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Find the top rated atv trails in District of Columbia, 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.
Most of the recent reviews are spot on. If you are used to crushed limestone or asphalt the bulk of this trail is bumpy and full of exposed rocks, ruts and tree roots. The downside is you have to keep your eyes front and center most of the time. The Paw Paw Tunnel detour is a real challenge. I only had two panniers that were not full and it was a struggle. Can’t imagine how the fully loaded bike packers did it. (But I’ve also not done any mtb, so that could affect how easy/hard it was.) But the amount of history and really cool places to stop and explore make it worth it. Beautiful aqueducts and lock houses as w.landmarks makes up fo me the trail conditions.
The Paw Paw detour due to the tunnel being closed which with talking to the construction crew, will remain closed for another 18 months (Spring ’23) but when reopened, it will have a new riding surface.
The marked detour is not like any other that I have ever experienced on a trail which normally is a divert to local roads until you can rejoin the trail. Eastbound is best described as a mountain bike trail which is narrow in sections and at a 10 to 15 percent grade with exposed roots, rock gardens (rocks vertically embedded in the trail surface) and other obstacles. With a bike loaded down with gear, it is extremely strenuous to make it to the top and over the tunnel. Just pushing your bike up and over East bound is a challenge also.
Westbound is a trail that is a large enough for a vehicle but also has 10 to 15 percent grades but has a loose surface for a majority of it.
From Cumberland to Paw Paw, the trail is need of maintenance as there is numerous hazards to include mud holes that are deep (10” to 12”), segments of large branches and this time of the year with leaves falling, they hide some of the obstacles. You must keep your eyes on the trail and not sightsee for this section of C&O.
Also, confirm your dining options along the trail as even if sites on the internet say they will be open during your visit, you may be disappointed and going hungry due to the lack of staffing.
The rest of the trail is in great condition to DC and be aware as you approach the Capitol and it is on a weekend that there will be plenty of trail traffic as they enjoy this gem in their backyard!
My aunt and I took a quick walk on this path. It’s a peaceful walk on a paved path with a burbling creek nearby. A lovely step into nature in the Cleveland Park area.
I completed this ride the first week of September, cycling from Cumberland to DC the day after Hurricane Ida passed through. The first time I have done a multi-day ride. Took the Amtrak to Cumberland with my bike and stayed at 9 Decatur (recommended). The trail was in good shape. A couple of additional puddles from the rain but very rideable. I had a great time. Four days and three nights. Rode 50/50/50 and 30 miles. Camping worked out very well at the hiker/biker sites. The only major hitch was the Pawpaw tunnel had just closed and taking a bike loaded with gear up and over is quite a slog. Hopefully some entrepreneurial locals have come up with some drive around alternatives. Unless you are a purist I recommend taking advantage if they have.
Don't expect stunning vistas but settle in to a rhythm and enjoy the history and it is a meditative and fulfilling experience.
Thanks to all the park staff who keep the park in such great shape.
We just did the entire trail from Cumberland to DC and it was awesome. Lots of cool tunnels and good bike riding when dry. We had one wet day and trail got pretty muddy near Cumberland. Interesting history along the way. This is a must do bike trail.
Nice trail, easy. worth the drive
My wife and I enjoy this well-maintained trail almost every weekend when the weather is nice. We like to drop onto the trail at different points along its 180+ mile length for variety—it’s absolutely beautiful with nature around every turn, mixed with lots of history. We recommend heading down to the Potomac River on one of the many paths to enjoy the scenery when you need a break.
Rode the trail from Harpers Ferry to Locke 8 on Tuesday, April 13th. Be aware that just east of Brunswick is a detour that crosses an ancillary canal that proved to be impassable and resulted in a 10-mile plus to detour, over road with little shoulder and hilly. Another cyclist said the area was passable as recently as the Sunday prior (4/11).
wonderful trip across America
This trail If you start in Silver Spring is a total of 11 miles one way. We started our bike ride in Bethesda. The trailhead in Bethesda is right outside the Capital Crescent Garage (31). It is free on weekends and holidays. There is a separate elevator for folks with bikes. We parked on level G2 right by the elevators, easy to get in and out of the elevator. Once you exit the garage, the trail will be right in front of you. From this point, it is 7 miles to get to the Georgetown Waterfront Park. This trail also runs parallel to the C & O canal towpath. There are breaks in the trail, so you can easily go back and forth between the two trails. A lot of people walking on the trail, so be careful if you’re bicycling. From the park if you go up Wisconsin Ave, you’ll find bike racks where you can lock up your bike. We knew we wanted to walk around Georgetown, so we brought locks with us. We took some time to window shop and eat. If you want a great cupcake, go to Sprinkles. Their cupcakes are delicious and better than Georgetown Cupcakes. The ride to Georgetown was downhill and easy. The ride back was harder because it was uphill. If you’re only doing the trail and you’re riding at a steady pace, it should take you 2 hours to complete. Round trip from Bethesda to Georgetown and back was ~15 miles. I wouldn’t recommend doing the trail from Silver Spring, there’s construction at the moment and they have a detour in place. Overall beautiful ride, great for adults and kids. Plenty to see and do!
A great trail and a best kept secret (well, not anymore)! This trail also gets 5 stars because it’s minutes from me and the scenery is great. The inclines definitely make for good exercise! South PG gets a bad rap but they’re so many great scenic walks here!
Much better over the weekend when you go on beach drive with new pavement!
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