Cycling in Washington DC: 5 Best Routes You Should Know

Owing to its off-street trails, waterfront parks, and increasing web of bike lanes, indeed Washington DC, is a very decent place to aim your cycling experience. Where else would you be able to get the nation’s most iconic sights and as well as your daily cardio? There is a wealth of cycling trails in the district, extending in degrees of trouble, with a tremendously prominent bicycle sharing service.

Don’t own a bike? No worries, you can simply rent a bike from one of the Capital Bike Share racks situated all over the city. There is no reason to not work up a sweat and submerge yourself in nature as cycling in Washington dc can only get better.

Get yourself a bike

If you are making some short jaunts around the town, you can check out for your desired bike at any of the 350 stations provided by Capital Bikeshare. They have locations everywhere in DC, and in Alexandria and Arlington, in Northern Virginia, right over the Potomac. To utilize it, simply go to any Bikeshare booth, choose usage ($8 for 24 hours, $17 for 3 days), a bicycle, swipe your credit card, and get on your cycling adventure. The initial 30 minutes are free after which the charges begin.

The 5 best cycling routes

1. Mount Vernon Trail

This trail goes through historic landmarks and scenic sights. Starting from Georgetown, ride through the Potomac River, then Roosevelt Island, crossing over the river to get to Old Town Alexandria, and then end your ride at Virginia estate, George Washington. This round-trip route is about 36 miles on flat terrain.


2. Capital Crescent

From Georgetown to Bethesda, the scenic spans 11-mile trail. It was belonged to Ohio Railroad and Baltimore before, which happens to be one of the oldest railroad in the United States, and the trail was built on the deserted rail bed. Capital Crescent is perfect for summer days, in light of the fact that there is a lot of shade and regions to stop and enjoy some snacks. It is also extending to Silver Spring, however, that area is not yet paved.

3. Old Dominion Trail

The trail is perfect for novice because of the fact that it is completely paved, 100 feet wide paths, permitting a lot of space for bikes, joggers and strollers, one next to the other without collision. Additionally, it was once an old railroad that was transformed into Virginia’s “thinnest stop.” The trip of about 45 miles makes for a wonderful exercise that does not bring a difficult challenge.


4. C&O Towpat 

The C&O Towpath is about 185 miles along clay and dirty trails; this rough terrain isn’t recommended for beginners. The trail spans through four states (assuming DC is a state for now), beginning in DC and through Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. It was once a trench used in transporting merchandise to the Potomac River around nineteenth century, a significant part of the canal has drained and also been recovered by the forests, however, the towpath still stands.

5. Fort Circle Trail

One of the trails that make cycling in Washington dc a wonderful experience as it’s the only trail that allows mountain biking, Fort Circle Trail features overgrown vegetation, rough terrain, and a lot of hills. Be careful about the loose nuts and gravel that fill the path, and could be hurtful to both our butt and tires. You would certainly see more deer than you would see people, so ensure not to hurt any wandering animal while riding.

The D.C. zone has a few trails that cyclists can make use of, with the Capital Bikeshare service presenting a huge number of bikes, there is really no reason not to engage in some peddle power in Washington DC.

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Vanessa Faria was born in Brazil but since has lived in three different states around the U.S and traveled to over 50 countries. She's a writer, dreamer, photographer, adventure seeker, risk taker. Follow her on @mazeoffreedom


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