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Find the top rated atv trails in Washington, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
We did from Cumberland to DC then from DC back to Cumberland! August 2021 hot as hades in the high 90’s and thunderstorms! Had a blast! Camped the entire way except for 1 day at motel lol needed a shower! Awesome experience with a huge tunnel that we had to walk our bikes through like a mile ! Rode all over the DC area and visited many places ! DC is very bike friendly!
Was not really impressed with this trail, in need of a lot of repairs. Asphalt raised up causing large bumps messing up your bike, old boardwalks with loose boards and splintered wood. Sadly I have to compare it to a “ Park” anywhere! Only able to see the Washington monument from a distance
They allow ebikes as long as one observes the speed limits and rides courteously. Being able to ride to the Mall in DC and back is great exercise too. Path users are courteous and the Pedego Ebike Rental Shop is great when you have guests who want to join you. Bethesda food is a nice reward after the ride too. A favorite trail!
Es un sendero poco transitado, con tramos muy hermosos. Disfrute muchísimos caminarlo.
Tranquilo y sencillo para caminar. El estar junto al río hace muy grata la caminata o paseo en bici.
I live only blocks from this trail and I've been riding it sporadically for over 30 years. But each year, I ride it less often (maybe twice a summer?) and I get more and more frustrated by it. Only yards from the wide Potomac River most of the way, with inspiring views of the DC monuments, a string of lovely parks, and winding wooden boardwalks through the marshes, it really is stunning. The large number of pedestrians, joggers and other bikers on it at any given time is testament to its popularity. But therein lies the danger for bikers, especially: between tourists and others who have no idea of trail courtesy or safety, most rides include lots of screeching halts, unheeded calls of "ON YOUR LEFT!" and frightening encounters around blind turns. Then there are the untold number of root heaves that rattle bike and bones. These are the worst I've seen on any trail in America and make for white-knuckled and jarring rides. This 15-mile trail is so popular and pretty, it should have been widened and repaved by the National Park Service a decade ago. Bikers and walkers alike should be sadly wary of this national treasure.
Parked only to find a trail closed sign and some construction equipment on it. This is the center street end. The park end was blocked due to a long line of cars for a recycle event.
Starting at the south end, it's really quite a nice ride -- a paved surface in fairly reasonable shape, well-marked with a red centerline to help you find your way, winding through a mix of suburban and wooded areas as you make your way upstream.
But between NH Ave and the Beltway the paving ends quite suddenly. Despite the markings on the map, the paving does NOT pick back up again. If you have a pretty serious mountain bike with aggressive tires -- and an interest in wearing yourself out -- you might be able to keep going.
The map says this is a 7 mile trip. That may well be the case for the pavement, but the map then shows the trail goes on up to Wheaton and Layhill. The written description notes it's closed to bikes, but the map seems to suggest otherwise.
Maybe this trail should be broken into two parts to avoid confusion for folks like me! The hiking part is pretty rugged but quite beautiful . . .
The National Central Railroad Trail (aka Torrey C. Brown Tail) runs north-south and connects Hunt Valley, Maryland with York, Pennsylvania. It is approximately 45 miles in length and the terrain is completely flat. Once in Pennsylvania, the trail becomes the Heritage Rail Trail County Park. The NCR runs next to the Big Gunpowder Falls River and there are a fair number of rest stops with bathroom facilities, as well as benches and picnic tables, along the way.
There are numerous places to enjoy the river’s beautiful views and the sounds of rushing water. If you are hungry and want to stop, there are cafés in Monkton, MD, New Freedom and Glen Rock, Pa. Trail highlights include the Howard Tunnel, the NCR Train (a real old-timey train that follows the same route that carried President Lincoln to Gettysburg where he delivered his address) and smaller two-person rail cars on the tracks. Additionally, there are bridges, beautiful corn and wheat fields and mile after mile of actual active railroad tracks. And, at the 11-mile mark north from Hunt Valley, there is Gnome Hill, a 10-foot high hill with hundreds of garden gnomes to check out. There is also a water and snack station at Gnome Hill. (Just watch out for deer crossing there.)
The trail is very well shaded and consists of a mix of crushed limestone and hard dirt. Even on 90-degree days, the temperature on the trial is extremely tolerable. Once you cross into Pennsylvania and approach York, there are large sections that are paved. The trail can be accessed from several locations with parking lots in Hunt Valley, Sparks, Monkton, Parkton, New Freedom and elsewhere. Foot traffic can be heavy on the weekends particularly between Hunt Valley and Sparks, and again North of Monkton for two miles.
There is a popular brewery not far from the trail in Parkton, MD.
The Baltimore and Annapolis Trail plus the BWI Trail are two distinct trails that connect at the northwestern trailhead of the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail via the John Overstreet Connector. So, back and forth to Annapolis is about 28 miles, then the loop around the Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshal airport is another 10.5 miles.
We headed southeast on the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail, first alongside a runway (the parking lot is actually called the Thomas A. Dixon Observation Park) and then into the woods. For the next mile or so, we zigzagged through the forest until we came to a road sign that required us to stop and read it carefully. After crossing a highway bridge, we rode for the next 13 miles through a variety of settings.
There were many picturesque parts of the gently rolling trail: split-rail wooden fences along mowed grass aprons and large “mounds” of vine-covered trees. In many areas, the trail ran along the edges of well-kept neighborhoods where there were frequent, but not busy, intersections. Almost imperceptibly, the trail declined towards Annapolis – a fact we were only made aware of as we climbed back towards BWI. At about the 10-mile mark, we saw many bikers and runners stopped at a popular trailside coffee shop in Severna Park. This is the most convenient place to fill up on water or snacks. Next to it was an enormous pile of discarded bikes behind Pedal Pushers bike store.
After a few more miles of the quiet, mostly shaded trail, we reached the Annapolis trailhead then turned around. Thirteen or so miles later, we arrived back at the Observation Park and forced ourselves to do the BWI loop. Surprisingly, the BWI trail was NOT a tour of parking lots, airport hangars and shade-less runways. It was actually pretty in many spots and had an interesting array of vistas ranging from forests, to horse pastures, to overlooks of the airport, to neighborhoods, to highways. This is a very popular loop and one local biker told us that there were too many pedestrians to ride on the weekends.
Ireland’s most famous brewery has its only US brewery near BWI and it is both massive and a ton of fun.
Starting at Nats Park (home of the Washington Nationals), we crossed the South Capitol Street bridge via a single-lane sidewalk with high railings on both sides. (This has now been replaced by a brand spanking new bridge with white arches that can be seen throughout the city.) On the southwest side of the Anacostia River, we encountered a surprisingly pastoral riverside trail that winds past playgrounds, basketball courts and a large outdoor roller-skating pavilion on the right. On the left, we could see boats motoring past the Navy Yard high rises and riverfront cafes, then further down, small marinas tucked into the wooded shoreline. Traffic on the trail was (and is always) very light with a few walkers, a few bikers and occasionally, a few fishermen hauling their tackleboxes, fishing rods and folding chairs to the water’s edge.
The trail meanders for about five miles before the exit to Benning Road which leads back to the Navy Yard on the opposite side of the river. But we recommend continuing on the trail for another five miles through lush forests and open marshlands, along quiet “country” roads (which are surprising in Washington, DC), past neighborhoods and athletic fields, and over wooden pathways that hug the shoreline. Our turnaround point was at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park, maybe two miles over the Maryland state line. There is a water bottle filling station and restroom there – along with a Dinosaur Walk. (Who knew?)
We returned to Benning Road to cross over the river and to pick up the trail, now on the northeast side of the Anacostia River. The return ride is visually interesting, but confusing. Rule of thumb: bear left whenever presented with a choice.
Navigating the Navy Yard area can be a bit challenging as residents and tourists crowd the outdoor cafes and spill out onto the expansive promenade. This wide swath of concrete and wood extends from the base of the Naval facility to Nats Park, an approximately half-mile stroll or slow, careful bike ride, past a very popular brewery.
This is our home trail, so this ride was probably our 1,000th. Starting very close to Washington, DC in Arlington, VA, the 44-mile W&OD began with a series of short hills. For about five miles, we rode through wooded neighborhoods bordered by high retainer walls that shielded us from traffic on Route 66. There are a few intersections in the town of Falls Church, but the trail has recently been widened and a few pedestrian bridges have been added. There is almost always a significant amount of traffic on this trail; weekend rides can be frustrating slogs around families with strollers, dogwalkers and children testing their training wheels.
Vienna (with one brewery steps from the trail) was the next town we passed through as we followed the soft buzz of the overhead power lines. Over the years, more and more townhouse communities have sprung up alongside the trail, but still, we frequently see deer grazing fearlessly alongside the trail, and today, we saw a fat gopher, a rabbit, and a black snake.
Next, we pedaled through Reston and along Northern Virginia’s high-tech corridor. During this segment of the trail, we passed the first of three golf courses and two ice skating rinks. A few placid miles later, we crossed through the town of Herndon where one of several good bike shops abut the trail. Things began to look decidedly rural as the trail approached Ashburn, where it traversed broad open fields and passed by a huge stone quarry. The ride through Ashburn was pleasant and traffic definitely decreased the further west we rode, but the prettiest and most peaceful part of the trail began when we passed Leesburg. Leesburg is a very cute and historic town with several breweries, and outside of town, a number of fun wineries.
The remaining 13 miles of the trail were rolling and predominately shaded with occasional barns and farmhouses visible through the trees. Alongside the trail is a 32-mile crushed gravel equestrian trail, and it is on this end of the W&OD where the rare horseback rider is likely to be seen. The trail ends on the edge of the town of Purcellville, where there are restrooms, a bakery that sells bottles of water, a very good restaurant, and more good breweries. (Actually, there are 21 breweries within two blocks of the trail which has to be some kind of record!)
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