WASHINGTON & OLD DOMINION TRAIL LETTERBOX:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Planted: April 27, 2003
Length: W & OD Trail; 45 miles
Shirlington (mile 0) to Martha Custis Trail; 4 miles
Shirlington to Letterbox; 2 ½ miles
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, paved rail trail. Slight grade.
From I-395, take exit 6 to Shirlington Rd and head north. After you cross over Four Mile Run (stream) turn left down 27th St. Park at Dean Park on your left [No parking located next to trailhead]. Head back up 27th St and left on Shirlington Rd. Use the cross-walk over Four Mile Run Drive to reach the trailhead. Because the first 1 ½ miles parallels Four Mile Run Drive, you may wish to start from the Columbia Pike parking lot. Follow Four Mile Run Drive west to the intersection of Columbia Pike and turn right. Take your next right (also Four Mile Run Drive) and the parking lot will be on your right.
To reach Glencarlyn Park; From Route 50 take the exit for Carlin Springs Rd and travel south. Turn left down 3rd St S and follow to its end. Turn right on S Harrison St and the parks entrance should be on your left.
The Washington & Old Dominion Trail takes its name from the railroad that ran this line for over 100 years. It was also referred to as the "Virginia Creeper", the name of a pervasive vine that grew along the route (and because of its reputed slow service). This corridor was abandoned in 1968. The trail today is paved for the entire 45 miles, which takes you from Shirlington in Arlington all the way to Purcellville in northern Virginia. The Four Mile Run Trail , which begins near the mouth of the Potomac River and travels 6 miles to Bluemont Park alongside the Four Mile Run parallels the W & OD Trail for part of its run. For more information visit; W & O D TRAIL , WASHINGTON BIKE ASSOC. or BIKE WASHINGTON .
Starting from Shirlington;
Here you'll find the 0
mile marker (mile markers located every ½ mile). The first 1 ½ miles parallel Four Mile Run Drive
in an urban setting. You pass by the Columbia Pike parking lot and
cross over Columbia Pike via a cross walk. You are now in a forested setting
traveling alongside the Four Mile Run. Along the opposite side of this
stream travels the Four
Mile Run Trail, which has hills and curves, unlike the straight and flat
rail trail. There are many access spurs over to that trail. After 2 miles you come to an observation deck overlooking a marsh.
Just after this deck will be a trail down to the Four Mile Run Trail and
Park. Take this trail down and head straight through the parking lot. Note the Glencarlyn
Dog Park over a bridge to your left. After passing through the parking
lot, continue down the road past a pavilion and picnic area. Where the road
veers right, you turn left and cross over a cement bridge. Veer right at the
fork in the trail. There will be a small metal
culvert under the trail just before a sewer grate off to the left side of the
trail. A large log is just below and to the rear of this grate. Behind this
sewer grate is a large Oak tree with a cavity in its trunk on its backside.
Inside the cavity, under some rocks and leaves is the W & OD Trail
Letterbox. This is 0.2 miles from the W & OD Trail. The Nature
is another 0.2 miles up the trail. For more information and a map of this park
check out; GLENCARLYN
Continuing along the W & OD Trail, you will cross a few bridges over the river before traveling underneath Route 50 after 3 miles. Both trails combine briefly here.
At 3.3 miles, a bridge to your left leads to
You then pass by Bluemont Station (note the caboose) and come to the 3.5 mile sign. Take the trail right, down underneath Wilson Blvd.
Note; This is the end of the Four Mile Run Trail.
After 4 miles the trail travels underneath Patrick Henry Drive and continues
on towards Purcellville.
Note; Just before Patrick Henry Drive is where the Martha Custis Trail intersects and takes you 4 miles into Rosslyn. From there you can access the Mount Vernon Trail or cross over the Key Bridge and access the Capital Crescent Trail and C & O Canal .
CLICK HERE FOR W & OD TRAIL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR MARTHA CUSTIS TRAIL MAP
LETTERBOX LAST VERIFIED ON
OCTOBER 12, 2009
TO EMAIL A VERIFICATION
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT