Mount Vernon Trail

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Map of the Trail

The Mount Vernon Trail, a part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, is a 17 miles (27 km) paved hiking/cycling path in Northern Virginia that travels between Rosslyn and George Washington's home at Mount Vernon. The trail travels through the easternmost portions of Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, and Fairfax County. It is part of U.S. Bike Route 1.


The Mount Vernon Trail opened in May 1972 as a gravel path.[1] It was later paved and expanded.


The trail's route parallels the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the western bank of the Potomac River. Most of the northern half of the trail is open and has views of the river and of Washington, D.C. The southern 8 miles (13 km) below Alexandria is largely wooded and has only occasional views of the river.

The northern end of the trail is at a parking lot near Theodore Roosevelt Island. The trail travels south near the Potomac River until it turns inland to pass between the Parkway and the west side of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Before reaching the airport, the trail passes through Gravelly Point, where there are often views of airplanes that are taking off and landing. A connecting trail travels through the airport and provides access to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metro Station and the Abingdon Plantation historic site.

The Mount Vernon Trail at Belle Haven

After passing the airport, the trail crosses Four Mile Run and continues south into the Old Town neighborhood of Alexandria, where it travels on city streets. After crossing under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and over Hunting Creek, the trail continues south along the Potomac River, traveling near Belle Haven, the west side of Dyke Marsh and the east side of Fort Hunt Park. The last mile before reaching Mount Vernon is a curving uphill inland climb.

Connecting trails[edit]

The Mount Vernon Trail connects to other area hiker/biker routes including:


Scenes along the Mount Vernon Trail, from south to north:


  1. ^ Eisner, Mary (1972). "She's Winning Bike Battle". Washington Star. Washington, DC. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°42′36″N 77°03′41″W / 38.710008°N 77.061351°W / 38.710008; -77.061351