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Providing an important urban link between the Crystal City area of Arlington and the western edge of historical Alexandria, the Potomac Yard Trail is a huge boon to the area for commuting as well as recreation.
Starting in the south, the trail begins outside the Braddock Road Metro station, and heads north parallel to the train tracks and Main Line Boulevard. Here, the paved, tree-lined pathway winds through a quiet residential neighborhood and offers exercise stations along the route.
The trail then follows Potomac Avenue as it heads into the recently developed Potomac Yard Park (2501 Potomac Ave.), which offers basketball and tennis courts, picnicking spots, and a neat interactive fountain. Trail-goers with young children will especially find the park's sprawling playground and sprayground well worth a stop.
The trail continues until it reaches E. Glebe Road, where users can cross Potomac Avenue to reach Potomac Yard Center (3671 Jefferson Davis Hwy.), a large shopping and dining area with a movie theater. Beyond the retail complex, travelers can continue north into Crystal City and connect to the popular Four Mile Run Trail. This section of the trail is temporary and is more like a sidepath, as the shopping center is scheduled for a massive redevelopment project, but a more permanent trail will replace it once that project is complete.
Users can also extend their trip further south by heading east on Braddock Road and crossing to connect to a short trail, which takes you along the tracks to the King Street Metro station. With all of its recreational offerings and connections to area trails, the Potomac Yard Trail is quickly becoming a real asset in this rapidly changing area.
Free—but very limited—parking is available along the street adjacent to Potomac Yard Park (2501 Potomac Ave.) near the north end of the trail. Metered street parking is available near the south end of the trail in Alexandria; be sure to follow any posted parking restrictions. Trail users may also make use of the nearby Braddock Road Metro station, on the Blue and Yellow lines.
To reach the southern trailhead from out of town, take I-495 towards Alexandria. Take exit 177 and get on US 1/S Patrick Street heading north into Alexandria. Turn left onto Wythe Street, then continue onto E. Braddock Road; the trail begins just past the underpass for the train tracks on the right.
This trail is paved and in good condition. Used by cyclists, runners, dog walkers and walkers pretty evenly. Connects Braddock metro and Del Ray to Crystal City. Target, Long Bridge rec center, Mount Vernon trail, and soon the long bridge crossing into DC!
I use this trail when I want to get away from the crowds, and have a nice relaxing ride. The terrain is fairly flat, so easy riding.
Love this trail! It offers a pleasant and easy walk from the Braddock Metro station into a quiet residential neighborhood. We take it up to E. Monroe Avenue, where there's a YMCA, community park, grocery store, and other shops. On this stretch, my young daughter enjoys the playground at E. Glendale Avenue and the exercise stations along the route.
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