The Washington, DC area has a great network of off-street trails which are shared by bicyclists, walkers, joggers, and others. Major area trails are listed below.
Shared Mobility Devices (SMDs) on Multi-Use Trails
Rules regarding e-bikes and e-scooters may vary by jurisdiction. Pay attention to signage. In Arlington, riders may use streets, sidewalks or paved trails (not natural trails) unless otherwise banned by signage prohibiting such use. NoVa Parks and the National Park Service specifically allow e-bikes on their trails. We have not seen e-scooters mentioned in their rules, but we have not heard of any enforcement to keep them off.
Anacostia Tributaries Trail System, a link in the national shore-to-shore American Discovery Trail, provides miles of uninterrupted trails along the tributaries of the Anacostia River. The southernmost point of the trail is located at Colmar Manor Community Park in Prince George's County, and trail spurs extend northeasterly and northwesterly from there along beautiful stream valley parkland. The trail system links several neighborhoods to Metro stations. The trail system is open for public use from sunrise to sunset each day.
Capital Crescent Trail. A Rails-To-Trails project that converted the old Georgetown Branch of the B&O Railroad that ran from Georgetown to Silver Spring, MD from a railroad bed to a paved trail with gentle gradients.
Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal National Historical Park. National Park Service site with information about the 184-mile C&O Canal towpath, a great resource for hikers and bicyclists.
Custis Trail (I-66 Trail). Trail runs along I-66 in Arlington County and is protected by noise walls, open 24 hours a day and lit at night.
Four Mile Run Trail in south Arlington follows Four Mile Run, which is the boundary between Arlington and Alexandria. The trail runs east and west, linking the W&OD Trail and the Mt. Vernon Trail.
Henson Creek Trail provides a scenic, recreational route through Henson Creek Stream Valley Park in southern Prince George's County for hiking, biking, jogging, horseback riding, and in-line skating.
Metropolitan Branch Trail is an eight-mile linear park and trail running parallel to Metro’s Red Line from Union Station in DC to Silver Spring, Maryland, connecting to the Capital Crescent Trail.
Mount Vernon Trail. Constructed by the National Park Service in 1973, the 18.5 mile Mount Vernon Trail runs along the Potomac River, parallel to the George Washington Parkway, between Theodore Roosevelt Island and Mount Vernon, VA, connecting to the Custis and Washington & Old Dominion trails.
Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail, Montgomery County. This popular asphalt trail runs from Rock Creek Regional Park in Montgomery County, about 15 miles to the DC boundary.
Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) Trail. This Prince George's County trail runs along the site of the former Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad in two discontinuous segments. One segment is 5.7 miles and runs from Odenton to the Patuxent River. In Prince George's County, the other section of trail stretches 7.4 miles from the Patuxent to State Route 450 in Glen Dale. Ancillary facilities include trail head parking and rest areas with benches, bike racks, and landscaping.
Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail. Owned and operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the W&OD is a 45-mile multi-use rail-trail. Built on the roadbed of the former Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, the W&OD Trail runs through the urban heartland and countryside of Northern Virginia, from Shirlington near I-395 to Purcellville in Loudoun County. Friends of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, enhancement, and promotion of the W&OD Trail.
BikeArlington's Bicycle Facilities – Information about facilities in Arlington, including multi-use trails.