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“A cyclotourist's dream”
Review of Mount Vernon Trail

Mount Vernon Trail
Ranked #11 of 102 things to do in Arlington
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
896 reviews
471 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 866 helpful votes
“A cyclotourist's dream”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

If you are a cyclist, this is truly one of the most beautiful and historic bike trails you will find anywhere in the world. As one who has cycled on every continent except one (you can guess which one), I still consider this trail among the top five. Over the years, whenever I visited Washington, I would rent a bike from the bike shop in Georgetown at the Key Bridge, cycle across the bridge to the start of the trail and then enjoy a full day of riding to and from Mt Vernon.

You can also start half way between DC and Mt Vernon in downtown Alexandria. Capital Bike Share bikes are plentiful and inexpensive, and you can cycle back to DC and drop if off there. Another option is to cycle down to Mt Vernon (9 miles from downtown Alexandria) and either ride back or, if you are staying in DC, take the afternoon ferry for a glorious ride back to the Marina in southwest Washington. You can then cycle back to your hotel if you are staying in DC and drop off your Bike Share bike any one of the many stations.

Bring a camera, and consider stops along the way. If you are starting from Georgetown, you will have a magnificent view of Washington from the Key Bridge. You can then consider a stop at Roosevelt Island, which has been maintained in its natural state despite all the urban growth around it. Next stop is Gravelly Point, where the planes land seemingly just above your head. Washington area parents know this is THE place to bring your kids to see them marvel in this wonder. Next stop is Old Town Alexandria. You cycle right through the waterfront area. Stop for an espresso or at one of the three ice cream shops near the corner of King and Union.

Next stop is Jones Point Park, just under the soaring Woodrow Wilson Bridge across the Potomac. Ride to the far point. George Washington himself led a group of our founding fathers marching from Old Town's Gadsby's Tavern carrying a stone marker that marked the far southern edge of the original Washington D.C. The lighthouse where the marker is has recently been restored.

Next stop is Dyke's Marsh, where you ride over a low bridge through the rushes, catty nine tails and water plants. Next stop could be George Washington's River Farm, which is now the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. You will have to divert from the path and ride through one of Washington's most spectacular residential areas, with waterfront homes that will dazzle.

Back on the trail, next stop is Fort Hunt. Not much to see, but it's worth noting that only a few years ago it was revealed that this was site of America's super secret decoding operation during WWII. The bunker where this underground operation took place is preserved, but it is permanently locked.

Just beyond Ft Hunt is one of the prettiest spot in all of the Washington area: a lookout from which you can see Ft Washington across the river in all its preserved glory and then looking further south, Mt Vernon itself.

Be warned that the last mile of the route before Mt Vernon is a beautiful winding trail through the forest, but it's also a steep uphill grade.


Visited May 2014
5 Thank Anthony-Susan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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202 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
Arlington, Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great bike path”
Reviewed 17 April 2014

You can cycle from The Key Bridge in Rosslyn all the way to Mount Vernon, George Washingtons estate. The path goes along the Potomac River and is very scenic. One way is about 20 miles.
You could also rent a bike in Rosslyn or Crystal City and do a shorter leg.

Visited April 2014
Thank Runner0101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Bikes Away!”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

We have biked this trail for years (25 miles from our home to Mt Vernon.) It is one of the most scenic in the area! franki

Visited April 2014
Thank Franki7766
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guys Mills, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“a lovely day”
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Toured George Washington's old home and farm, and learned about the man and the myth. The gift shop was crazy, but the day was lovely.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Nancy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Wander the Green Space”
Reviewed 11 April 2014

For something different rent a bike and ride from Washington DC to Mount Vernon, tour the Washington site, and then ride back. It makes a wonderful day.

Visited April 2014
Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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