8 Turkey Trots in the Washington DC Area

Turkey Trots in the Washington, DC area offer a great opportunity to enjoy time with your community and support some great organizations. Many races feature both timed 5K runs and more casual walks. Some even include a virtual option so you can donate and race around your neighborhood without impacting Thanksgiving Day plans.

No matter your fitness level (or energy level the day of Thanksgiving!), there is a chance to participate in a turkey trot and donate to organizations supporting our community.

Path with fall trees.

Neighborhood Race Routes

All races are back in person this year but many have virtual options or the chance to just donate. And let’s be real – getting up before 9 am on a holiday is hard for some of us! If you still want a 5k walking or running trail, here are a few options you can do on your own.

  • The National Mall: Start at the Lincoln Memorial and walk straight across the mall to the National Air and Space Museum (round trip: 3.2 miles). 
  • The US Capitol: 2 laps around the US Capitol (3.2 miles). Start at Union Square and walk down 3rd Street SW, Independence Ave SW, 1st Street SW, and Constitution Ave SW. 
  • Rock Creek Park: The Historic Loop is an easy, dog-friendly 1.6-mile walk. Walk around twice for about the length of a 5K. 
  • 10K with a river view: The Georgetown Loop is 6.7 miles or go the extra mile (literally) on the Anacostia River Walk at 7.8 miles. Both are dog (leashed) and stroller-friendly. 
  • Clopper Lake: Clopper Lake near Gaithersburg, MD is about 3.2 around the lake. It can get busy so plan your trip earlier in the day. 
  • Black Hill Regional Park: Slightly north of Germantown, get lost in the woods on this 3.8 mile loop. Dog friendly. 
  • Burke Lake Park: The loop around the lake at Burke Lake in Virginia is a little longer than a 5K (4.7 miles). However, it is a beautiful fall run (or stroll) plus it is stroller and dog (leashed) friendly. 

Trot for Hunger in Washington, DC

Trot for Hunger: The Trot for Hunger is the only turkey trot in the District on Thanksgiving Day. This year, join virtually or in person at Freedom Plaza at 9:15 am to raise money for SOME (So Others Might Eat). Help them reach their fundraising goal of $1 million to support their many efforts to support the community including meals, housing, job training, social services, and healthcare. If you race in person, stay after the race for a “Best Dressed Turkey” competition (10:30 am) and a family-friendly festival with music and activities (11:00 am).

Turkey Trots in Virginia

Alexandria Turkey Trot: The Alexandria Turkey Trot will support ALIVE! This local charity helps Alexandria families in need. Join them in person on Thanksgiving Day at 9 am on Mount Vernon Ave and help collect food for ALIVE! 

Arlington Turkey Trot:  Join the Christ Church of Arlington on Thanksgiving Day at 8 am about 1 block away from the church. Registration is $50 for adults, $25 for children age 6 to 17, and free for children under 6. Proceeds will benefit 18 local organizations in the Arlington area. Dogs and strollers are welcome. 

Vienna Turkey Trot: Not ready to commit to a race on Thanksgiving Day? Join the Vienna Turkey Trot on the Sunday before Thanksgiving (November 20) at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. This race raises money for the Madison High School Marching Band and the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. Run a 5K or 10K at 8:30 am or join the Kid Fun Run at 8 am. 

Fairfax Turkey Trot: This four-mile race loops through the Mantua neighborhood. Register for the Fairfax Turkey Trot to support Britepaths (formerly Our Daily Bread). Britepaths helps local, low-income families. Join the race at 9 am on Thanksgiving Day!

Virginia Run Turkey Trot: Join Virginia Run in Centreville, VA for a turkey trot after a few years off. This race includes a 5k and a 2k walk so all fitness levels can participate. The 5K kicks off at 8 am followed by the walk at 8:05 am. This trot raises fund for American Boy, an organization supporting those struggling with addiction. Register before October 31 for a discount.

Prince William Turkey Trot: The Prince William Turkey Trot includes a 5K at 8:30 am and a Mashed Potato 1 mile at 9:30  am on Thanksgiving Day. Proceeds will go to Hero’s Bridge, an organization support veterans from World War II, The Korean War, and The Vietnam War . The race begins at the Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center in Manassas. 

Trot for a Cause in Maryland

Turkey Chase in Bethesda: The Turkey Chase in Bethesda is one of the largest races in Maryland. Join them on Thanksgiving Day for a 5K (8:30 am) or a 2-mile walk (9:00 am) to raise money for the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Bethesda Chevy Chase Rotary. You can also participate virtually by racing on your own, biking, or swimming.

Laurel Turkey Trot2023 TBD. Join the Laurel Turkey Trot for their in-person 5K and 1-mile race. Join them on Thanksgiving Day at 8 am at McCullough Field. Follow one of their mapped routes around the neighborhood anytime during Thanksgiving week. Proceeds benefit Laurel Advocacy Referral Services, helping local low-income families and the homeless.

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Welcome City Explorer!

Hi there! I'm Kelley and I love exploring new cities. I want this blog to help you plan your next trip to Washington, DC and the surrounding areas. Get ready to explore the sites, eat great food, and navigate with ease.