E-bike to the highest natural point in Washington DC
This 20-mile trail includes visits to historic sites, the world's 6th largest cathedral, two boathouses, and the highest natural point in Washington DC.
The trail runs from Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park down to the Potomac River and to the highest natural point in Tenleytown (410 feet difference in elevation). The Potomac is at sea level.
This trail has seven viewpoints. Use Google Maps or other app to navigate to each viewpoint. Click on Send to Device in the left top corner of the map (see below) to upload the trail to a smartphone.
Viewpoint 1: Peirce Mill and Barn in Rock Creek Park
The barn and mill were built by Issac Peirce, a millwright around 1829. The US Government bought the mill as part of Rock Creek Park in 1892. It was restored in 1936 for $26,614. The mill was used until 1958 to provide flour to government cafeteria.
Viewpoint 2: Rock Creek Park Nature Center
From the barn at Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park, the trail leads to the Rock Creek Park Nature Center.
The nature center is home to a planetarium that "uses high-tech Spitz software to project the image of the night sky onto a large, dome-shaped ceiling." The center also organizes evening stargazing sessions once a month. Entrance to the planetarium is free.
Viewpoint 3: Thompson's Boathouse
From the Nature Center, the trail leads to Rock Creek Park Picnic Site #12, Bingham Drive NW. From the picnic site, bike to Ross Drive NW. Once on top of the hill, the trail follows the Rock Creek Park Trail path to Thompson's Boathouse on the Potomac River.
Viewpoint 4: Fletcher's Boathouse and Cove
From Thompson's Boathouse, the trails follows the Capital Crescent Trail to Fletcher's Boathouse.
Viewpoint 5: Kreeger Museum
From Fletcher's Boathouse, the trail ascends to the Kreeger Museum, known for its 19th and 20th century paintings including works by Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Chagall, Miro, and Stella. The museum also has sculptures on display in the garden. Reservations may be required. David Kreeger was President and CEO of Geico in the '60s and early '70s.
Viewpoint 6: National Cathedral
From Kreeger Museum, the trail continues to ascend towards the highest natural point in Washington DC.
It took over 83 years to build the Washington National Cathedral. It was damaged by an earthquake in 2011. The cathedral's architecture is described as an "American interpretation of 14th Century English Gothic."
Viewpoint 7: Point Reno
From the cathedral, the trail leads to the highest natural point in Washington DC called Point Reno (or Fort Reno) at an elevation of 409 feet. From Point Reno, explore its history on the Tenleytown Heritage Trail.
From Point Reno, return to Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park to complete the trail.
A summary of trail characteristics
Which E-bikes Are Allowed on this Route?*
class I e-bike
CLASS II E-BIKE
CLASS III E-BIKE
Capital Crescent Trail in DC
Rock Creek Park Trail
Other Roads - Asphalt
What Members Say About this Trail
Below is a summary of the pros and sometimes cons of this trail
Pros of the Trail
Cons of the Trail
E-Biking from Peirce Mill to Washington DC's highest natural point is a great opportunity to explorer lesser-known areas of the city.
Have a picnic at Fletcher's Boathouse and read more about the history of Tenleytown near Point Reno. If you have time, reserve a ticket to the Kreeger Museum and visit the National Cathedral.
Hillwood Estate, Museums & Gardens are only .5 miles from Peirce Mill
From Peirce Mill, ride up Tilden and take the first right on Linnean Ave., NW. Bike racks are located at the visitor center.
Hillwood Museum was the D.C. residence / mansion of Marjorie Merriweather Post. At the age of 27, she became the owner of the Post Cereal Company, which later became General Foods Corporation.
The mansion and its contents are spectacular. The gardens are stunning. The estate is well worth a visit before or after this ride.