Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail

Maryland, Virginia

14 Reviews

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Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail Facts

States: Maryland, Virginia
Counties: Alexandria, Prince Georges
Length: 3.3 miles
Trail end points: Richmond Highway and Fort Hunt Rd. (Alexandria, VA) and National Harbor Blvd. (Oxon Hill, MD)
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6417582

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail Description

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail provides a superb link between Alexandria, VA, and Maryland's National Harbor over the Potomac River. This well-used trail crosses on the up-river side of the bridge and the concrete path is wide enough to accommodate many users. There are stations ("bump-outs") with viewing scopes along the drawbridge, and a high, plexiglass wall on a portion of the trail provides a noise barrier from the heavy traffic.

A nicely developed and landscaped park has been created on the flyover, which takes you across I-495. There are benches and some interesting pavers with carved glyphs of the fish species found in the Potomac River. At National Harbor, you'll find plenty of shops, restaurants, harbor entertainment during summer and the striking Gaylord Resort. It's marvelous atrium makes for a nice visit.

On the Virginia side the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail meets up with the Mount Vernon Trail at the George Washington Parkway/Rt. 400.

Cyclists note the 10-MPH speed limit on the trail, which is also a good idea because of the bridge's many steel joints that can damage bike tires and rims at high speeds. Also, because the trail is heavily used by many pedestrians, cyclists should slow down and give way to slower traffic.

The trail is closed between midnight and 5:30 a.m. In addition, it's a drawbridge and may open periodically, so pay attention to warning lights and bells.

Parking and Trail Access

Access the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail in Alexandria along the George Washington Parkway just south of Church Street. Parking is available in Old Town Alexandria in various paid lots and garages. You will have to walk or cycle to the bridge; you can use the Mount Vernon Trail.

To get to National Harbor on the Maryland side of the trail, follow the signs to National Harbor from I-495/95 and I-295 (from DC). Paid parking is available at the harbor but it gets crowded in summer. The path begins along the water toward the bridge and starts out as crushed shells for a short distance.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail Reviews

I enjoyed the walk across the bridge. There are some inclines for a bit of challenge.

I enjoyed the walk across the bridge. There are some inclines for a bit of challenge.

feel the fear and do it anyway - lost in Delaware or Maryland

I must admit, I went up to the Virginia/DC area excited to ride the trails. I thought I was going North on the mt vernon trail. I asked the park workers how I got to the bridge, and they pointed me upwards. The bridge was the subject of the show modern marvels of engineering. I got a little bit of Vertigo looking down over the edge. It was much easier coming back on it the second time. Huge bridge. ..giant steel trusses, it just didnt take me to DC, where I thought I was going. I cycled to the national harbor and got two bottles of water from the CVS, and a fruit smoothie from a local deli.

1st Time Novice Trail Walker

First of all its worth parking at the outlets rather than paying for parking at the harbor. The trail was a nice walk and well travelled at 6:45AM. The hardest part was the last 1/4 mile up the hill back to the outlet parking. Love the park just above 495 and the bump out in the middle of the bridge. It connects right to other trails on the VA side which I will challenge next week on my bike. Many people wore headphones, which I caution against on the bridge itself simply because of the noise and the danger of cyclists. But the sound barrier is up for most of the VA end of the bridge which makes it a much quierter experience.

First Bike Ride

This is a very nice bridge with a comfortable friendly atmosphere. Yesterday was my first time on the bike trail and it was a beautiful site. I'll definitely be back!

Accordion

Great View

This trail offers beginners a challenge that is not too great. In all seasons this trail is convenient and welcoming. The sights are yours to enjoy and relish. Bring your binoculars.

Can you use the trail at night? Or during th of July to have a good view?

Potomac River Walk

Simply Spectacular!!!Worth the price of admission..... FREE!!!......BRAVO!

Awesome trail! This has got to be my favorite so far. I loved the spur that went to the National Harbor. I took this over then picked up the Mount Vernon Trail. I only did the south end of the Mount Vernon trail. I will go back and finish it very soon. Beautiful veiws, so worth the 1 hour and 15 minute drive to get there.

osborn2ride

I just do not give out five stars but if I did this trail would get one. Mile for mile it is the very best trail I have done. It is a bit of a work out as there is a steep climb from ether end. You have a great view of D.C. as you look up the Potomac Rive. You will need sun screen as there is no shade at all. I was on my old Mt bike and was glad as I needed the extra gears and the bigger tire helped with the many joints. Even with the steep grade this is still a family friendly trail. Like one other reviewer stated this trail is longer then is posted 1.1 miles, just the bridge it self is 6,236 ft long.

This is a nice short trail that gives you a good leg workout. From the VA side, there's a steep climb to the center of the bridge. The views along the bridge and from above the Wilson bridge are beautiful! Then down hill to the National Harbor. Overall a nice scenic ride. KJ

Distance Accuracy

Great trail though I question the official distance. Look at the map and use the scale to measure across in 2000' incremants and 1 mile puts you about at the Maryland end of the bridge and the trail continues for much more than .1 miles.

Great short ride!

This is a terrific ride if you don't have alot of time, but want a nice ride with amazing views of Washington DC and Alexandria, Va. It's all up and down the a hill, but worth it, there are scenic rest stops on the bridge, and an amazing little park that spans over 495 with gorgeous views of the Potomac. You might even spot George, the local American Bald Eagle that resides along the river. You can also bike a little further on and hit the Washington National Harbor. Be warned it is entirely in the sun so wear sunscreen.

Finally!

It's great to have this project finally completed! Now a resident of DC can make a nice, 20 something mile loop through the streets and off road trails of the east side of the district, across the bridge, and back up the Mt. Vernon trail.

It's also a good way to avoid trafficky areas all together by just taking the Mt. Vernon trail to the bridge and then crossing to the less-travelled roads of Oxon Hill and southward for some good country riding (without driving way out into the Virginia countryside).

My only complaint about the bridge path, which probably isn't as much of a problem if you actually stick to the 10 mph speed limit, is that some of the metal bridge gaps are very hard on skinny tire bikes. The bumps can be jarring and possibly even cause flats or dents to you rim. You have to either jump them or take them very slowly (which is difficult since some are on downhill sections). It seems that with kind of expenditure that was made for this wonderful bike lane there would be a way to make these gaps more biker friendly - even some kind of rubber attachment.

Finally!

It's great to have this project finally completed! Now a resident of DC can make a nice, 20 something mile loop through the streets and off road trails of the east side of the district, across the bridge, and back up the Mt. Vernon trail.

It's also a good way to avoid trafficky areas all together by just taking the Mt. Vernon trail to the bridge and then crossing to the less-travelled roads of Oxon Hill and southward for some good country riding (without driving way out into the Virginia countryside).

My only complaint about the bridge path, which probably isn't as much of a problem if you actually stick to the 10 mph speed limit, is that some of the metal bridge gaps are very hard on skinny tire bikes. The bumps can be jarring and possibly even cause flats or dents to you rim. You have to either jump them or take them very slowly (which is difficult since some are on downhill sections). It seems that with kind of expenditure that was made for this wonderful bike lane there would be a way to make these gaps more biker friendly - even some kind of rubber attachment.

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