Washington, D.C. is a city with perfect and scenic bike trails that are great for walking, jogging, running, and strolling. The weather is also friendly, making you want to bike here even more. In this article, you will discover that Washington, D.C. does not only offer American history but the best biking trails, too!
We arranged the bike trails from the longest to the easiest and shortest routes so you can choose fairly which Washington D.C. bike trail is the one for you!
Best Washington D.C. Bike Trails based on Length per Mile and Road Type
Chesapeake & Ohio Towpath
Length: 184 miles, Road type: Natural surface
The National Historic Park of The Chesapeake & Ohio Towpath runs along Potomac River, between Cumberland, Maryland and Georgetown. This very long trail is rich in history. Training or biking your way along here will be a very great experience. If you wish to jog, run and bike at the same time, this 184-mile trail is the place to be.
Washington & Old Dominion Trail
Length: 45 miles, Road type: Paved
This unique bike trail alongside a horse trail is a must try in Washington, D.C. Built from the old roadbed of Old Dominion Road and Washington, this trail can be accessed from Roosevelt Island using the Custis Trail. The Washington & Old Dominion trail is popular with commuters from Virginia. But even if it appears to be for the commuters alone, it’s definitely cyclist friendly during the weekends.
Capitol Crescent Trail
Length: 13 miles, Road Type: Paved/Crushed Stones
This trail runs for 7.5 miles from Georgetown to Bethesda to the limestone crushed surface of Rosemary Hills. The Capitol Crescent Trail is one scenic trail that offers a picturesque view of the C&O Canal and its surrounding foliage. You will also find picnic areas along the trail so you can definitely ride with your kids or friends here. Just be more careful as it is a road made of crushed stones — you don’t want to get injured while biking!
Rock Creek Bike Trail
Length: 20 miles, Road type: Paved
The 20-mile Rock Creek Bike trail is perfect if you want a front row view of the Equestrian Center, Candy Cane City playground, and the National Zoo. This trail is a combination of paths through Rock Creek Park that leads to nice and relaxing picnic areas at the end.
The Rock Creek trail is one one of the most biker friendly bike trails in Washington D.C. as the National Park Service closes the road to automobiles on weekends and holidays.
Mount Vernon Trail
Length: 18 miles, Road type: Paved
This short yet scenic trail caters to bikers who want to witness the beauty of Sailing Marinas, Old Town Alexandria, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Fort Hunt Park, and Ronald Reagan National Airport. Starting from Roosevelt Island in Washington D.C, the Mount Vernon Trail ends at George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon Trail runs along the Potomac river.
This trail might not be suited for kids as traffic builds up through Old Town Alexandria, so you might want to take this trail alone or with your adult biking buddies only.
Arlington Triangle Trail
Length: 17 miles, Road type: Paved
For working bikers, this trail that is made up by parts of Washington & Old Dominion and Mt. Vernon trails. The Arlington Triangle Trail has flat roads and scenic views of monuments from across the Potomac River. One can definitely have picnics on their way here through Ballston, Shillington, and Gravelly Point. It’s near the airport and main roads that provide easy access to shops and stores all over the District. It also has trees and bushes along the way, helping you indulge in the perfect D.C weather. You can even tag along with your canine friends here!
Rock Creek Park/Beach Drive Trail
Length: 8.5 miles Road Type: Asphalt, Dirt
As mentioned, D.C trails can be great for joggers and runners as well and this trail is a top off. Be careful during weekends as joggers/runners frequent this trail. Both joggers and bikers love the Rock Creek Park/Beach Drive trail because of its lovely scenery and cool wooden glades. The bridges here will wind your way up to Rock Creek Park from Kennedy Center. But don’t be deceived as this soothing and gorgeous trail can be challenging! There are few hills that will face you along the way so be careful!
Metropolitan Branch Trail
Length: 8 mile Road Type: Paved Asphalt
Also called the Met Branch Trail, the Metropolitan Branch Trail is your easy access to the metro in D.C. This trail has many neighborhoods to explore as you ride from Silver Springs, Maryland all the way to Union Station.
Length: 4 miles Road type: Paved
Custis trail is a connecting trail from Washington & Old Towpath trail to Mt. Vernon Trail. It will bring you across the bridge to downtown D.C. If you want to enhance your pedaling while in Washington but do not have the luxury of time, this trail is a great choice — it’s short, convenient, and challenging at the same time. But do not get stressed out as it’s paved and has lots of trees to keep you cool while riding the short steep climbs!
Almost all Washington D.C. bike trails offer great historic and city views. One cannot go wrong with these D.C. bike trails. Whether you choose the longest or the shortest route, these awesome bike trails will give you the adrenaline rush and historical experience that Washington D.C. is famous for!
Looking for a more adventurous ride? You might want to try bikepacking!