Cycling on the Mount Vernon Trail
My wife wanted a change of scenery so instead of riding the Indian Head Rail Trail (IHRT), she suggested we go cycling on the Mount Vernon Trail. The Mount Vernon Trail is known for it's picturesque views of Virginia, DC and Maryland if you park at the National Harbor. Although we have individually navigated parts of the trail before, neither of us tackled the entire 18-mile (36 miles round trip) trail that runs along the Potomac River. Instead of parking in Old Town Alexandria or Gravelly Point, we decided to park at the National Harbor so we could ride across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
My wife and two of our friends hit the trail and we had an awesome time. In spite of the deceptive “Mount Vernon Hill” at the Mount Vernon end of the trail we conquered every mile of the trail. It takes a tremendous amount of concentration on the trail because there are plenty of twists and turns. In addition to the curves and narrow paths, we had to navigate around plenty of cyclist, joggers, and people walking on the trail. There are some spectacular views all along the trail, including the Washington DC skyline, the Potomac River, Reagan National Airport and Theodore Roosevelt Island which is at the opposite end of the trail. When it was all said and done, we cycled 43 miles.
If you desire speed, consider Washington & Old Dominion Trail or the Indian Head Rail Trail. Although there were stretches on the trail where we were able to reach top speeds, the trail isn't designed for speed. Also, even though there were plenty of children on the trail, my wife and I would rather conduct our family rides on the Indian Head Rail Trail because there is a lot more room for our kids to maneuver. That being said, it made for a great ride and my wife and I definitely look forward to our next cycling adventure on the Mount Vernon Trail.