some of the same topology from the other direction. Both groups are friendly enough if, shall we say, a bit distant and skeptical (understandably, I guess) until you prove yourself sufficiently fit and wheel-worthy. Neither ride is for beginners -- both rides start out fairly mellow but get aggressive in the hills, and both teams will drop you. Too many people along to expect otherwise, and, after all, you are crashing their party.
These are not mountains. They are hills, but some are pretty darn challenging at the right pace.
Echo MB1.. the arboretum is underestimated...Djudd
Mar 8, 2002 10:57 AM
there are no giganitc hills there but for rollers in a compacted space it's great. I get there at 8am sat. mornings and use it as a warm-up. I find the best place to get to for decent climbing is upper Montgomery County, nice country roads and a few unexpectedly steep hills. Check a some good Maryland maps and look at the small roads going through the Catoctins. A really good out and back is DC to Hagerstown, a little far perhaps but well worth it and lots of options and places to improvise. The problem is DC is built on a swamp so the farther you get from the city the more luck you will have.

Good Luck
a fewDuane Gran
Mar 8, 2002 11:25 AM
A popular hill is at Great Falls MD. Take McArthur Blvd north from Georgetown and stay on it until it turns into Falls Road. At this point, go straight down hills for about a mile to the base of Great Falls. Climb back up. Voila! It isn't anything terribly fancy, but it is a good place to do hill repeats.

Sugarloaf mountain in Poolesville is nice, but unless you plan on riding a century that day you will probably have to drive a little ways.

A lot of people like to climb Mt Weather. It is near Middleburg. Personally, if I'm going to drive that far, I'll just stay on route 66 and keep going until I get the Shenendoah National Park and ride SkyLine drive. It is an hour drive, but definitely worth if you want your hill training. ;)

If you want to stay in DC, I recommend Tilden Avenue. Go north on Connecticut Ave and swing right on Tilden. If you see Van Ness street you have gone too far. This is only about 3/4 of a mile, but it is a fairly steep and makes a good place for repeats. There isn't much traffic there which helps.

Email me ( if you want to find out about some group rides & such.
For laps/repeats try Rock Creek ParkJacko
Mar 11, 2002 9:25 AM
This area's great on the weekends when it's closed to vehicular traffic. Riding along the creekbed means just once have to clibs to get out of that valley.

Along Broad Branch road are a number of roads, all hills, both directions. There's even a couple of loops making it very easy to do laps.

See this site for additional info...enjoy.