Best Route to Run Around McMillan Reservoir?


“Dear PoPville,

I’m new to the Bloomingdale neighborhood, and am trying to figure out how to run near the MacMillan Reservoir. I passed by it once in the car and it looked like you could run right along the water, but then when I went back to try it (from First St. NW) I got stuck in a maze of fences and parking lots. Do you know if it’s only accessible from the North (Hobart Pl/Michigan Ave)? Can you help?”

Hmm from Bloomingdale – I’d go to Bryant and head west to 4th Street then go north passing Howard University and it’ll turn to 5th Street and you’ll see the view in the photo above. I’m not sure if you can do a full lap around the water thought – isn’t part of the road closed by security? Anyone else have a good route to run around here?

10 Comment

  • Pop is right in describing the route. Also, looking for running routes more generally, check out the Strava heat map which shows the preferred routes for many thousands of runners across millions of runs. In general, nowhere in DC comes close to rivaling Rock Creek Park.

  • Bryant, 5th street, Michigan Ave, 1st street.

  • You run up 4th to Michigan, then down First. You can’t go all the way around the water (only on three sides) so the southerly part has to be Bryant.

  • It sounds like the OP tried to access the main Army Corps entrance. Usually the guards are on point, but with all of the traffic and temporary parking built there I guess it’s easier to get by unnoticed. There are no off-street routes around the reservoir.

  • emvee

    Oh man this route is my JAM. POP is on point. If you want to make it a longer run, take Michigan all the way to North Capitol, or keep on Michigan, right on Franklin, and straight will take you to the Metro Branch Trail. Let this lady know if you’re in search of a running partner and you’re not too speedy!

  • You can also check out Map My Run for some route ideas.

  • You’re talking about my run! I run straight up First from Bates Street in Truxton Circle. Yes, there’s some gnarly construction but it doesn’t really slow me down. Stay on the right hand side of the street as you run north, and then switch over to the left side of the street after Adams. From First Street, I hang a left on Michigan, run around the reservoir and then coast downhill through Howard from there. It’s an awesome run. Enjoy.

  • I was always confused by this area when trying to map out runs too!

  • Great! Thank you all so much for the helpful information. That’s pretty much what I thought, but someone on MapMyRun posted a route that actually went all the way around the reservoir (you should be able to see it here: so I thought I must be missing something. They must have access to the secured areas!

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