Biking and Jogging Trails

Take to the pavement on one of these Northern Virginia biking and jogging trails for your next adventure.

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Updated: March 2020

Arlington

Martha Custis Trail
A popular bicycle commuter trail, Martha Custis runs through Arlington parallel to Interstate 66. Connecting the W&OD trail to downtown Washington, it runs directly to the Key Bridge and connects to the Mount Vernon Trail, accessible to other entrances to the District. Housing a few moderate climbs and winding turns, it is not recommended for beginner-level riders. // Lee Highway and Lynn Street, Rosslyn

Alexandria

Alexandria Heritage Trail
This 23-mile trail through historic Old Town Alexandria takes the rider past much of the town’s historic landmarks. As part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, the trek is detailed in Pamela Cressey’s “Walk and Bike the Alexandria Heritage Trail: A Guide to Exploring a Virginia Town’s Hidden Past.” This guide is available at several bike rental shops throughout the city. For those seeking professional tips, bike tours are offered twice a year. While there are a few steep hills, the trail’s largest challenge is its urban setting, as traffic can pose a danger. Portions of the trail are off-road, though the entire trail is paved and well designated, with sidewalks offering a respite at the more challenging portions. // 1323 Duke St., Alexandria

Fairfax

Burke Lake Park
A relatively flat 4.7-mile loop gravel trail circles Burke Lake and the bays jutting out from it, welcoming walkers, runners and bikers alike. The American Hiking Society’s trail specialists rated it one of the 10 best metropolitan area fitness trails in the nation. // 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station

Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail
A 40-mile-long trail connects the entire county from one end to the other, beginning at Great Falls Park and extending south to the Occoquan River. Rich with stream valleys, this trail provides an organic experience in that it’s maintained but not groomed, so bikers and runners can expect to find snow, mud and stone in places. Described as an “Appalachian Trail-like experience” on the county website, it is open to hikers, joggers, equestrians, strollers and neighborhood dog walkers alike. Accessible to the Vienna and Franconia/Springfield Metros by connector trails, as well as linked to the W&OD Trail, it provides an all-encompassing countywide experience. Highlights include the Sugarland Run and Cub Run Trails. // entry locations vary

Difficult Run Stream Valley Trail
A flat but lengthy trail, Difficult Run travels 12 miles from Glade Drive in Reston to Great Falls National Park. Good for beginning to intermediate riders, it is a mix of single-track tails and dirt pathways that requite several crossings. // 8801 Georgetown Pike, McLean

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (Big Rocky Run Stream Valley Trail)
Walkers and joggers can enjoy approximately 4 miles of trails through upland and bottomland forest, as well as meadows with extensive views of wildlife. Bicycles are permitted on Walney Road and Big Rocky Run Stream Valley Trails, with the latter offering a paved 2-mile path ending at the Fairfax County Parkway. // 5040 Walney Road, Chantilly

Fountainhead Regional Park
A nearly 8-mile mountain bike path is open, weather permitting, to bikers only. A fairly difficult course, it follows a series of cascading loops and is recommended for intermediate to advanced bikers. Separate trails include a 17.5-mile course for hikers and joggers from Fountainhead to Bull Run Park and a looping 2-mile horse trail, separate but at times overlapping. // 10875 Hampton Road, Fairfax Station

Great Falls National Park
A segment of the George Washington Memorial Parkway trail, Great Falls National Park is made up of 15 miles of hiking and running trails, five of which are shared with bikers and equestrians. These trails offer something for bikers of any level of experience. While the Ridge Trail is fairly steep and difficult, the others are mostly flat with level terrain. A National and Virginia Historic Landmark, the park offers gorgeous views of the falls and Potomac River. // 9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean

Lake Accotink Park
A relatively flat biking and jogging trail circles Lake Accotink, with offshoots that include a 2.5-mile gravel path along Accotink Creek, as well as a 5-mile gravel trail connecting to Wakefield Park in Annandale. // 7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield

Mason Neck State Park
A Virginia State Park, Mason Neck has 3 miles of unpaved hiking trails open to runners and 4 miles of multi-use paved trails for all. The paths are all considered easy except for the Eagle Spur Trail, which is moderately difficult given its longer distance and greater number of hills. Bike trails also connect it to Pohick Bay Regional Park. No horses allowed. // 7301 High Point Road, Lorton

Pohick Bay Regional Park
Although bicycles are permitted only on the 4-mile trail connecting the park to Mason Neck State Park, joggers can find a series of trails totaling 7 miles with some of the most difficult terrain in the county. Featuring steep and uneven trails, Pohick Bay’s runners can expect a challenge amid views of wildlife including bluebird boxes. Four miles of trails are reserved for equestrians as well. // 7550 Reservation Drive, Springfield

Riverbend Park
Riverbend contains 10 miles of unpaved multi-use trails open to hikers, jogger, bikers and equestrians, although certain portions are closed to bikers. The park’s terrain is relatively flat; small hills are wide and well-marked. Also contains a segment of the Potomac Heritage Trail, as well as a path downriver connecting it to Great Falls National Park. // 7550 Reservation Drive, Springfield

Fauquier

Town of Remington
The town of Remington now offers four marked biking routes, all rich with historical sites. See Civil War battlefields on the 11.7-mile Civil War Loop and a vast display of architecture on the 10-mile Tinpot Turn. The 28-mile Bealeton Loop winds around historic Elk Marsh, and the Mountain View trail traverses 23.2 miles around the Rappahannock and Hazel Rivers. // entry locations vary

Loudoun

Franklin Park
Popular with high school cross-country teams, the park has two perimeter trails totaling around 3.5 miles. While the inner trail is used primarily by equestrians, the outer is open to bikers, joggers and walkers. Terrain is hilly and recommended for intermediate runners and bikers. // 17501 Franklin Park Drive, Purcellville

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
Designated as a National Recreation Trail, the trail in its entirety runs 830 miles from the Northern Virginia region to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Fifteen miles of the trail run from Seneca Rocks on the Fairfax County border to Keep Loudoun Beautiful Park on Goose Creek. // entry locations vary

Prince William

Prince William Forest Park
This national park offers over 12 miles of paved roads and 9.2 miles of gravel roads for bikers of all levers. Three miles of Scenic Drive are a dedicated bike lane that’s relatively flat and recommended for beginners or families. More experienced mountain bikers can use any of the park’s 10 fire roads for off-road biking. Bike maps are available at the visitors center. // 8100 Park Headquarters Road, Triangle

Cross-County Trails

Mount Vernon Trail
Just over 18 miles long, the trail runs alongside the Potomac River from Mount Vernon to Theodore Roosevelt Island in Rosslyn. This local favorite offers views of Old Town Alexandria, the Navy Marine Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. Entirely paved and fairly flat, there are few large challenges; only one large climb exists near Mount Vernon. Other views include the Washington Skyline, Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Grove and Gravelly Point. // entry locations vary

Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park
Prominently seen throughout Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington Counties, the W&OD trail traverses the region in a 45-mile route from Purcellville to Shirlington. Built on the roadbed of the former W&OD Railroad, it welcomes walkers, joggers and bikers and includes an adjacent 33-mile gravel bridle path for equestrians. Accessible to the East Falls Church Metro station, it also connects to the Custis and Mount Vernon Trails. // entry locations vary

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