Mount Vernon Trail is well-liked by many locals as it is one of several paved paths that allow cyclists to get off the bustling capital’s streets without venturing too far from home. This 18-mile path begins at Mount Vernon, 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 D.C. 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, 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 longer ride, you can start from either Theodore Roosevelt Island or Mount Vernon (as 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.
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:
27.69 km / 17.206 mi
238 m / 780 ft
211 m / 691 ft
31 m / 102 ft