Mount Vernon Trail


Mount Vernon Trail is well-liked by many locals as it's one of several paved paths that allows cyclists to get off the bustling capital’s streets without venturing too far from home. This 18-mile path begins at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, and skirts along George Washington Memorial Parkway before merging with the Custis Trail at Theodore Roosevelt Island.

The trail offers stunning views of the DC skyline and the beautiful Potomac River. On the weekends, the trail gets busy, especially around Old Town Alexandria. But it’s still good for a hang out with friends and family members by bike.


The terrain is mostly flat. Some sections require a little climbing, but nothing is too difficult. Also, there are a handful of wooden boardwalk sections to ride over – ride slowly when necessary and take care on these sections, especially in wet weather.


There are several points to begin riding the trail with parking lots sprinkled throughout the route. Most cyclists prefer to start from Old Town Alexandaria – an historic area with plenty of street parking, then head either north to Theodore Roosevelt Island or south to Mount Vernon. For a longer ride, you can start from either Theodore Roosevelt Island or Mount Vernon (as indicated via our map). Whichever way you choose, Mount Vernon Trail is still fun and enjoyable to ride.

Food and drink

Old Town offers plenty of eateries where you can stop for a break and have something delicious to fill your tummy.

More details

Starting from Theodore Roosevelt Island, head south to Old Town. Enjoy the skyline vies of D.C on your right. Later, you’ll past a park called Gravelly Point – a great spot to have a short break whilst watching airplanes pass right over your head as they either take off or land from Reagan Airport.

The South of Old Town is more wooden but less water views. The trail passes Belle Haven Park which is another good place to take a break for a drink or snack, and then cuts through the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Later, the trail crosses over the George Washington Parkway, then crosses back over to the eastern side of the road shortly after. Stay alert in this section.

You'll pass two more parks before ending your ride at Mount Vernon.


The information on this page is sourced from:

Trail map

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27.69 km / 17.206 mi

Total Distance

238 m / 780 ft

Total Ascent

211 m / 691 ft

Total Descent

31 m / 102 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
Fitness Level: Medium
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Gravel Road
Trail Signage: Good
Mobile Coverage: Limited
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle
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