Shady Parks in Wards 5, 7, & 8
As the summer continues to heat up, don’t let high temperatures keep you inside! DC has a wide variety of beautiful parks and public spaces to explore, the key is knowing which parks have magnificent sprawling canopies to keep you shaded and cool on your outdoor adventures.
First on our list is the National Arboretum. Open every day from 8am-5pm, the arboretum is the go-to place for all things trees! With over 9 miles of winding paths and tree collections from across the globe, the arboretum can provide hours of strolling through shaded scenery, and you’ll definitely learn something new before you leave. What more can you ask for?
Next up is a personal favorite of Casey Trees, Langdon Park! Between Community Tree Plantings, Community Tree Care events, a Pop Up Arboreta, our 2021 Urban Tree Summit field events, and more, Casey Trees is always up to something at Langdon Park. Most recently, through a District of Columbia Community Stormwater Solutions Grant, we held our third community conservation event as part of a year-long climate resiliency program at the park. Needless to say, Langdon is shaded by a beautiful assortment of tree species including Tulip Trees, American Beech, Lindens, Cherry Trees, and Sweetgums. (Just to name a few.)
Fort Dupont isn’t just a cool venue for musicians, it also offers two hiking trails protected by the park’s canopy of Maples, Oaks, Virginia Pines, Sassafras, and Persimmons. Fort Dupont Park is also one of the eight Civil War Defenses of Washington, making it a great historical learning experience for anyone who visits.
Next is Marvin Gaye Park – which definitely deserves an award for biggest glow-up. Named after the local singer, songwriter, and producer, Marvin Gaye is known for shaping the Motown sound of the 1960s, first as a session performer and later as a solo artist. The park itself has undergone numerous transformations and revitalizations, led by community members and organizations. Working with Washington Parks and People and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, we’ve planted over 55 trees in the park. These included typical towering favorites like Oaks, Elms, and Magnolias as well as lesser-known urban trees such as American Hornbeams and Hackberries.
Fort Circle Hiker-Biker Trail in Fort Stanton is a 7-mile path that connects the sites of six Union Army forts built during the Civil War via a continuous greenway on a ridge east of the Anacostia River. As the name suggests, the trail is one of only a few in the District of Columbia open to mountain bikers as well as hikers. Fort Stanton Park is home to a recreation center, an urban farm, a reservoir for DC Water, and one of only two designated hiking trails in Ward 8. The park’s more than 150 acres of woods include deeply cut stream valleys, stands of towering tulip trees, and several small rock outcroppings.
Oxon Run is another one of DC’s largest parks, stretching across 128 acres of the District, southeast of the river. With over 200 trees, the park is home to the largest number of Legacy Cherry Blossom Trees outside the Tidal Basin as well as being home to the very rare habitat of the Magnolia Bog. Explore the Mother’s Peace Garden planted with native pollinator plants near the amphitheater and playground, or take a stroll down the Oxon Cove Park Hiker-Biker trail for a generally easy 4.0-mile loop. This is a popular trail for road biking, trail running, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day.