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Find the top rated mountain biking trails in District of Columbia, whether you're looking for an easy short mountain biking trail or a long mountain biking trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a mountain biking trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
Overview Following the Potomac River, the C&O Canal Towpath traverses the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park for 184.2 miles between Cumberland, Maryland, and the Georgetown...
|Brick, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt
Note: This developing route is not yet fully contiguous – it is just over 50% complete. Please refer to the Trail Map for more information on the existing sections of trail, as well as the online...
|DC, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, MT, NE, OH, PA, WA, WV, WY
|Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
Washington, D.C.'s Fort Circle Park Hiker-Biker Trail links some of the District's dozens of Civil War era forts (now national parks) that were built to defend the city from attack by the southern...
The trail is great starting at Cumberland. Pretty smooth and scenic. Not very far in there were quite a few detours as the trail was damaged in many places. I wish there had been more amenities along the trail. The last 40 miles into DC were surprisingly bad, with muddy rough conditions and detours. The trip was memorable and challenging and we were proud to raise money for theplummerhome.org for homeless veterans.
Day1: DC to Williamsport. Day 2: Williamsport to Cumberland. This was an amazing ride with beautiful fall scenery. Trail was well maintained and easy to navigate. It was mostly hard parked gravel with lots of historical sites and great views. Paw Paw tunnel was open. The trail thru tunnel is uneven and wet. Met some great people along the trail. I’ll definitely ride the trail again in the summer.
We took the Amtrak bike train to DC. Had to switch trains in Philly. Between Harrisburg and Philly we had to remove the front wheel and hang the bike. From Philly to DC they were stored in the baggage car and didn't require tire removal. The ride through DC was fantastic and much easier than we expected. The trail got a little confusing to get out of town but once we did we found the trail in much better condition then we expected. We stayed along the way in a hotel and a lock house. My favorite part was the area around the pawpaw tunnel but the trail was in very poor condition in spots. At one point when I tried to go my rear wheel would just spin and the bike wouldn't move. Very mucky and muddy. I'm sure it all depends on the amount of rain they had recently. It completed the ride from Pittsburgh to DC for me. I had ridden the GAP trail about 6 years prior. The only reason I didn't give it a five star rating is because of the mud in some areas. Overall it was great.
We rode a 10 mile section of trail north of the Williamsport visitors center. Sunny day, high 60’s. It was the day after a 30 minute rain storm. Trees were in full bloom. Why 2 stars when it could be a 5? The trail needs a good layer of hard packed stone. Any rain will turn many spots into mud, as we encountered. The trail rides along the Potomac River. You could just about see otherwise the trail is under cover. To make it a 5, make sure the trail has dried out and the leaves have not bloomed or the have already dropped. It would sure be a 5.
If you are a history buff, esp. of the civil war, this trail is a must, and I highly recommend making Antietam Battlefield part of your trail ride. The surface is bumpy in spots, but overall, a very enjoyable ride and something to be experienced, esp. seeing Washington DC magically appear at the end of a long journey from Cumberland, MD to DC. Favorite spots were the boardwalks bordering the Potomac River and Harper's Ferry, be sure to stop at HF see the surrounding start of the Shenandoah Valley and Harper's Ferry from the bridge connecting the trail to HF.
The trail is more like 8 miles one-way from Takoma Park to Union Station. The on-street portions are poorly marked, so expect to wander a bit. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to find your way around town. Lettered streets are East-West, numbered North-South, state names are diagonal avenues.
Found this trail geocaching. It’s paved and beautiful view of a part of the city I had not seen.
There’s a really nicely developed parking area with facilities and a full museum of the C & O canal in Williamsport, Just south of Hagerstown. The trail is fairly wide and well maintained . However, it is secluded and sparsely populated so if you’re not comfortable with that take note.
Nice trail with a variety of parks and rivers and bridges and lakes. Visiting the Aquatic Park and Gardens was a real treat. It's right off the trail. Weekends can be a bit crowded and the trail is narrow but it a must do. Markers guide you along the way, there's lots of separate intersecting trails.
For scenic views and a step back in time this trail is a must. It's muddy, especially right after rain. We avoid our e-bike on this trail due to the mud, but it's mainly flat. Paw paw tunnel is a must see, but it's nothing out there along the way. Harpers Ferry is gorgeous and historic. Bring your Bug Guard you'll need it. And your swim tube.
Surprised to see this amazing trail that has great bed and breakfasts along it is not noted as part of the Great American Rail Trail. It sure would help demonstrate more GART completion if it was.
I have done the C&O/GAP trip 4 or 5 times now and loved it every time. everyone is friendly and on the C&O you can go as little or as far as you want per day. Camping areas every 10 miles so you cant get yourself stuck.
I love the GAP but prefer the C&O because its more of a trail vs just spinning away road ridding like always. Much of the C&O feels like you are in the woods away from things but without ever really being far should you need help. its the perfect amount of "adventure" for normal people.
Don't over pack, towns and stops all along the trial. Its flat so its easy to over do it.... but once you hit the PawPaw detour you will question if you really needed the laptop, espresso machine, and mini fridge :)
Test ride your bikes loaded, make sure its still fun to ride and remove the silly stuff you really don't need.
Bring/try and keep 3 water bottles full in case a pump or two is out, and drink more than you think you need to
bring snacks and eat more than you think you need to
ride a bike with around 38c-50c (1.5"-2") tires and do not pump them up to the max pressure listed on the sidewalls. that number on the side of the tire is the maximum and not even close to ideal pressure (google tire pressures for dirt roads on bikes), not a rule, you can totally go with thinner tires, I had no problem with my 32c tires last time but it is far more comfortable with a bit more rubber between you and the trail especially if you don't ride all the time.
Makes me sad when I see people complain about the C&O trail surface, thats why I go.... We have millions of miles of road to ride starting at our doorsteps why make more. Just use the proper tire and pressure for a TRAIL and your golden.
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