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Mount Vernon Trail

EASY 136 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Mount Vernon Trail is a 18.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Vernon, Virginia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 18.4 miles Elevation Gain: 620 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

nature trips

road biking

walking

bird watching

running

paved

river

views

wild flowers

This trail runs from beautiful Mount Vernon, George Washington's home, to the stunning monuments of Washington D.C. You will not believe how scenic some portions of this trail are. Whether you visit during spring, summer, winter, or fall, you'll see some gorgeous riverfront scenery and enjoy some unique and interesting stops along the way. Fortunately this trail is fairly easy to do out and back in one day, especially if you spend some recuperation time at Mount Vernon. If you are combining this ride with a C & O Canal Towpath ride, you can easily cross the Frances Scott Key Bridge to start your ride on the Mount Vernon Trail. Even though this trail is heavily used, it is a fairly relaxing ride since it is well paved and spends very little time on roads. While in the Washington D.C. area, be sure to take time to look at the monuments. You get a different perspective of the area from this trail.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Just checking, this trail starts/ends actually at Washington’s Home so we can tour the home and then ride to/from Arlington National Cemetery? In one day? Thank you!

road biking
2 months ago

We took 2 days to ride this trail. Stayed in Alexandria Old Town and rode to Arlington and back the first day. Great ride, mostly flat. We stopped and toured the Arlington National Cemetery which is well worth the stop. The second day we rode to Mount Vernon and back. This section of the trail is very challenging especially going to Mount Vernon. There are lots of hills. We toured Mount Vernon and enjoyed that very much also. The ride back is mostly downhill and much easier. The trail is very busy but everyone was courteous.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is paved and well-maintained. It has beautiful river views in most sections, although it is very close to the Parkway in places so there is noise/emissions from the cars. Best on weekdays due to crowding. If you want to break it up and do it in segments with easy parking, Washington Sailing Marina to Jones Point and back is approx 5 miles (following the trail along the river in Old Town although there are some breaks where you have to use sidewalks to get to the next park to pick the trail back up), Belle Haven to the stone overpass bridge (Alexandria Ave) and back is approx 4.5 miles (if you want to add more mileage, you can double back to Jones Point or you can park at Jones Point and start there), Ft Hunt Park back towards Alexandria to the stone overpass bridge and back is approx 6 miles (this section is west of the Parkway so no river views), and Ft Hunt Park to Mt Vernon and back is approx 6 miles (this is the hilliest section).

road biking
3 months ago

From Mt Vernon to Rosslyn, all 18 miles are terrific, and as a long-time, on and off again resident of NoVA, am very thankful for this quality-of-life-maker. A few cautions, from experience, though: For bikers, particularly roadies--except for off-hours and longer-viz stretches--the trail is not safe for serious training or hammering--as it is multi-use, often with many folks enjoying the scenery and walking two or more abreast. We can't reasonably expect them to have 360 degree situational awareness when we're motoring at 18+MPH. Also, for new to trail riders, caution on the handle grips: there're some seriously bumpy portions, usually from tree branches ever-growing under the trail. Also, there're occasional blind stretches and tight turns. Safety first, and civility right behind it. Please keep the rep for all of us on the road. Man, NoVA roads can be a challenging place to ride, so the trails are a happy respite. Happy Trails!

hiking
6 months ago

I enjoyed the heck out of this trail. Did half, looking forward to completing it.

walking
7 months ago

Walk around Mt Vernon

road biking
7 months ago

Beautiful scenery, but a little crowded in spots, but manageable if you’re concerned about your pace. Most people understood trail etiquette, although a few needed a gentle reminder to stay on the right. Remember you’re going up a mountain so it’s harder going than coming back. The last hill right before Mt vernon.

11 months ago

Wonderful trail for a nice long walk.

running
Mon Oct 29 2018

Beautiful scenery. Great place for a morning run to help you clear your mind.

road biking
Thu Jul 05 2018

First bit of advice: BE CAREFUL! This is a nice trail, but if you use the section that’s closer to George Washington’s home, there are a lot of narrow, steep, and blind curves. My first outing on it was eventful, to say the least...I was coming around a narrow and steep curve on my bike, and caught my tire on something. Wiped out, hit my head, and wound up with 6 staples (yes, even while wearing a helmet). Apparently, crashes are pretty common on the trail, especially in the area where I was (per another cyclist who frequents it). It was pretty crowded on our way back to the car (I crashed with only a few miles left on the ride), but when we got on it at opening (6am), it was pretty clear. Early in the morning is best when it’s nice out. Otherwise, it seems like can get pretty dicey when having to deal with steep, blind curves and crowds. I will say that if you do have an issue, the other cyclists on the trail are very nice and are willing to help. My husband was about 1/2 a mile behind me when I crashed and before he got to me, three cyclists had already stopped and were waiting with me. One went on his way after my husband caught up after making sure I could walk. The other two stayed with me while my husband rode the rest of the trail back to the car to come and get me. I am thankful for such caring people. All in all, this trail is worth a go. It is nice and the people on the trail are great. But again, whether you’re a cyclist, runner etc...be very careful. ✌️ -Allison

Mon Jun 04 2018

Scenic, beautiful and rain friendly. Also, love how there are bathroom stops along the way.

Mon May 14 2018

Good for running and biking

road biking
Sat May 05 2018

Sun Apr 22 2018

So beautiful but very busy. Look out for bikers. They will run you over.

walking
Fri Nov 24 2017

Beautiful, easy walk. Good for spotting egrets and herons.

road biking
Sun Sep 24 2017

Great trail. Well maintained. Beautiful scenery.

Fri Apr 14 2017

Best trail in VA

mountain biking
Thu Jan 12 2017

I might have enjoyed the ride except that it was freezing. We turned around, vowing to ride the length in warmer weather.

mountain biking
Thu Jan 12 2017

The beauty of the trail amazed me. Especially since it was winter. It was cold so we only rode about half.

road biking
Wed Dec 14 2016

Crowded

Thu Oct 20 2016

great bike ride, but can get crowded

walking
Sun Nov 08 2015

Great easy walking trail in the wetlands. Lots of beautiful scenery particularly in fall. Best for walks with kids

road biking
Thu Oct 01 2015

Rode from Maryland through DC to connect to trail. Headed south to Jones Point Park at the base of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Very nice and calming park with a small playground and restrooms.

road biking
Sat Sep 19 2015

Fun a lot of little hilly areas before the steep climb before Mt Vernon. I logged 26 plus miles was a nice ride.

road biking
Sat Aug 30 2014

After completing the C&O Canal trail we connected with this trail to loop around the city to the airport where we had left a car. The views of the city were beautiful and it was good to see all the green space away from the usual touristy stuff around the national mall. As the uploaded photos show you can still get a good view of the city from this route except you do not have to deal with all the crazyness that riding a bike in town.

Sun May 25 2014

If you don't mind crowds or are from out of town (meaning the views of DC buildings are new to you) this might be a 5 star trail for you. But it is crowded it's entire length, extremely so from Downtown Alexandria to Roosevelt Island, especially near National Airport. Gravelly point is a fun place to sit on a sunny day, watch planes take off and land and all the other people doing the same thing. I avoid this trail unless I have to take it to get somewhere because of the crowds.

road biking
Sun Apr 13 2014

Took this trail from the Roosevelt Island parking area to Mount Vernon on road bikes. Was about 36 miles round trip. We came on a beautiful Sunday during peak cherry blossom season. The trail was absolutely packed with other cyclists, runners and walkers. Was difficult on a bike having to slow down and pass others very frequently, but the beautiful views make it worth it. You are mostly along the Potomac river which gives great views of the monuments in DC. The trail goes through Alexandria, VA where you are on the road in traffic for a little while. Be sure to pay attention for signs for the trail because they are small and we missed a couple turns and turned around a couple times. Trail is well maintained the entire way. Very enjoyable trip but definitely need a lot more time to cover the miles when it's so crowded.

hiking
Sat Aug 17 2013

Too busy with the Tour De France going, those asses pass like crazy. Almost had two head on collisions.

road biking
Fri Feb 08 2013

Great trail for biking lots of long winding road to ride on. Just be careful for walkers! I ride this every summer with hubby and those hills are a killer but its worth it!!!

road biking
Mon Oct 01 2012

One of the best trails that i have biked. Except for the last hill on the way back.

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