Although Arlington is located right outside Washington, D.C., it has over 100 miles of designated bike paths. So if you are new to area, it is a great way to explore and see the different parts of the city. The following sections give a description of the four major bike trails that run through Arlington, Virginia. They are the Custis Trail, Four Mile Run Trail, Mt. Vernon Trail and the W & OD Trail. If you are up for a nice ride, try riding the Arlington Loop which is an 18 mile ride in which you bike sections of all four bike paths. See the picture above to easily see the loop. Click on any of the trails in the picture to learn more about that specific trail.
For a more detailed map of Arlington's biking trails, click the button below.
Bike Paths in Arlington, Virginia
Named after George Washington’s wife Martha’s maiden name, the Custis Trail runs approximately 4 miles from the Key Bridge in Rosslyn and heads southwest till it connects with the W & OD Trail in Bon Air Park. The Custis Trail runs alongside Interstate 66, can be hilly in parts, and has some blind turns that need to be taken slow to avoid collisions with other pedestrians.
If coming from the W & OD trail, the Custis Trail links up approximately at mile marker 4. At the east end of the trail, it connects with the start of the Mount Vernon Trail. Paid street parking can be found in Rosslyn or free parking can be found at Theodore Roosevelt Island or Bon Air Park.
Four Mile Run Trail
The Four Mile Run Trail is a 6 mile paved trail that runs along Four Mile Run stream which borders the boundary of Arlington County and Falls Church. The trail’s western most part begins near Reagan Airport and is connected to the Mount Vernon Trail. It runs for 2 miles west until you pass under Interstate 395 and arrive in Shirlington. (Note, if you haven’t been to Shirlington, check it out, we love this cute neighborhood of Arlington).
At Shirlington, the W & OD Trail begins as well and runs parallel to the Four Mile Run Trail along Four Mile Run stream for 4 miles until they connect in Bon Air Park. There you can continue on the W & OD Trail or take the Custis Trail up towards Rosslyn.
On the Four Mile Run Trail, you will likely see numerous runners, cyclists and dog walkers (Shirlington is a big dog community). The trail goes through several wooded areas and has a lot of twists and turns as it follows the stream.
Mount Vernon Trail
The Mount Vernon Trail is one of the most popular bike paths in the DMV area. In total, it is an 18 mile trail that runs south from Rosslyn along the Potomac River to George Washington’s estate. Approximately 5 miles of the trail is Arlington County. From Rosslyn, the trail runs along the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Potomac River passing Arlington National Cemetery, Gravelly Point, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
After passing the Reagan Airport, the trail connects with the Four Mile Run path which will head west and continue into Arlington. If you continue straight, you will leave Arlington and enter Old Town Alexandria. After biking through Alexandria, you will pass through Dyke Marsh and Fort Hunt Park before reaching Mount Vernon.
The trail is mostly flat and heavily used on weekends. You can find parking and the start of the trail near the Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot. Have Fun!
W & OD Trail
The W & OD (Washington & Old Dominion Trail) is a 45 mile long trail that starts in Shirlington and runs through northern Virginia till Purcellville. It is a great way to see different parts of northern Virginia! The trail gets its name from the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad since most of the trail is a paved surface that was once railroad tracks until closed in 1968.
Approximately 6 miles of the trail is in Arlington County. The first 4 miles of the trail runs parallel to Four Mile Run Trail until they converge at Bon Air Park. At Bon Air Park, you have the option to take the Custis Trail up to Rosslyn or continue west out of Arlington. After leaving Arlington on the W & OD Trail, you continue into the lovely town of Falls Church, then Reston, Herndon, Leesburg and end up in Purcellville.
There are a lot of cool things about this trail. There is a horse trail that runs parallel to the bike path for majority of its length. Also the trail passes multiple breweries (Yes, I said breweries!) So, it is a great way to spend a Saturday. Visit http://www.bikeablebrews.com/WOD/wodhome.html to learn more. Enjoy and ride responsibly!