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“Excellent Tour Stop” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mount Vernon Trail

Mount Vernon Trail
Along Shoreline, Arlington, VA
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Ranked #8 of 72 things to do in Arlington
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Excellent Tour Stop”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

This was informative, well thought out, and a fitting place to learn a bit of history about our first president. Plan to spend a full day here and enjoy the entire facility. A good lunch can be purchased in the eating area in the welcome center. . .they also have a restaurant which may have a waiting list on busy days.

Visited August 2013
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95 reviews from our community

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English first
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Not as good as I expected”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Rented bikes from Bike and Roll Alexandria. Bikes were only OK - not much of an advert for Trek bikes.

Trail is a bit harder than I expected with several short climbs. The final climb into Mount Vernon itself is the hardest. Trail is well maintained and there are much needed water fountains every couple of miles or so. There are decent views from time to time but it mostly follows (but is well separated from) the road so there is an ever present traffic noise. Lots of people out on the trail but even on a Saturday afternoon it didn't seem too crowded.

If you are going into Mount Vernon Estate get your tickets from Bike and Roll before you go. Visitors getting their tickets at the gate have to wait for a timed access to the house. Bike and Roll tickets get you straight in without waiting.

Visited July 2013
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Arlington, Virginia
Top Contributor
340 reviews 340 reviews
143 attraction reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
192 helpful votes 192 helpful votes
“Beautiful trail, but very crowded”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

The Mt. Vernon Trail is a very scenic 17-mile bicycle and jogging trail stretching from Mount Vernon in the South to Rosslyn in the North.

The Trail takes you through a lot of different areas. For instance, there are several parks, some of which have some minor historical interest (one has the remnants of a coastal artillery battery, another has an old lighthouse and used to be the site of a shipyard in World War I). There is a marsh where you can see wetlands birds. The Trail goes through Old Town Alexandria. It goes past the airport, where planes take off and land right overhead. The last several miles of the Trail offer terrific views of the famous DC monuments and memorials on the other side of the river. Very little of what is on the Trail is worth visiting on its own, but taken together, it's amazing how much there is between DC and Mt. Vernon.

The Trail is mostly level, and is not particularly challenging for runners or cyclists. There are many opportunities to get off the Trail in the parks, Alexandria, Crystal City and other areas, making it a useful way to get from one area to another without driving or taking the Metro.

The big problem with the Trail, though, is that it is extremely crowded with cyclists, walkers and joggers. If you go any distance on the Trail, you end up constantly maneuvering to pass people, to the extent that you are paying more attention to negotiating the Trail without colliding with someone than you do enjoying the many sights along the Trail.

An additional issue is the lack of signage on parts of the Trail. The Alexandria area is especially unclear, and there are other parts of the Trail where it is not clear where you need to go just to stay on the Trail. It is especially difficult if you do not know the area or the Trail well.

The Trail is best enjoyed in small sections. Walk or bike a stretch to one of the scenic portions of the Trail to relax, fish or have a picnic, but don't plan on doing any long training rides, as it becomes an endless series of stops, starts and slow downs.

Visited August 2013
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Amarillo, TX
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Beautiful and Challenging Trail Ride!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

I rented a bike in Old Town Alexandria and biked the 20 mile round-trip trail to Mt Vernon. The trail is extremely well maintained, as are the rest stops along the trail. There a some beautiful views of the river and gorgeous scenery in general along the trail.

This trail was challenging for me due to the hills and humidity. I live on flat land where it is really dry and underestimated how difficult these 20 miles would be! It was a good workout, so make sure that you can handle the challenge before embarking on the entire trail! I'm more of a runner, so the next time I take this trail, I will probably run it instead of biking it...either way would be beautiful! Mount Vernon makes for a good rest stop and there is food and (most importantly) water for purchase once you get there.

Visited July 2013
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Arlington, Virginia
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Gorgeous sweeping views of the Potomac and Memorials”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Hey visitors of DC....come see why DC is one of the best places to call home. Bikers and walkers share this path stretching for miles all the way to Mount Vernon. See the planes landing. Kayackers, crew and people fishing. Did I mention how gorgeous the Lincoln Memorial is?

Visited July 2013
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