Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Favorite Rides: Visiting George on the MVT (Part III)

The last ride I will tell you about is the Mount Vernon Trail.  This trail starts at Roosevelt Island, near the base of Rosslyn, and follows the George Washington Parkway south to Mt. Vernon.  It is a very popular, relatively flat trail with many delightful features.  It can be crowded and a little narrow, and is frequented by visitors who do not necessarily know trail etiquette, so prudence and caution is called for (as always).  The trail follows along the Potomac in Washington where you can see kids on their crew boats, cranes standing near the river shore, and the occasional bald eagle.  The trail then winds south around the airport, where many folk like to sit in Graverly Point and watch the planes take off.  South of the river, the trail goes through the Washington Sailing Marina, where portions of the trail become boardwalks winding through wetlands.  From here the trail enters Old Town Alexandria, a marvelous destination for lunch (be careful that stop signs are strongly enforced along the bicycle route).  South of Alexandria, the trial goes under the Wilson Bridge and into Jones Point Park.  From here you get the feeling of leaving the city, as the trail winds through nature, wandering through the Belle Haven Sailing Marina, the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, and Fort Hunt.  In time, off in the distance, you will see your destination, the home of our First President, Mt. Vernon.  In total, the distance from Roosevelt Island to Mt. Vernon is approximately 17.5 miles.  The more adventuresome can continue along a series of bike lanes and paths to scenic Mason Neck State Park.  Bike Washington has an excellent guide to cycling on the Mt. Vernon Trail.

WABA has a collection of trail maps and guides.  Three local touring clubs are Potomac Pedalers, DC Randonneurs, and the Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club.

1 comment:

  1. MVT is great, but in fairness, I've never seen stop sign ticketing for cyclists there and almost everyone does the Idaho stop. Perhaps down by Union Street, but elsewhere, the cops seem preoccupied with other stuff.