The D.C. Explore More Guide

Mappy Hour is teaming up with The North Face to launch the D.C. Explore More Challenge, which starts January 1, 2020 and ends September 7, 2020. The Explore More Challenge is a multi-month challenge that rewards you for going outside with new Mappy Hour friends with prizes from The North Face! Each chapter specific guide includes 10 challenges that help you explore your city and do other local adventures in and around D.C.


The Explore More Challenge: How it works 

The Rules: DC Explore More Challenge

  • Our challenge runs from January 1, 2020 to September 7, 2020. You can complete adventures any time between those dates.
  • Reach 50 points to complete The Explore More Challenge. Your reward: a prize from The North Face. Bonus prize if you complete all the adventures on the list! All adventurers who reach 50 points will be entered to win The North Face grand prize. 
  • Complete each of the Explore More adventures as many times as you’d like, however, you must explore a new location to earn points a second time.
  • At each Mappy Hour event, we’ll have a log book to fill in the adventures you’ve completed so far.

How to Earn Prizes:

  1. Get to 60 points: Get an Explore More T-shirt
  2. Post your Challenge on Instagram using #ExploreMoreChallenge and #MappyHourDC and be entered into a raffle for an additional The North Face prizes


Our list features a variety of outdoorsy adventures, and are all adaptable no matter your experience level or how you get around the region. You can complete The DC Explore More Challenge with any budget, without lots of technical gear, and whether you have a car or not.  Points vary per adventure, and for all of them, you can earn 1 bonus point when you go with friends from Mappy Hour and 1 bonus point when you post a photo to Instagram using #mappyhourdc and #exploremorechallenge.

Adventure 1: Bike the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

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Complete the whole trail from the Tidal Basin up to the Maryland border (in pieces or all in one go) for 10 total points. Get 5 points if you bike just a section.

Adventure 2: Explore the C&O Canal

Explore_More_DC_cando kate ayoub

Walk, hike or bike a portion of the C&O Canal Towpath. Whether you stick close to Georgetown or make it all the way out to Cumberland, MD, enjoy this wide and flat path along the water! 5 points.

Adventure 3: Visit the U.S. National Arboretum

Explore_More_DC_National Arboretum

The 446 acre arboretum in NE DC is a great place to wander, picnic, bike, AND learn some history. Don’t skip the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.

Pro Tip: The arboretum isn’t too far from H St NE or Ivy City. Use Capital Bikeshare and dock at 24th & R Streets NE. Earn 5 points.

Adventure 4: Hike in Rock Creek Park

Explore_More_DC_rock creek

This park, accessible from multiple bus lines and metro stops, is one of America’s first national parks provides a reprieve from city life…while you’re still in the city.

Pro Tip: Visit Pulpit Rock, where Theodore Roosevelt liked to escape, or go for a walk along the Soapstone Valley Trail just steps from Connecticut Avenue NW. 5 points y

Adventure 5: Kayak, Paddleboard or Canoe on the Potomac or Anacostia

Explore_More_DC_kayak

While we’re working on making our rivers fishable and swimmable, you can still use them for recreation! Rent boats by the hour at several boat houses along both rivers.

Pro Tip: On certain days, you can kayak for free if you commit to cleaning trash out of the Anacostia. 10 points.

Adventure 6: Visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Explore_More_DC_Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

This section of Anacostia Park is best known for the annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival in July, but it’s a gem for flora and fauna all year round.

Pro Tip: Combine this with your bike ride on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail for an epic day of adventures! 5 points.

Adventure 7: Camp at a state or National Park in Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia

There are thousands of campsites within two or three hours of the District, and you can get some of the best views in late fall or early spring when there are no leaves on the trees.

Pro Tip: No car? Here’s your guide to taking the train to Harpers Ferry, where you can hop on the AT and pick a campsite. 15 points +5 points if you get to your campsite without a car.

Adventure 8: Adventure in Great Falls

Great Falls spans two states and lends itself to nearly every outdoor activity imaginable. Head to MD or VA and soak in the beauty! 5 points for hiking, 10 points for climbing outdoors, or 10 points for kayaking

Adventure 9: Ski or snowshoe in PA, MD, WV, VA

Explore_More_DC_winter sports

While opportunities to ski the District are few and far between, natural and man-made snow can be found just one or two states over in the depths of winter. Spend some time on our nearby slopes for a few winter Challenge points. 5 points for skiing (XC or downhill) 10 points for snowshoeing or backcountry skiing

Adventure 10: Be a steward of the outdoors!

Volunteer with a group in the DC area. Need some recs? Check out these groups: Rock Creek Conservancy, Casey Trees, Living Classrooms, Anacostia Riverkeeper. 15 points.

Bonus Points

Bonus: Get 1 extra point for every time you adventure with a new Mappy Hour friend Max. 5 points

Bonus: Get 1 extra point for every time you post a photo to FB group or IG using #mappyhourdc Max. 5 points

AdventureMetro-Accessible?Points
Bike the Anacostia Riverwalk TrailY5 for a section
10 points for the entire ART
Explore the C&O CanalY5
Visit the U.S. National ArboretumY5 points
Hike in Rock Creek ParkY5 points
Kayak, Paddleboard or Canoe on the Potomac or AnacostiaY10
Visit the Kenilworth Aquatic GardensY5
Camp at a state or national park in Maryland, Virginia or West VirginiaMaybe! Greenbelt Park and Harpers Ferry are accessible via transit15 points
+5 points if you get to your campsite without a car
Adventure in Great Falls5 points for hiking
10 points for climbing outdoors
10 points for kayaking
Ski or snowshoe in PA, MD, WV, VA5 points for skiing (XC or downhill)
10 points for snowshoeing or backcountry skiing
Be a steward of the outdoors! Volunteer with a group in the DC area.15 points
Bonus: Get 1 extra point for every time you adventure with a new Mappy Hour friendMax. 5 points
Bonus: Get 1 extra point for every time you post a photo to FB group or IG using #mappyhourdcMax. 5 points

About the Challenge

The Explore More Challenge is a multi-month challenge that rewards you for going outside with new Mappy Hour friends. Each chapter guide includes 10 challenges that can range from exploring your city to finding further afield outdoor gems in your state. Are you ready to explore more?

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