Turkey Trots in the Washington, DC Area

Illustrated turkey banner

I have always been a big celebrator of HallowThanksMas. It’s that period of time that runs from October to New Year’s filled with festive events and more time with family – both blood and chosen. While we’re thinking of family and friends, it’s also a great time to think of ways to give back. Even though we are slowly getting back to normal after COVID, a lot of our neighbors still need support. 

If you are able this, I encourage you to join a turkey trot in the DMV to help our neighbors and community members. Plus, you can get moving before that big meal! 

Most races are back in person this year but some are still holding virtual options. I’ve also included a list of neighborhood routes if you want to donate but trot on your own.

Neighborhood Race Routes

While many races are in person again this year, here are a few routes you can walk on your own.  

  • The National Mall: The Lincoln Memorial 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 on a leash 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 stroller and dog on a leash-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 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.  SOME strives to provide healthcare, housing, job training, and social services for DC residents in need. 

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 on Mount Vernon Ave and help collect food for ALIVE! 

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

Vienna Turkey Trot: The Vienna Turkey Trot raises money for the Madison High School Marching Band and the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. Join the race on the Sunday before Thanksgiving (November 20) at 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: 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!

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 (honoring veterans) and The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation (helping children who need help with medical bills). The race begins at the Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center in Manassas. 

Trot for a Cause in Maryland

Bethesda Turkey Chase: The Bethesda Turkey Chase is back in person this year with a 10K run and a 2 mile walk. Racers can also choose to walk, run, bike, or swim virtually. This is the largest running event in Montgomery County and the biggest fundraiser for YMCA and the BCC Rotary. 

Laurel Turkey Trot:  Join the Laurel Turkey Trot for their in-person 5K and 1-mille 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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