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A Guide to Alexandria Biking

The skinny on the best bike paths around the Alexandria/Mount Vernon area.

<b>1. Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail</b>

One of the newest additions to the region’s bike trail network, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail spans the Potomac River, linking Alexandria’s Mount Vernon Trail with the Potomac Heritage Trail in the Potomac Waterfront Community. “I used to have to ride 13 miles out of my way, all the way into the District, just to reach the Mount Vernon Trail,” said avid cyclist Joseph Robinson of Fort Washington. “Now I can go from my home in Maryland to the bike trails in Alexandria in under 20 minutes.” Along the trail are three “bump-out” balconies where pedestrians and bicyclists can take in the views of Old Town, National Harbor, the District of Columbia and, of course, the Potomac River. The balconies include benches, bike racks, viewing telescopes, and informational displays detailing the history of the region.

<b>2. Mount Vernon Trail</b>

One of the oldest bike trails in the region, the Mount Vernon Trail follows the Potomac River along a nearly 18-mile expanse from Theodore Roosevelt Island to George Washington’s historic country estate. The trail allows cyclists a safe and scenic route through Old Town and along the Alexandria waterfront, with views of the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Memorial, and Gravelly Point Park. “Along the trail, you really get a sense of the beauty, both natural and man-made, of the Washington Area,” said David Struhs, a Memphis, TN, native who comes to D.C. often and considers the trail one of the region’s highlights.

<b>3. Holmes Run and Cameron Run Bike Trails</b>

The Cameron Run Bike trail begins at the Eisenhower Avenue Metrorail Station and continues through Eisenhower Valley along Cameron Run until it reaches Cameron Run Regional Park, at which point it becomes the Holmes Run Trail. The trail offers cyclists and pedestrians access to Ben Brenman Park, Beatley Central Branch Library, and the William Ramsay Recreation Center. The trail also provides visitors the opportunity to experience Alexandria’s natural beauty, with such features as Clermont Natural Park, Brookvalley Park, the Jerome Buddy Ford Nature Center, and Dora Kelly Nature Park. The City of Alexandria is currently conducting a $750,000 project to construct a pedestrian and bicycle crossing of the stream that would link the Holmes Run Trail with bike trails in Fairfax County.

<b>4. Commonwealth Path</b>

The Commonwealth Path is a 1.5-mile on-street pathway that begins at Commonwealth Avenue’s intersection with King Street in Old Town and extends to Four Mile Run. “Since Commonwealth is such a wide avenue,” said Jerry King, president of Bike-Walk Alexandria, “the Commonwealth bike path is one of the oldest and longest on-street bike trails in the city.” The trail offers residents of the Rosemont, Del Ray, and Arlandria neighborhoods easy and safe bicycle access to Old Town and the King Street Metrorail Station.

<b>5. Four Mile Run Trail</b>

The Four Mile Run Trail breaks away from the Mount Vernon Trail just north of the Potomac Yard Shopping Center and continues along Four Mile Run through Arlington County. The Trail allows Alexandria cyclists access to the 45-mile Washington and Old Dominion Trail that extends from Arlington through Vienna, Herndon, Leesburg, and Purcellville.

<b>6. Route 1 Path</b>

Unveiled this year is a new expanse of trail stretching from the Huntington Metrorail Station to the Washington Street Embankment of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, where the trail connects with the Mount Vernon Trail and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail. The path provides pedestrians and cyclists from Old Town safe and easy access to the Huntington Metro Station.

For locations of each bike path, click <a href="http://files.connectionnewspapers.com/PDF/AX bike map.pdf">here</a> to see a trail map that corresponds with the numbers above.