7 Bethesda Outdoor Spots All Ages Can Enjoy

Bethesda, Maryland, one of the most popular communities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, is known as ‘the’ place for great restaurants and shops of all kinds. But as the winter turns to spring, it’s time to put indoor activities on the back burner and get outdoors. Bethesda is an idyllic town of about 63,000 that covers 13 square miles. Self magazine has ranked Bethesda as one of the healthiest places for women in the country several times.

In Bethesda, people can walk just about anywhere. And Walkscore agrees, rating the town a 95 out of 100. The score is calculated by factors like nearby restaurants and stores, number of transportation choices and how much people need to rely on a car. Recreation is also emphasized. Let’s look at seven of the outdoor spots that offer recreation for all ages in Bethesda.

Cabin John Regional Park

Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Regional Park offers outdoor activity options for everyone in Bethesda. Visitors to the six-acre Cabin John Regional Park can enjoy a playground, hiking trails, softball fields, tennis courts, and basketball courts. The Park even offers ice skating in the summer at the fully enclosed Cabin John Ice Rink.

Visitors can also connect with nature through a variety of environmental nature programs, ride on the model train, or spend the afternoon relaxing with family and friends at various picnic areas. If an afternoon isn’t enough, there are seven walk-in campgrounds. There is plenty to do and see in this Montgomery County gem.

Capital Crescent Biking Trail

The Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) is a shared-use off-road trail that runs from Georgetown, D.C. to Silver Spring, Maryland and is well-traveled by walkers, joggers, and bikers. The Trail is a rail trail, built upon the former rails of an 11-mile stretch of the B&O Railroad. The Trail is paved from Georgetown to Bethesda, with 6 bridges and a tunnel offering users gentle gradients, with grade-separated crossings at most roadways. Ride underneath a canopy of native trees on the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) along the Potomac River and enjoy every season on this ride!

Local tip: This ride is about seven miles long and will take most riders 30-45 minutes. If you need a quick breather along the way, stop at the station at River Road and Landy Lane to take a break.

Bethesda Central Farm Markets

People love to walk through the rows of the Bethesda Central Farm Market. It is good for the body and taste buds! Open Sundays in the Bethesda Elementary School parking lot, The Market was founded in 2008 with one stand and 17 vendors. Today, Central Farm Markets has four farmers markets in Maryland and Virginia where visitors can purchase high-quality, locally grown fresh and prepared food. Each market supports its local community with activities, events and programming that help to educate, give back and fight hunger.

McCrillis Gardens

McCrillis Gardens is a natural outdoor space, offering shaded walkways and colorful beds of flowers, especially during spring. This five-acre property is somewhat hidden, tucked into a residential Bethesda neighborhood. The garden paths wind through collections of ornamental trees and shrubs, along with hundreds of annuals and perennials that add year-round color and texture.  There is also a pavilion and several resting spots that make nice vantage points and picnic locations.

C&O Canal National Park

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is a unit of the National Park System that preserves one of the Nation’s most intact historic canals and the largest collection of 19th-century canal features and buildings in the national park system. It is the ninth most visited location within the National Park System, welcoming over 5 million visitors a year. Stretching 184.5 miles from Georgetown in Washington, DC, to Cumberland, Maryland, the Canal offers colorful cultural, natural, and historic resources and lots of space to explore.

Great Falls Park

It’s been a trading place, fishing spot, amusement park and even a nature center. During the past ten thousand years, the Great Falls of the Potomac has been the location of all these and more. That’s why Great Falls Park is a great place to spend the day. Visitors can see the Great Falls of the Potomac, enjoy a hike along Mather Gorge’s dramatic clifftops, and explore museum exhibits in the visitor center.

Glenn Echo Park

Glen Echo Park is home to artists and organizations, a dance program, a restored carousel, art studios and galleries, and hundreds of classes in visual and performing arts. These activities, as well as free summer concerts, festivals, and special events bring thousands of visitors of all ages to the former amusement park each year. Watch the calendar for the varied events.

Bethesda Retirement Community

Ah, the Bethesda outdoors! Beautiful year-round, but perfect for a spring adventure. Walk, bike, dance or shop your way through this delightful Maryland community! If you’re looking for a retirement community with lots of outdoor space and easy access to Bethesda parks, contact Fox Hill today!