Rode out and back on a nice but cool fall day. We will not be riding this trail again until they widen it, repair the surface, and put some park rangers or police out there to actually enforce the laws. If you live in the DC. We had a great ride. The 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail is one of the Washington, D.C. Metro area's most popular trails. (Rosslyn) and Mount Vernon Estate at George Washington Memorail Pkwy. I live in Alexandria and make a point of staying away on weekends. 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. Perfect evening ride with lots of stops and interesting sights. The trail itself is too narrow to accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.  In 1980, as part of the construction of seven bridges across Four Mile Run, including bridges for Potomac Yard railroads, Route 1 and the George Washington Parkway, the Army Corps of Engineers built an extension of the Four Mile Run Trail that connected the trail to the Mount Vernon Trail. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. Additionally, the pedestrians felt it was okay to stop and congregate on the trail in the tight curves. Plenty of places to rest, watch air planes take off and land (Reagan National Airport)and have a wonderful picnic lunch at waterfront bench or an Old Town restaurant. , The National Park Service has considered expanding the trail. 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. The Mount Vernon Trail is a sweet rail for a whole host of reasons: 1.  In 1976, the City of Alexandria acquired a deed from Norfolk Southern to build a section of the trail from Pendleton Street to E. Abingdon Drive. After crossing under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and over Hunting Creek, the trail continues south along the Potomac River, traveling near Belle Haven, the west side of Dyke Marsh and the east side of Fort Hunt Park. But if you survive that you can roll into Old Town Alexandria and have a wonderful breakfast or lunch or… But, be warned, on weekends it is crowded with weekend athletes, pedestrians, kids, and worst of all, wannabe Lance Armstrongs in their obnoxious spandex outfits, racing along the trail, making it an often dangerous and tricky place to ride. The sidewalks and pathways are wide in order to facilitate both walkers and riders. However, many sections of trail have been improved, and several new connections to the trail have been built. You can ride all the way to the Capitol by traversing the mall grass area. Vernon and spend the day, if you wished. On Saturdays and Sundays the trail is busy with walkers, joggers and families, some with pets along. Seeing the sights via bike is the way to go when there isn't a crowd in DC (during the week). It connects with regional trails, including the Potomac Heritage Trail, Custis, Rock Creek, Four Mile Run, and Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trails. I saw just about every type of bike on my ride so if it has wheels it will work. The Mount Vernon Trail was on out "to do" list for a while and it didn't disappoint! There are also several water fountains and a set of restrooms about a half mile to the right after you've crossed the bridge onto the island. You will find some hard chargers in both areas that insist on riding through and look at you disparagingly. This trail is a marvel of engineering. Oh, I did encounter some fools that would overtake walkers around blind curves and in one incident almost hit walkers in my lane, including me on my bike; idiots are everyone. With the expectations of being challenging, while beautiful, I was not disappointed. There was an especially steep hill at the end of trail up to Mt.Vernon. There is a conflict at times between bicycle traffic and pedestrians. The trail follows the course of the Potomac, passing through parks, yacht clubs, wetlands, neighborhoods, towns and wooded acres. However, the 40 or 50 pedestrians/cyclists we did encounter showed an absolute disregard for etiquette. It's paved and smooth, relatively flat. 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. When you get to the end of the bridge, if you are going into DC, take the Fort Footpark path. Here is the link to my ride stats and map generated by my Garmin Edge 500 computer: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/106009753 I think because it was Friday and in the evening, there were fewer people on the trail compared to weekends and the more northern section closer to D.C. (which generally has lots of varied traffic - walkers, kids, pets, super fast bike racers, and so on). Few of the cyclists were actually obeying the posted 15 mph speed limit. 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. From Alexandria south it has a great canopy and I would say the whole tail is family friendly. You know,the one's with a fancy bike and spandex outfits. The trail is defined as “crowded,” especially at weekday commute periods and weekend recreation periods. For DC-area cyclists, there isn’t a much more easily accessible distance ride than the 18-mile Mount Vernon bike trail. The trail path is paved and can be a bit narrow, but it is very enjoyable. I started at the National Harbor and traveled to Mount Vernon (23 miles round trip). The overall etiquette of the DC area riders is poor to non-existent. Another popular place to start on the trail is Old Town Alexandria. NPS completed a comprehensive Mount Vernon Trail Corridor Study in May 2020. Check or FAQs for more common login questions. On multiple occasions I thought I was going to get a flat tire due to potholes and large bumps on the trail. In March 1992, work began on the Crystal City Connector Trail that connected the trail to Crystal City via a pedestrian tunnel that had been built when the railway was moved nearly a decade beforehand. The Mount Vernon Trail (MVT) is a 17 miles (27 km) 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.The trail connects the easternmost portions of Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, and Fairfax County, and travels mostly on dedicated trail with a small portion on city streets. There are hundreds of people on this span during peak use hours/seasons. I got an early start on a Sunday morning around dawn and finished about 8:30 a.m. Here you'll find dozens of shops and restaurants, not to mention the occasional waterside entertainment (water-ski shows and boating events). I was not walking on or close to the center line. 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. Water fountains and restrooms are located along the way. There are a number of picture stops. The trail is mostly flat asphalt and some brick boardwalk, as advertised; however, there are three bridge crossings that will take you on some moderate slopes.  The trail idea was not new as the Park Service had been seeking money for a trail to Gravelly Point as far back as 1967. Since the Mount Vernon Trail opened it has been expanded, widened, connected to and improved many times. 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. We racked up our bikes in Connecticut and headed to the DC area and this trail for the Memorial Day Weekend. 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. Washington did'nt sleep here but,he did eat here. The trail connects the two original British colonial ports in the area - Georgetown and Alexandria - and then on up to GW’s estate. Mount Vernon is an American landmark and former plantation of George Washington, the first President of the United States, and his wife, Martha Washington.The estate is on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia, near Alexandria, across from Prince George's County, Maryland.The Washington family had owned land in the area since 1674. Vernon, I was again unsure about which way to go, so I rode the streets of OT to return my bike. Old Town Alexandria: Access from I-495; take the Patrick Street/US 1 Exit north and follow the signs to downtown. The spot at the end of the runway by the airport was pretty neat. That section opened in 2007. Old Town is quaint and very pleasant - just watch for peds and cars! We spent two days riding the Mount Vernon trail. The views along the river are beautiful. The MVT is part of the much larger mid-Atlantic Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. The second day started out much better with fewer people on the southern end of the trail. I've biked the section between the airport, where the Mt. It identifies opportunities to make improvements including: Replacing bridges. A protein bar at the end is a great way to re-fuel for the ride back. There is no shame in that! The last mile before reaching Mount Vernon is a curving uphill inland climb. The problem I had on the southern end was there are several serious hills to climb! With a few hills and declines, it offers a great environment to take in scenic views of the Potomac River and get the heart rate up. A run, walk, or cycle along the trail leads to all of the same sites that can be reached by car on the parallel section of the parkway. The trail lane opened on March 18th.  In 2012, the Park Service realigned the trail at Memorial Circle, moving the crossing of Washington Boulevard a few hundred feet south and creating a crossing at a right angle to the road. There are riders of all levels, from tots on training wheels to Olympic wanna-be’s. I was riding a comfort bike and wasn't sure I would make it to Mt. Of course, in Old Alexandria there are countless restaurants and bike racks if you want to stroll on the dock and shop. The rider was not considerate. Be aware, the bikers on this trail go super fast so pay attention. Mount Vernon offers 50+ trails of easy access trails and multi-purpose trails. Just cross the Potomac River from Washington D.C. and you’re on the Mount Vernon Trail. Gravelly Point is good if you like airplane watching. All that being said it's a fantastic ride provided you're careful. 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). Get a FREE Rail Trails Guidebook when you become a Member with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Two of my favorite places to run to are: 1. I recently rode the trail from washington to mt. From north to south, one route follows E. Abingdon Drive to Bashford Lane to Royal Street. I struck out to embrace the self-challenge of riding the Mt. The potomac views of the monuments and city are picture perfect. Bring as much water as you can and stay hydrated. Vernon are a series of slopes; they're not really sever, but they do come at you one after the other. Vernon is an excellent course, especially if you're a marathoner in training. Riding on the docks is not allowed. The walkers converged to him, telling him that he was travelling too fast. I love Southern hospitality! The Mount Vernon Trail is a big favorite of area cyclists. Also, be aware that the wooden bridges are very, very slick, so cross them with caution; I saw the one leading to the steep hill take out a rider. For out-of-towners, there is Metro service from Arlington to Rosslyn (about 5 min.) Mount Vernon Trail, Arlington: See 245 reviews, articles, and 94 photos of Mount Vernon Trail, ranked No.4 on Tripadvisor among 91 attractions in Arlington. From the Washington DC.  Previously the trail in that area had been on-road. Year-round hiking is a kept secret in Mount Vernon, offering an extensive system of hiking trails through city parks and greenways, where both … Help defend and expand trails nationwide. I did find the trail area around Washington St. in Old Town (OT) Alexandria to be confusing--I failed to turn left heading out from OT, but was re-directed back to the trail by a fellow biker.  In June of 2016, the section of the trail next to the airport was realigned, widened and separated from the parkway. We rode from Rosslyn to Alexandria and back and enjoyed the monument sites in DC from along the Potomac on the Virginia side. On the flip side, we stopped twice to make some bike adjustments and tighten shoe laces. When you finish the course at Mt Vernon, there is very inexpensive bus service (Fairfax Connector) at the Mt Vernon Orientation Center, that can take you to the Huntington Metro Station. 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. All in all the trail is wonderful, covered trees at times, places to stop and enjoy the views and Potomac as well as National Airport. Riding from Georgetown to Mt. The Mount Vernon Trail is one of several paved multi-use paths in and around Washington, D.C. And it happens to be one of the best. We had a hard time finding the trail when we came to the end of the bridge but with some help from a fellow bicycler we found it. Most people were courteous with the exception of the wannabe Lance's who past on turns and with oncoming bikes and pedestrians giving the rest a bad name. Only one in ten would announce their presence when overtaking you. Alternatively, you can start at Mount Vernon and run to King Street which would be great for a long run (it's about 9ish miles). The other route, more preferred by some, veers to the left (coming from the north) and picks up Union Street. Just outside Alexandria and around the corner from a bike shop was a deli with great sandwiches. The design proposed was a mostly on-street route, with a pair of trail segments west of Glebe Road.. There were a few cyclists in singles and in small groups, however they all gave courtesy bell rings and/or verbal warnings. The trail is mostly paved but some sections are boardwalk. Vernon. More than 20 bridges are crossed, including two more than 1000 feet across vast marshlands. 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. Cyclists must dismount at some bridge crossings. I rode this trail with my girlfriend on a Friday evening starting from around the intersection of routes 1 and 120, in Alexandria, VA and it was wonderful. The southern 8 miles (13 km) below Alexandria is largely wooded with limited river views.  The Connector opened on August 22, 1992. This particular day I went out at around 1pm, which is not typical for me; I usually ride no later than 7-7:30 am or earlier to avoid all the traffic. There are riders of all levels, from tots on training wheels to Olympic wanna-be’s. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, and road biking and is accessible year-round. 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. This trail has it all. We left National Harbor around 8am in the cool of the morning this summer day in August. The trip back to Alexandria was much easier and enjoyable. 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. This trail is great year round but particularly in the autumn. With this trail this was unacceptable due to the crowd. As part of U.S. … Set your own pace. We saw a pretty serious accident with someone being taken away on a body board with neck brace and bloody face. I will head the opposite direction at some point and write a review on it. end down to Alexandria this trail is a very busy place, but the crowd thins out at about ten miles from the DC. A group to discuss and share information about the Mount Vernon bike/pedestrian path in Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax, Virginia. This trail is an older trail and is a little narrow some of the time. 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. A near head-on collision really increased the heart rate. The rider was wearing headphones and holding a phone. The Park Service website has more information, or you can visit the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Some areas on the trail can be pretty slick if it’s damp, especially when there are wet leaves on the trail. This was my 1st time (7/22/2012) riding the trail and I did not know what to expect.  In 1978, the Airport Authority built a connection from the trail to the airport's bicycle parking. The weather was great, the trees were in bloom, and the sky was blue. The Mt. As part of U.S. Bike Route 1, the MVT opened in April 1972 as a gravel path and was subsequently expanded and paved.. Too many pathletes, and zombie walkers with total disregard for trail etiquette. area this trail is a great one and I would highly suggest that you have a mirror as it gets very busy. Vernon. It takes a lot of shifting, but it pays off. Most locations however are fine for the kids, just plan ahead. end. It begins at Theodore Roosevelt Island (near Rosslyn, Virginia) and continues through Alexandria, ending at Mount Vernon. Enjoy. We started at Roosevelt Island and went south to Alexandria Va. So to avoid large traffic volume, I suggest you go in the mornings; evenings are typically worse because that tends to be family time.  One early path was built in 1940 between the Arlington Memorial Bridge and the Navy - Merchant Marine Memorial and that path was eventually connected to the George Mason Memorial Bridge. We started our trip about 5:00 PM which put us in Alexandria (approximately 6 miles away) at dinner time on a Saturday night. Mount Vernon Trail is a 38.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Vernon, Virginia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. (Mount Vernon). This was my first time riding the trail. 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. The trail has only 3 hills from start to finish. Overall a fun 36 mile ride minus the bumpy ride. But that's ok - when the hill gets too steep, get off and walk that bike for a while. We were staying in Alexandria and rode the northern part the first day. Great view across the Potomac of Ft. Washington, and lunch at Mt. On a hot summer day you can slake your thirst at the visitors center and rest in the shade of the trees. Vernon was gorgeous seeing all of the monuments, airplanes taking off at Reagan airport, national harbor across the Potomac, and finishing at George Washington's Mt. I've biked this trail a few times, mainly as a starting point to bike either the W&OD or the C&O Canal. Vernon Trail. I love this trail, it is NOT a bike path, it is a multi-use trail. As I began to ride from Gravelly Point to Mt. Just stare them down, it’s a public bike path! The study noted that best practice would call for the trail to be 11-14 feet wide based on current usage, but only the Jones Point section is 11 feet wide. It's also worth noting the brush is growing in on the trail at points narrowing the trail. I rode my older Mt Bike with a Town and Country tire and it worked for me and I did need the extra gears a couple of times. Most of the northern half of the trail is open with views of the river and of Washington, D.C. MOUNT VERNON TRAIL: MOUNT VERNON-ROSSLYN, VIRGINIA-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-Last Updated: 2007 Length: Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot to Mount Vernon; 18 ½ miles Difficulty: Moderate.Paved surface, but hilly and rougher along the Southern end. The trail parallels the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the western bank of the Potomac River. Beginning at the steps of Mount Vernon Estate, this hike follows the Potomac River and the George Washington Memorial Parkway on the Mount Vernon Trail.  In 1979, the original section between Alexandria and Memorial Bridge was paved and in 1980 the section south of Fort Hunt and the one between Alexandria and Alexandria Avenue was paved. You can access the Mount Vernon Trail from numerous places along its route. The walkers scattered, leaving me to face him head-on. 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. , Before construction of the Mount Vernon Trail, cyclists frequently rode on the parkway. 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. The trail passes through Rosslyn, Old Town Alexandria and connects with many regional trails, and offers views of Washington, D.C. along the way. In 2006, after it was determined that the bridge over the north entrance to National Airport was deteriorating and that the Mount Vernon Trail was a safety concern because of its close proximity to the roadway, the bridge was rebuilt and the trail was realigned and widened in the area. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. A number of changes to the Mount Vernon Trail near Reagan National airport just wrapped up. This would also allow foot and bike traffic to completely bypass 15th & Maine, terminating in the less congested and more useful locations of Maryland Ave SW and L’Enfant Plaza. There are several rest stations with water (when they are working) every few miles. all terrain bike is what I call them) on this trail, however; I plan to take my MTB down that trail so that I can take in more of the scenery. High crash potential entering and exiting the Mount Vernon Trail at the 14th Street Bridge and Four Mile Run trail … This absolutely has to be one of the most historic 10-15 mile stretches of trails in the United States! If not, I probably would have turned around and not finished the trail to Mount Vernon. This is an awesome trail. It connects with regional trails, including the Potomac Heritage Trail, Custis, Rock Creek, … This is not a Rails to Trail it is a Greenway so it dose have some hills, twists and turns to 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. I recently biked from the marina to Mt. Weather was great. Vernon is a treat for your turn around point. The three main access points are: Theodore Roosevelt Island: Access via the northbound lane only of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.  This extension moved the on-road portion through Alexandria from Pitt Street to Union Street. Near the last five miles towards Mt. Overall it was a great ride with beautiful scenery. The reason I'm giving 4 stars instead of 5 is due to the quality of the actual trail. Vernon you get some slight hills to climb and descend and there are picnic tables, a water fountain and parking at Mt. I suggest you walk your the bike on the narrow highway overpass and the very narrow single lane highway underpass. Both time more courteous riders called out to make sure we were OK and ask if we needed help!  Later that same year a new trail segment was built in Fort Hunt Park where the trail had been on road. Even though the hills were tough on the southern end I enjoyed the ride more because the trail wasn't as crowded. Otherwise, continue under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to take the trail through more parks, marshlands and tidy neighborhoods. This trail is a very nice ride. The 18-mile path starts at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, and skirts along the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Potomac River before merging with the Custis Trail at Theodore Roosevelt Island. The 0-mile marker is located as you enter into parking area slightly obscured by trees from the visitor center where you can buy refreshments and use the rest room (highly recommended). The Mount Vernon Trail (MVT) is a 17 miles (27 km) 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. Aware of all the way single lane highway underpass would announce their when! Shows and boating events ) and other bikers and caution is needed is progress. From Arlington to Rosslyn ( about 5 min. found them on our return including two more than 20 are! 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