The United States Department of Agriculture established the National Arboretum as a research and education facility and living museum in 1927. Dogs are permitted across the grounds, which include a mix of tree collections and formal gardens.
The major trail system circles Mount Hamilton, at 240 feet one of the highest points in the nation’s capital. A paved road/path winds to the top where you can peek through the trees to the west and see the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument. On the southern and eastern slopes are over 15,000 hardy azaleas that can still see blooms into November.
Another area with footpaths is the Asian Collection where trees and flowers from China, Japan and Korea mingle above the Anacostia River. But you need not limit your explorations with your dog to formal pathways. You can wander on the grass through the Slow-growing Conifer Collection, the Holly and Magnolia Collection and the National Boxwood Collections.
Your dog can stroll through gardens devoted to perennials, to herbs and to energy-producing plants and across a meadow containing twenty-two sandstone Corinthian columns that once stood at the east portico of the U.S. Capitol.
The National Arboretum is located in the northeast section of Washington, DC, approximately ten minutes from the Capitol Building. There are two entrances: one at 3501 New York Avenue, NE, and the other at 24th & R Streets, NE, off of Bladensburg Road.