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Mount Vernon Trail

This trail runs from beautiful Mount Vernon, George Washington's home, to the stunning monuments of Washington D.C.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 18 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  You will not believe how scenic some portions of this trail are. Whether you visit during spring, summer, winter, or fall, you'll see ... more »

Tips:  1. If you are starting from Mount Vernon, there is plenty of parking there. If you are starting from the D.C. end, you may want to... more »

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Points of Interest

This is the home of the first president of the United States, George Washington. It is definitely one of the top ten places to visit while in the Washington D.C. area. In addition to being an essential historical stopover, it is also a great place to get lunch or dinner as it has two good, relatively inexpensive restaurants at the welcome center.

2. Fort Hunt National Park

Fort Hunt played a significant role in the Spanish-American War and a covert role in World War II. But for the purposes of the Mount Vernon Trail, its current role is to provide a picnic/rest area for weary travelers.

3. Collingwood Park

The trail moves away from the Potomac River for a ways during this shady stretch. There is one restroom and a drinking fountain located near the trail in this stretch, but the bathrooms may not always be accessible, depending on the season and time of day.

4. Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

This is a good spot to observe the Potomac wetlands and enjoy superb bird-watching.

5. Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge

Do not cross over the bridge here, but go east on trail and cross under the Woodrow Wilson bridge.

6. Jones Point Park

You are now just south of Alexandria, Virginia and north of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge.

7. Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

The bad news: You have to ride your bike on the road (Union St.) for this portion of the Mount Vernon Trail.
The good news: You're in Old Town Alexandria with its shopping, history, restaurants, and coffee shops. Enjoy the shops & cafes along Union Street and King Street. If you park (and lock) your bike somewhere near the intersection of... More

8. Oronoco Bay Park

If you are riding from D.C. toward Mount Vernon, you will take a left here and ride on Union Street through most of Old Town Alexandria.

9. Reagan National Airport

The Mount Vernon Trail makes a semicircle around Reagan National Airport, so if you bring your bike with you when you fly into D.C., you can literally start your ride right at the airport.
At this particular point in the trail, you are very close to the end of two runways, and there is a steady stream of jets taking off or landing directly... More

10. Navy and Marine Memorial

At one time, the only way you could access/view this memorial was via the Mount Vernon Trail. They are currently building a new access route.
This memorial is dedicated to Americans lost at sea.

11. good view of Washington D.C.

This portion of the trail provides excellent views of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Jefferson Memorial.

12. good starting/ending point

You can either start here or in Georgetown. There is easy access to either side of the river via the Key Bridge. It has a wide pedestrian/bike path.
The Marriott Hotel is near here and would make a good base of operation if you want to ride the Mount Vernon Trail, the C & O Canal Towpath, the Capital Crescent Trail, Rock Creek Park trails, or ... More

13. wetlands

This part of the trail utilizes a boardwalk to cross wetlands.