Tourism: Mount Vernon Trail

my bike alongside the mt. vernon trail

I am the proud owner of a Suede by Giant Coasting bike (pictured above, sitting along the trail). It’s delicious. It’s Carolina blue (yay!), and has a pretty little wicker basket on the front, and a tiny bell on the handles so I don’t have to yell “on your left!” constantly. Coasting bikes have automatic bike gear shifts made by Shimano, and the coasting gears are kind of like an automatic transmission for your car. Three gears, and the bike will shift for you, according to your speed. Pretty back-to-basics, re-learning how to ride, type bike. And let’s be real, I’m not a super cyclist, I’m just a coaster (see, it works doesn’t it! Coasting bike, coaster, you get it.) and I just piddle around on my pretty blue bike and take pictures.

So obviously, living in Arlington, I was naturally drawn to the Mount Vernon Trail. With three gears, I can’t be climbing up the Custis Trail to the W&OD, so I head on down to the Mount Vernon Trail for all my off-road riding. It’s one of the things I miss the most about spring and summer, and even fall, is going on my bike down the trail.

The Mount Vernon Trail is a must-see for any DC resident or tourist. It travels through some pretty crucial DC tourism spots.

Mount Vernon Trail

Mount Vernon Trail, from

Going all the way down to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, you start in Rosslyn right near Roosevelt Island, and head down through Old Town Alexandria into pretty rural riding to Mount Vernon. You skirt the Potomac, passing by all kinds of gorgeous views of the city, Gravelly Point, and the Old Town waterfront. I love water, all things having to do with being on or around or in water, so the Mount Vernon Trail is like heaven!

Mount Vernon Trail

So, when spring does roll around, I suggest you plan a visit to the trail. And actually, as of right now, I enjoy winter running, so it’s perfect to head outside on one of these freak 65 degree days we’ve been having and pound the trail for a while. But when spring does roll around, I’d suggest definitley putting the Mount Vernon Trail on the top of your to-do list. has maps, photos, user reviews and driving directions, just for your trip-planning pleasure.

Map from, and photos courtesy of flickr user needlessspaces.

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

2 thoughts on “Tourism: Mount Vernon Trail

  1. Awesome! I have a Trek Lime coaster that I use for errands around my house. With cute basket and bell! Also…I use the Mt Vernon trail for commuting in spring/summer/autumn, and the high point of the day is coming around Gravelly Point to see the river spread in front of me. It’s a great morning treat.

    I want to go for a ride now!

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