Some areas on the trail can be pretty slick if it’s damp, especially when there are wet leaves on the trail. I recently biked from the marina to Mt. There are hundreds of people on this span during peak use hours/seasons. The last mile before reaching Mount Vernon is a curving uphill inland climb. In 2002, they performed a feasibility study on expanding it north to the American Legion Bridge. Just stare them down, it’s a public bike path! Cyclists must dismount at some bridge crossings. Perfect evening ride with lots of stops and interesting sights. In many places the winding trail is narrow, and because it is heavily used (especially on weekends), all recreationists—whether on foot, skates or bike—must use caution when passing others and when entering the trail from any of its many access points. Please, people. These men and women have little regard for others, display a complete lack of trail etiquette, and speed much faster than they have any business to on such a popular path. Even though the hills were tough on the southern end I enjoyed the ride more because the trail wasn't as crowded. Parking can be limited on weekends. The trail is well paved, clearly marked and beautifully maintained. Again the views were beautiful along the Potomac River and the trail was very well marked and well kept. Help defend and expand trails nationwide. If you do this trail make sure that you leave you self enough time to do the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail as it is the best two or so miles that you will ever ride. I was happy to see you could rent a bike lock at Mt. The Mount Vernon Trail winds alongside the Potomac River offering uninterrupted views of Washington, D.C.'s skyline. I went left, he swerved onto the grassy area. I've biked the section between the airport, where the Mt. The 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail is one of the Washington, D.C. Metro area's most popular trails. From its northern trailhead at a parking lot near Theodore Roosevelt Island, the MVT travels south near the Potomac River until it turns inland to pass between the parkway and the west side of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The trail connects the easternmost portions of Arlington County, the City of Alexandria I run on this trail but it is paved so I always see lots of bikers.  Between 1994 and 1999, Arlington County built a trail connection between the Mount Vernon Trail at Memorial Circle and the sidewalk along Washington Boulevard that would eventually become the Washington Boulevard Trail. Overall it was a great ride with beautiful scenery. I was struck by a bicyclist from behind two weeks ago during peak evening hours. Because it only went to Alexandria, it was referred to as the Alexandria Bike Trail, not taking on the name Mount Vernon Trail until the second section was completed. The Park Service website has more information, or you can visit the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Vernon Trail. I struck out to embrace the self-challenge of riding the Mt. I've seen DC many times but always on foot. Overall it is a fun trail. A group to discuss and share information about the Mount Vernon bike/pedestrian path in Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax, Virginia. The sidewalks and pathways are wide in order to facilitate both walkers and riders.  In 2011, the National Park Service rebuilt the Humpback Bridge, which involved changes to the roadway, widening the Mount Vernon Trail, adding a barrier to separate the trail users from the traffic, lowering the grade across the bridge to improve sight distance, and adding a pair of trail tunnels under the bridge for safer passage between the Columbia Island Marina, the Mount Vernon Trail and, in the future, Boundary Channel Drive. The trail path is paved and can be a bit narrow, but it is very enjoyable. I will head the opposite direction at some point and write a review on it. The trail passes through Rosslyn, Old Town Alexandria and connects with many regional trails, and offers views of Washington, D.C. along the way. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. But the trail was worth it.  In 2003, the Wilkes Street Tunnel Trail, which was constructed between 1980 and 1999 was connected to the on-street portion of the trail at Union Street. One thing to be careful about is the series of bumps on the trail near the bridges caused by the roots from the trees next to the path. On April 21, 1973, it was extended 7.5 miles south from I-495 to Mount Vernon with a surface of compacted fly ash from the PEPCO plant in Alexandria. Or you can simply ride along George Washington Memorial Parkway and pick up the trail again south of Interstate 95/495 (on the river side of the road). *Some locations do proceed very close to vehicle traffic on the GW Pkwy so parents beware if having small children on bikes. Email me with any questions. As part of U.S. … This was my 1st time (7/22/2012) riding the trail and I did not know what to expect. Basically what I am saying is you need to be extra careful while on a road bike because the margin of error is much thinner than on a MTB (i.e. I could not do too much viewing because I was on my road bike, but the mountain bikers (MTB) may find more opportunity to look at the scenery. area this trail is a great one and I would highly suggest that you have a mirror as it gets very busy. Get a FREE Rail Trails Guidebook when you become a Member with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The last mile is all up hill. Here you'll find dozens of shops and restaurants, not to mention the occasional waterside entertainment (water-ski shows and boating events). Just stare them down, it’s a public bike path! The Mount Vernon Trail was on out "to do" list for a while and it didn't disappoint! Along the trail you will find several other "sanitary" facilities for mother nature's call, but the two we visited (one traveling south, the other on our way north) were a bit stenchy in the hot summer weather. This absolutely has to be one of the most historic 10-15 mile stretches of trails in the United States! After passing the airport, the trail crosses Four Mile Run and continues south on city streets into Old Town Alexandria. I was not walking on or close to the center line. You can access the Mount Vernon Trail from numerous places along its route. The trail is narrow but marked for 2-way traffic and can have lots of foot (including kids and animals) and bike traffic on certain days, but mostly at certain time of the day; it travels along the Potomac River, through the woods, marsh area and some residential neighborhoods and has some rest areas along the way.  On May 24, 2017, the National Park Service opened a rebuilt Roosevelt Island parking lot that created a new route, with smoother curves for the Mount Vernon Trail, and the trail was also widened. But it was truly an escape into the woods with lovely river views. Riding on the docks is not allowed. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. That section opened in 2007. It is really beautiful along the southern part of the trail as you are right there along the river, so take some time to just relax and take in the view.  On December 7, 1988, the Park Service expanded the trail north from Arlington Memorial Bridge to Roosevelt Island where a new bridge over the parkway, which opened on June 11th of that year, connected it to the Custis Trail. Towards Mt. Most joggers seemed to be totally absorbed with their ear plugs shoved deep into their ears to the point of not hearing you but they were at least to the sides so passing was not an issue. Started at the Mount Vernon end of the trail. Along with Thomas Jefferson and others. I love this trail, it is NOT a bike path, it is a multi-use trail. After a quick bite to eat we headed back north with a detour across the river to see the Lincoln Memorial and arrived back at the car at 8:30. The potomac views of the monuments and city are picture perfect. Vernon, heading north, you'll enjoy the downhill portions immensely as they offer more recuperation time needed to make it the rest of the way... Two Thumbs Up for this trail!  This extension moved the on-road portion through Alexandria from Pitt Street to Union Street. Water fountains and restrooms are located along the way. Both times more courteous riders called out to make sure we were OK and ask if we needed help! However, many sections of trail have been improved, and several new connections to the trail have been built. The Mount Vernon Trail is a 17 miles long shared use path that travels along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Northern Virginia between Rosslyn and George Washington's home at Mount Vernon. It was hard to enjoy the trail and views because you had to constantly be concerned about meeting someone head on or someone passing you. Set your own pace. As I began to ride from Gravelly Point to Mt. The walkers converged to him, telling him that he was travelling too fast. Temperature about 70 degrees and the humidity was low. Stopping to watch the airplanes fly over head at Reagan National Airport and getting a quick drink in the cafe at the Washington Sailing Boat Marina where a few highlights. Another popular place to start on the trail is Old Town Alexandria. The weather was great, the trees were in bloom, and the sky was blue. With the expectations of being challenging, while beautiful, I was not disappointed. As you near the Mount Vernon Estate, the trail begins a steep climb through the forest where it ends in the parking lot for the estate grounds. The Mount Vernon Trail is an 18-mile paved multi-use trail that stretches from George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. This was the first "designated" recreational trail I ever rode, back in the mid-eighties, after I bought my Peugeot (now 6 bikes ago)in the bike shop on Wash. St that is now Williams Sonoma. This trail is a marvel of engineering. Rode out and back on a nice but cool fall day. The Mount Vernon Trail connects to other area hiker/biker routes including: Scenes along the Mount Vernon Trail, from south to north: Bridge over airport traffic at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Watching airplanes take off from Gravelly Point, Tulips in bloom in front of the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial, Standing in front of Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, Coordinates: 38°42′36″N 77°03′41″W / 38.710008°N 77.061351°W / 38.710008; -77.061351, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metro Station, "City of Alexandria Master Plan Amendment #2017-0007", GWMP North Section Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment/Assessment of Effect, "THE ABC CHESAPEAKE PROJECT OF THE YEAR: HUMPBACK BRIDGE REPLACEMENT", "Near National airport, the Mount Vernon Trail is new again", "The Mount Vernon Trail is now a little safer by Roosevelt Island", "Roosevelt Island parking lot reopens with Mount Vernon Trail upgrades", Mount Vernon Multi-Use Trail Extension Feasibility Study, "Mount Vernon Trail – Northern Virginia's Scenic Trail", "Potomac Heritage Trail - Chain Bridge Section", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mount_Vernon_Trail&oldid=990773569, Transportation in Arlington County, Virginia, Protected areas of Arlington County, Virginia, Protected areas of Fairfax County, Virginia, Transportation in Fairfax County, Virginia, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail, which crosses the Potomac River and provides access to, This page was last edited on 26 November 2020, at 12:29. The southern 8 miles (13 km) below Alexandria is largely wooded with limited river views. Most locations however are fine for the kids, just plan ahead. Vernon. Many riders passed me that afternoon traveling at speeds to cause me concern and to feel the swish as they passed. We left National Harbor around 8am in the cool of the morning this summer day in August. Vernon was spectacular! I just started using this trail. The trail was indeed beautiful as many have said. Before reaching the airport, the trail passes through Gravelly Point, where there are often views of arriving and departing airplane. Two of my favorite places to run to are: 1. Wonderful day--I can't wait to go back. The project widens the trail’s paved surface from between seven and eight feet to 11 feet where feasible, and makes other associated improvements including striping center and edge lines, signage, improved bridges, and realigned trail intersections. Just across the Potomac River from D.C. in Virginia, the trail links Theodore Roosevelt Island Park with George Washington's Estate in Mount Vernon. Located three blocks up from Union St. on Cameron St. at the corner of Cameron and Royal Sts. Vernon meets the Four Mile Trail to the F. S. Key Bridge. Vernon is a treat for your turn around point. Gravelly Point is good if you like airplane watching. The trail is mostly in the shade and pretty scenic. A connecting trail travels through the airport and provides access to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metro Station and the Abingdon Plantation historic site. It has a varied terrain which is nice, but if you start up at Mount Vernon the trail is mostly downhill, which makes for a fun out and back run. I suggest you walk your bike on the narrow highway overpass and the very narrow single lane highway underpass. It is popular with families and groups that make it a weekend choice. They have collected a significant amount of data on the condition, usage, crash and history along the Mount Vernon Trail. Vernon, the ascensions became more steep, so I had to encourage myself to push through. Provisions for such paths were included in the construction of key bridges, such as the Boundary Channel Bridge on south Columbia Island and some short paths were built before 1970 in busier areas, but none of these were suitable for long bike rides. The Mount Vernon Trail Nearly 18 miles long and fully paved, the Mount Vernon Trail follows the Potomac River’s Virginia shoreline. An extension is in progress to bring the trail pretty much to the front entrance of Mount Vernon. It connects with regional trails, including the Potomac Heritage, Custis, Rock Creek, Four Mile Run, and Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trails. The 18.5-mile trail winds along the Virginia side of the Potomac River between Theodore Roosevelt Island and George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, with scenic view of Old Town Alexandria and the alluring Dyke Marsh along the way. This trail has a good surface for bike riders. At the northern end of the trail, at the parking lot for Roosevelt Island, you can explore the island park's ring trail via a footbridge over the river. It has Restrooms, Water fountains, Park Benches, Picnic Areas, Historical Markers and it runs along the Potomac River so you have a great view the whole ride. There were numerous brush-bys from other speeding riders that made the overall experience a little uncomfortable. There is potential that a bicycle and pedestrian trail could be included in a bridge upgrade, creating a new link between Arlington’s Long Bridge Park, Mount Vernon Trail, and the District. The trail does get busy with walkers, runners and other bikers and caution is needed when crossing streets and intersections. In 1969, that path was paved and renamed the Lady Bird Trail, in honor of Lady Bird Johnson. While allowing for some walkers to pass each other before my wife and I could safely pass them, (single file) a rider came around a bend and out of a tree lined protion of the trail speeding directly at all of us. I live in Alexandria and make a point of staying away on weekends. We were staying in Alexandria and rode the northern part the first day. It was a great ride but as everyone has said, there are some hills and curves to challenge, especially on and off the Wilson Bridge. On the flip side, we stopped twice to make some bike adjustments and tighten shoe laces. Be aware, the bikers on this trail go super fast so pay attention. There are a number of picture stops. Sandwiched between the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the river, it stretches 18 miles beginning at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and ending at Theodore Roosevelt Island. If you live in the DC. Alexandria’s upbeat city life has a green side, one that lines the waterfront with gorgeous views of the Potomac River in the form of the 18-mile long Mount Vernon Trail. The trail starts at the north end of the east parking lot. The Mount Vernon Trail runs parallel to the George Washington Memorial Parkway and follows the west bank of the Potomac River from Theodore Roosevelt Island to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate.  In 1982-83, a new trail route was built around the east side of the Potomac River Generating Station, on a cantilevered section between the river and the power plant, with costs paid for by the power utility because they were facing legal action for illegally storing coal on federal land. The reason I'm giving 4 stars instead of 5 is due to the quality of the actual trail. It begins at Theodore Roosevelt Island (near Rosslyn, Virginia) and continues through Alexandria, ending at Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon Trail is an 18-mile paved multi-use trail that stretches from George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. Send to App. From Alexandria south it has a great canopy and I would say the whole tail is family friendly. Riding from Georgetown to Mt. "A very scenic trail.Only tricky parts are the high traffic areas around Alexandria, you may encounter some pretty annoying bikers on busy days.The detour through Old Town is a scenic but out of the way.Overall a beautiful ride.". The first few miles out of washington were ok. Biking time was about 2 hours round trip. The design proposed was a mostly on-street route, more preferred by some, veers the! 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