Ever wondered what geologic structures compose the swamplands that Washington was built upon? How about the role of the nation’s capital during the Civil War? Or what about the state of Prohibition in the District?

Get ready to inflate your bicycle tires and get a new pair of socks for your walking shoes, as Cultural Tourism’s WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC 2011 present 150 guided tours in 10 days through all eight of Washington’s wards.

The free tours will run the gamut from community heritage to the environment, with special tours such as the “Spies of Georgetown”; the adults-only “Rowdies, Madams, and Painted Women,” a jaunt that uncovers the area between 10th and 14th streets of Pennsylvania Avenue known as “Hooker’s Division”; and “Queering Capitol Hill,” covering the lives and lore surrounding gays and lesbians in the area.

The tours, led by Washington community leaders, historians and trained guides, will begin Sept. 23 and run through Oct. 2.

Those interested can register in advance beginning in September, and find out more information, including how to volunteer, at CulturalTourismDC.org.

Participants on ‘Rowdies, Madams, and Painted Women: An Adults-Only Tour of Hooker's Division’ during Cultural Tourism DC’s WalkingTown DC 2010. The tour will return for the 2011 WalkingTown DC. (Don Tanguilig/Cultural Tourism DC)