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6 Best Cycling Routes In Washington, District Of Columbia


by Fredericka Alt


Washington, D.C., is a city known for its rich history, iconic landmarks, and vibrant culture. Beyond its bustling streets and historic sites, the nation’s capital also offers a network of scenic cycling routes that showcase the city’s beauty in a unique way. Whether you’re a casual rider or a seasoned cyclist, Washington, D.C., has a variety of trails and paths to explore. From the picturesque views along the Potomac River to the lush greenery of Rock Creek Park, there’s a cycling route for every preference. In this guide, we’ll unveil the 6 best cycling routes in Washington, District of Columbia, providing an insider’s look into the diverse and captivating bike paths this remarkable city has to offer.

Rock Creek Park Trail

One of the most popular cycling routes in Washington, District of Columbia is the Rock Creek Park Trail. This scenic route offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city, as cyclists can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Rock Creek Park. The trail spans approximately 20 miles, following the winding path of Rock Creek and passing by picturesque landmarks such as the National Zoo and the historic Peirce Mill. With its gentle slopes and well-maintained paths, this route is perfect for cyclists of all skill levels, providing a refreshing and rejuvenating ride through the heart of the nation’s capital.

Capital Crescent Trail

The Capital Crescent Trail is another top cycling route in Washington, District of Columbia, renowned for its splendid blend of urban and natural scenery. This 11-mile trail extends from Georgetown to Silver Spring, offering breathtaking views of the Potomac River and the charming streets of Georgetown. Cyclists can revel in the serenity of the tree-lined path, which also features various amenities such as water fountains and rest areas. Whether it’s for a leisurely ride or an invigorating workout, the Capital Crescent Trail provides an idyllic setting for cyclists to explore the beauty of the nation’s capital.

Anacostia River Trail

For cyclists seeking a diverse and dynamic route, the Anacostia River Trail is a must-visit destination in Washington, District of Columbia. This 20-mile trail offers a captivating journey along the Anacostia River, showcasing the city’s vibrant waterfront and lush green spaces. Cyclists can enjoy stunning views of the river and its surrounding landscapes, passing through iconic landmarks like the Navy Yard and the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. With its flat terrain and seamless connections to other trails, the Anacostia River Trail presents an exhilarating cycling experience for riders of all levels.

Metropolitan Branch Trail

The Metropolitan Branch Trail stands out as a premier urban cycling route in Washington, District of Columbia, providing a unique blend of urban exploration and outdoor adventure. This 8-mile trail winds through the diverse neighborhoods of the city, offering cyclists a captivating glimpse into the cultural tapestry of Washington, D.C. From vibrant street art to historic sites, riders can immerse themselves in the rich heritage of the nation’s capital while relishing the seamless cycling paths. With its accessibility and urban charm, the Metropolitan Branch Trail offers an enriching and immersive cycling experience for enthusiasts and explorers alike.

Mount Vernon Trail

Offering a captivating blend of history and natural splendor, the Mount Vernon Trail is a renowned cycling route that winds along the Potomac River, providing cyclists with a scenic journey from Arlington to historic Mount Vernon. Spanning approximately 18 miles, this trail offers breathtaking views of the river, as well as access to iconic landmarks such as the Washington Monument and the awe-inspiring Arlington National Cemetery. Cyclists can savor the beauty of the Potomac River and explore the rich tapestry of American history, making the Mount Vernon Trail a quintessential cycling experience in Washington, District of Columbia.

Washington & Old Dominion Trail

The Washington & Old Dominion Trail, affectionately known as the W&OD Trail, is a beloved cycling route that spans 45 miles, offering an immersive journey through the picturesque landscapes of Northern Virginia. While the trail extends beyond Washington, D.C., its close proximity and scenic allure make it a favored destination for cyclists seeking a memorable riding experience. From verdant forests to charming towns, the W&OD Trail presents a diverse tapestry of natural beauty and cultural heritage, providing cyclists with an enchanting escape from the urban bustle. With its well-maintained paths and scenic vistas, this trail offers an unforgettable cycling adventure for enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.


Washington, D.C. offers a plethora of scenic and invigorating cycling routes that cater to riders of all levels. From the picturesque Mount Vernon Trail to the iconic National Mall, cyclists can explore the city’s rich history and natural beauty while enjoying a rewarding workout. Whether you’re a local enthusiast or a visitor seeking an unforgettable cycling experience, the capital’s diverse terrain and landmarks provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable ride. So, grab your helmet, hit the road, and discover the charm of the nation’s capital from a unique and exhilarating perspective.


Q: Are the cycling routes in Washington, D.C. suitable for beginners?

A: Yes, Washington, D.C. offers a variety of cycling routes suitable for beginners, including the Capital Crescent Trail and the Anacostia River Trail, featuring scenic paths and gentle terrain.

Q: Are there bike rental options available near the cycling routes in Washington, D.C.?

A: Yes, visitors can find bike rental options near popular cycling routes, such as the National Mall and Rock Creek Park, making it convenient for tourists to explore the city on two wheels.

Q: What are the best times of the year to explore the cycling routes in Washington, D.C.?

A: The spring and fall seasons offer ideal weather conditions for cycling in Washington, D.C., with mild temperatures and vibrant foliage creating a picturesque backdrop for riders.

Q: Can cyclists access amenities such as restrooms and water fountains along the cycling routes in Washington, D.C.?

A: Yes, many of the popular cycling routes in Washington, D.C. are equipped with amenities such as restrooms, water fountains, and designated rest areas to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience.

Q: Are the cycling routes in Washington, D.C. suitable for families with children?

A: Absolutely! Families with children can enjoy cycling in Washington, D.C. along family-friendly routes like the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath, offering a safe and scenic environment for riders of all ages.

Q: Are there guided cycling tours available for those interested in exploring Washington, D.C. on two wheels?

A: Yes, visitors can opt for guided cycling tours that provide insightful commentary and a structured itinerary, allowing them to discover the city’s landmarks and hidden gems while enjoying a guided cycling experience.