MOUNT VERNON TRAIL:
MOUNT VERNON-ROSSLYN, VIRGINIA
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: 2007
Length: Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot to Mount Vernon; 18 ½ miles
Difficulty: Moderate. Paved surface, but hilly and rougher along the Southern end. On street biking along one portion.
The trail follows the George Washington Memorial Parkway along its entire route. The Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot is located just north of the Roosevelt Memorial Bridge, while Mount Vernon is at the end of the parkway to the south.
The National Park Service built the Mount Vernon Trail in 1973. It parallels the Potomac River and runs from Mount Vernon (home of George Washington) in the south, through the city of Alexandria (along city streets for part of the way) and up to Theodore Roosevelt Island, across from DC. You can see many Washington landmarks along the route such as the Washington Monument, Capitol, Lincoln Memorial and others or visit many stops along the way such as Lady Bird Johnson Park, Jones Point Lighthouse, Dyke Marsh Preserve or even watch planes taking off from Reagan National Airport. For more information visit; NPS , WASHINGTON BIKE ASSOC. or METRO (for trail access via the metro).
The Mount Vernon Trail is part of the EAST COAST GREENWAY , a planned biking & hiking route stretching 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. When complete it will traverse 15 states with a mostly off-road path.
Starting from Roosevelt Island parking lot; Take the paved trail as it heads south from the parking lot.
Roosevelt Island, use the footbridge. However, no bikes are allowed on the
After a ½ mile, you cross under the Roosevelt
The trail to the right will take you over the Roosevelt Memorial Bridge
and into DC.
After traveling under the bridge, you will
start getting some nice views of Washington
landmarks across the Potomac River. You then travel under the Arlington Memorial Bridge.
At 1 ¼ miles, the trail to the right brings you to Lady Bird Johnson Park
and possibly Arlington National Cemetery, I didn’t get a chance to
check it out.
After 2 miles, spot the Navy and Marine
Memorial on your right. The 3 mile mark brings you to Gravelly Point,
just north of Reagan-Washington National Airport, where you can
watch as planes take off right overhead. As you go by the airport, the
trail forks at 5 miles. Bear right and cross over Four Mile Run alongside
the GW Pkwy.
Left takes you west along the Four Mile Run Trail
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.
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.
At 5 ¾ miles, on your left will be the Washington Sailing Marina.
After 6 ¼ miles you encounter another split in the trail, however, both trails
merge back together further along the trail. The Left trail brings you down
for a more scenic view. The trails merge again as you cross over some railroad
tracks at 7 miles. Another ½ mile brings you alongside a city park. At the end
of the park go left for less street traffic, or you may follow the bike signs to
the right for more active city shops and restaurants. We went left and followed
the bike route signs along the city streets. Very impressive buildings and
architecture along this route. Keep following signs for Mount Vernon
whenever a trail spurs off. Just over a mile, the trail leaves the streets and
then travels alongside the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, turns left
underneath the bridge, then right along South Street and out to the trail where
it runs alongside the GW Parkway again. At the 10 ½ mile mark you
reach Belle Haven Park. Restroom facilities, water fountains and picnic
As you wind a ½ mile through the park, a road to your left will lead down to
the Belle Haven Marina. Down this road on your right is the trailhead for
the Dyke Marsh Preserve.
Continuing along the trail, the surface is a
bit rougher and hilly along the southern end. At 13 miles the trail briefly
follows along a small residential road before it crosses the GW Parkway
over a stone bridge. Look to your left after 15 ½ miles and you will see Fort
Washington Park across the Potomac River. Another ¼ mile takes you
underneath the GW Parkway.
Before you travel under the parkway, to your right is a road that takes you up
to Fort Hunt Park. As you approach the park gate entrance, look to your
left and you’ll see a small path that leads to one of the old concrete
Back on the trail, you reach Riverside Park after 17 ½ miles. After 18 ½ miles you reach the Mount Vernon parking lot. If you have time, you can tour George Washington’s home and grounds. There is a fee. See; MOUNT VERNON .
CLICK HERE FOR MOUNT VERNON TRAIL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR ROOSEVELT ISLAND MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT