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Route from Manassas, VA to DC?(12 posts)

Route from Manassas, VA to DC?Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2003 7:50 AM
Well, heck, the wife's outta town for the weekend, the cherry blossoms are at peak, and the cruiser has a new chain. What to do on Saturday? I know, a trip into DC!

Which means getting past Fairfax County. I see a couple of options: stick the bike in the pickup and drag it up to the C&O Towpath or the W&OD, or ride from my back door down the Prince William Parkway and find my way over to the bike trail to Mt. Vernon.

Any suggestions? I'm sure MB1 knows half a dozen good routes I've never even seen.
Ughh. If the weather is nice, the trails will be mobbedGregory Taylor
Apr 3, 2003 8:19 AM
Check out for some good routes. If your goal is to see Cherry Blossoms, skip DC, hit the Capital Cresent trail and ride to Bethesda. The Kenwood neighborhood has Cherry Blossoms that are every bit as nice as the Tidal Basin, without the crowds.
That could be OK ...Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2003 8:26 AM
... I can let it hang out on the PWP, then take it easy in the mob. The cruiser cruises well.
re: Route from Manassas, VA to DC?pmf1
Apr 3, 2003 8:49 AM
I rode by the cherry blossums this morning -- they are indeed peaking. If I had to choose a path, I'd opt for the W&OD to Custis (just past East Falls Church metro). Even on nice days, the crowds on the W&OD are sporadic and clumped near towns.

The Mt Vernon trail will be horrible. You'll spend the entire day trying to get past some roller bladers moving along at 5 mph. With the crowds, poor pavement and all the blind turns, I find the Mt Vernon to be mentally exhausting to ride on.
re: Route from Manassas, VA to DC?Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2003 9:43 AM
That's looking like the best ... although it does hook up with the Mt. Vernon trail for the last couple of miles across the Potomac.

Now, do I cop out and take the bike in the pickup up 28 to the W&OD, or do I find a bike route up to there? I know how to get as far as Rt. 50 on back roads, but then Dulles Airport looks like it reduces options. Rt 28 is not a pleasant bike route (6 lanes of traffic doing 65 mph on a slow day). I've only ever seen one bike on that stretch, but it looks legal.
Fairfax County Parkway in Fairfax/Fairlakes as a start pointFez
Apr 3, 2003 9:48 AM
I don't know if its a great bike route, but if you start at Fairlakes (Rt 66 and Ffx Co Parkway) you can ride up the parkway. There is a path along the whole way until Reston, where you can grab the W&OD.

Just an idea if you don't want to drive all the way up Rt 28 to get to the W&OD.
That's probably what I would do.pmf1
Apr 3, 2003 10:02 AM
The path along the FFX parkway runs right next to the road, so you kind of feel like you're riding on the shoulder of an interstate. Its definitely not as nice of a trail as the W&OD either. Its only for a few miles though. Then it runs into the W&O in Reston (take a right turn -- I assume you know, but just in case). The Custis comes off the W&OD after you pass East Falls Church Metro. You'll see a little shelter with a water fountain on the corner where the two meet. Turn left and go under the bridge (pretty obvious) and ride into beautiful Rosslyn. You'll end up down by the river. When I commute, I use the first bridge Roosevelt, but the next one, Memorial might be better for you.

Its roughly 50 miles round trip from Rte 28 to DC. If you park at the Vienna Town Center, it cust about 20 miles off it.
50 miles sounds good ...Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2003 10:09 AM
I haven't ridden more than about 25 at a time all winter and I need a nice, long ride.

I'll probably just go from 28 this time, as I know the trailhead from a previous ride.

At some point, I need to try out the C&O Towpath, but I believe that's on the wrong side of the river, and tough to get to between 15/Whites Ferry and the American Legion Bridge. The towpath sounds like a perfect trail for the cruiser, and I'm hoping to do the entire length this fall, in the Tour de Canal, or with MB1 (who has ambitions of doing the whole thing in one day).
The Canal is Beautiful this time of year....Gregory Taylor
Apr 3, 2003 10:31 AM
And a trip across the river on the ferry at White's Ferry is a gas. In fact, you can leave the W&OD at Leesburg, cringe and cower your way down Rt. 15 to the road that leads to the ferry (traffic on Rt. 15 is horrendous, but there is a shoulder, of sorts), and hop over the river to the C&O Canal for a ride into DC.

If you catching the W&OD at Rt. 28, you are not that far from Ashburn, which is home to the Dominion Brewing Company, located in an industrial park RIGHT OFF OF THE TRAIL. They have a tap room serving cold, fresh beer, NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS.
I'm not a beer drinker, but if the W&OD comes anywhere near ...Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2003 11:08 AM
... Meridith Vineyards or one of the other vineyards in that area, an outing to the west could be interesting.
Actually....Gregory Taylor
Apr 3, 2003 12:15 PM
There is a vinyard near Harpers Ferry that would make a good destination. Breaux vinyards is located between Harpers Ferry and Hillsboro on the Harpers Ferry Road in VA. Good vino, they have a patio where you can sample the wares, get some food, and soak up the sun.
Don't bother with the Mt. Vernon trailWhoWasThat
Apr 4, 2003 12:15 PM
Once the Custis takes you to the key bridge, go straight down the hill, cross the Roosevelt Bridge, pass the Kennedy Center, turn right on Virginia Ave.
Go a couple of blocks and make a right to Constitution Avenue. Viola.