Best Biking and Cycling Trails near Washington, DC

Enjoy long-distance bicycle rides, scenic historic pathways and challenging mountain bike terrain in the Capital Region. 

Bikers along the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia
Roddy Road Covered Bridge, Maryland
Maryland's scenic byways
Rock Creek Park, trail, fall, autumn, DC, national parks, Capital Region
Trail in DC's Rock Creek Park
Cycling Mount Vernon Trail in Virginia
Mount Vernon Trail
Virginia Capital Trail, cycling, bicycle, trail, Virginia, Richmond, Williamsburg, Capital Region, USA
Virginia Capital Trail
Bikers along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Roddy Road Covered Bridge, Maryland
Rock Creek Park, trail, fall, autumn, DC, national parks, Capital Region
Cycling Mount Vernon Trail in Virginia
Virginia Capital Trail, cycling, bicycle, trail, Virginia, Richmond, Williamsburg, Capital Region, USA

Long-distance bicycle rides, scenic historic pathways and challenging mountain bike terrain – the Capital Region has it all.

Mount Vernon Trail

Uninterrupted views of Washington, DC abound on this 18-mile paved, multi-use trail stretching from George Washington’s stately Mount Vernon estate to tranquil Theodore Roosevelt Island. For a longer ride, connect with other regional routes, including the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, Four Mile Run Trail and Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail.

Gambrill State Park Yellow Trail

Featuring steep climbs and rock-strewn sections, the roughly 7-mile trail is a favourite among seasoned cyclists. Admire the beauty of northern Maryland’s Monocacy Valley and unparalleled panoramas of lush Catoctin Mountain Park, which is peppered with mountain laurel, flowering dogwoods and other gorgeous blooms in the springtime.

Virginia Capital Trail

A paved pedestrian and bicycle pathway between past and present capitals Jamestown and Richmond, the 52-mile trail follows Highway 5 as it skirts the historic James River. Points of interest along the way include Historic Jamestown, Revolutionary War battlegrounds and President John Tyler’s Sherwood Forest Plantation.

Blue Ridge Parkway

This 469-mile National Scenic Byway winds through parks and forests, past historic towns and waterfalls, near many museums and wineries, and connects to Virginia’s famously scenic Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Spanning the southern and central Appalachians, the parkway offers prime opportunities to see a wide array of wildflowers in the spring and summer, colourful foliage in fall and spot wildlife like wild turkeys and black bears throughout the year.

Quarter Century Loop

This 25-mile route from Washington, DC to Maryland’s Montgomery County leads road bikers to peaceful pastoral views and offers the perfect mix of uphill ascents and gentle rolling terrain. Connect with the popular Capital Crescent Trail near Bethesda to add variety to your ride.

Washington & Old Dominion Trail

Sometimes called the skinniest park in the state, the Washington & Old Dominion Trail stretches 45 paved miles through northern Virginia, between Shirlington and Purcellville, along the former roadbed of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad. Idyllic nature scenes make for a particularly lovely journey, with plenty of parks dotting the path.

Rock Creek Park Cycling Trails

Escape DC’s urban landscapes in favour of the great outdoors — without actually having to leave the city. A collection of paved multi-use paths and an on-road bike route are beloved by both visitors and residents of the nation’s capital. The roads through the park are closed to vehicles on weekends, making it even easier to enjoy the oasis-like setting.

LOOKING FOR MORE PLACES TO RIDE? Explore these scenic bike trails in Maryland and Virginia and these top mountain trails in the Capital Region!

 

Related: 
Outdoors & Nature
Tours & Trails
Attractions & Family Fun

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