Trail starts on the edge of Maryland and DC. There is a parking lot with space for about 20 cars that can get busy. There are other trails near the trailhead too, and on weekends, Beech Drive is closed to motor vehicles, amking this parking lot a great launching point to explore Rock Creek Park.
This 1.3 mile loop starts from the parking area at Rock Creek Boundary Bridge parking on the border with Maryland and D.C. The trail is flat and wooded, with one leg of the loop running through the forest and the other leg along the creek.
Starting clockwise, veer right at the end of the parking lot and cross the bridge on your right-hand side. Cross the river and veer left onto the Valley Trail - North
. You'll pass a large fallen tree with impressive roots; if you do this hike in the early spring, you'll pas a field of blue bell flowers. Continue through the forest staying on the Valley Trail - North
. You'll see a protected wetland on your right-hand side and hike among some tall beach and oak trees.
The halfway point of the lop is the bridge between Beech Drive and West Beech drive, where you have the option to continue forward on the Valley Trail - North
near the Juniper trailhead, or continue the loop by veering right back towards the parking lot. This leg of the trail is the best part, as it runs alongside a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. It can by muddy in this section after it rains.
The trail is well marked and in good condition. The trail is mostly flat and popular with joggers. While located in the heart of DC, the trees on the loop are tall and the forest is engulfing.