By Dan Wilcock
Anyone interested in finding a peaceful, woodsy running route with few course interruptions in Rockville, MD, should check out
(link will open a map of the route in MapMyRun).
It’s a good training run because it balances inclines (there are four good hills long enough to feel a bit of burn), descents, and flatter areas, and because there are only three intersections where cars can cross the route. I run it all the time, and love it.
If Rockville Town Square is your point of reference, warm up from there by walking north on Washington Street (walk past Dawson’s Market from the square and turn right on Washington). When you get to the post office on the corner of Washington and Martins Lane, you are at the start point.
There are just a few turns on this 4.6ish-mile loop.
From the start, run up and down the hill on Martins (which eventually turns into Nelson).
Turn right on College Parkway (the beauty of this run is that it skirts a large wooded area, so it’s more peaceful than some other parts of Rockville. This turn is where you start running around the woods).
Turn left on Yale and go all the way to the end. Just as you reach a wall of trees, you will see a trail heading to the right. Take this trail up to the Millennium Trail.
Turn left on the Millennium Trail. There is a nice long downhill stretch here for cooling down. Then the trail begins to climb.
Just before you get to a big bridge spanning I-270 (if you get to the bridge, you’ve gone too far), turn left where the trail forks into the Rockville Senior Center campus. You’ll see the Senior Center and a playground. There’s also a funky statue made of boulders and branches right where you turn.
Turn left when you get to the Senior Center can run in front of it onto Carnation.
Turn right on Aster Boulevard, one of the nicest residential streets in Rockville.
At the end of Aster, turn left on Nelson, which will take you back to the start/finish.
- The end of the race has three good hills in succession. By now you are warmed up for them, and they are a great way to finish your workout.
Hope you enjoy it. Leave a comment if you do. If you know of an even better route, send me a link.