Situated on both the 18-mile long Mount Vernon Trail and the 7-mile long Four Mile Run Trail, Crystal City makes for the perfect destination or origin for area bicycle commuters, recreational cyclists, sight seers or fitness enthusiasts. The Potomac River shoreline and the historic George Washington Parkway from George Washington’s historic home in Mount Vernon up to Rosslyn, the trail offers spectacular river vistas, great plane-spotting at Gravelly Point, a number of interesting sightseeing opportunities, and a convenient north-south bicycle commuter route to/from Crystal City and downtown DC. Access the Mount Vernon Trail via the Crystal City connector just south of the Crystal City Water Park. Four Mile Run, a 7-mile, paved recreation trail, meanders along the border of Arlington County and Alexandria connecting Crystal City with Shirlington, Columbia Pike, Ballston, and points west via the W&OD Trail. Access the trail by heading south on the Mount Vernon trail or use the trail head at the southern terminus of S. Eads Street. Easy access across the 14th Street Bridge, Memorial Bridge, and the Key Bridge connects riders from Crystal City to the District of Columbia and to one of the best regional bicycle trail networks in the Country.
Below, please find a list of suggested rides from Crystal City. You can download cue sheets and maps for all rides by visiting Ride With GPS.
Arlington Loop Ride (17 Miles)
The Arlington Loop is the official name of Arlington’s “bicycle beltway.” The continuous 17-mile loop consisting of the Mount Vernon, Four Mile Run, W&OD, and the Custis Trails offering area cycling enthusiasts with a great fitness and recreational ride that connects all of Arlington’s urban villages.
Old Town Ride (4.3 Miles – One-Way)
With its historic charm, beautiful waterfront parks, and boutique shopping, Old Town Alexandria is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Avoid traffic, the hassle of parking, and the long walk from Metro by utilizing easy two-wheeled transportation. The Mount Vernon Trail takes you directly to the heart of Old Town and all its offerings.
Mount Vernon Ride (14.8 Miles – One-Way)
Paralleling the Potomac River, enjoy spectacular river vistas along the Mount Vernon Trail on the way to George Washington’s famous estate. Learn more and plan your actual visit at www.mountvernon.org.
National Harbor Ride (8.7 Miles - One-Way)
Take advantage of the completed Woodrow Wilson Bridge project’s addition of a dedicated bicycle path across the Potomac. The new pathway takes you directly to the heart of Prince Georges County’s new downtown neighborhood, National Harbor offering an eclectic mix of shopping, entertainment and dining options.
Leesburg Ride (38.3 Miles – One-Way)
Escape from the bustle of the city by riding out to historic Leesburg via the W&OD Trail. Given the proximity to the W&OD Trail, many of the downtown Leesburg businesses and Lodgings cater specifically to cycling market making for the perfect overnight getaway that will make you feel miles away!
Purceville Ride (48.6 Miles – One-Way)
As the terminus of the W&OD trail, the Purceville Ride is often seen as a must-do for area cyclists. Although its possible to fit into a single day’s ride, the Purceville Ride provides the perfect opportunity for an overnight trip.
Harpers Ferry Ride(66.4 Miles – One-Way) A touch over a single days round trip ride, a trip to Harpers Ferry offers a challenging but worthwhile overnight excursion. Traveling along the historic C&O canal, you’ll be treated with views of the historic C&O canal, a number of lockhouses (some of which offer overnight accommodations through the National Park Service), and a serene natural setting. Plan a tour of Harpers Ferry by visiting the National Park Service website.
Branches of Government Ride (13.6 Miles)
Brush up on your civics lessons from the seat of your bicycle with this casual Branches of Government Ride. The ride visits the home of each branch of the U.S. Government – the U.S. Capitol (Legislative), the Supreme Court (Judicial), and the White House (Executive).
Monuments Ride (8.6 Miles)
The National Mall is deceptively large and hitting all of the sites by foot can be exhausting. Turns out, the best way to fit it all in is on two-wheels! Catch all of the highlights including Thomas Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, and the newest addition to the Monumental Corps, the MLK Memorial with this easily ridden Monuments Ride.
East Potomac Park Fitness Ride (9 Miles, Each additional Haines Point loop is 3.2 miles)
A favorite of competitive cyclists and triathathaletes, the East Potomac Park Fitness Ride takes advantage of a low speed and low trafficked loop around Haines Point with beautiful river views along the Potomac. From Crystal City, the ride (including one Haines Point Loop) is approximately 9 miles. You can then add additional mileage by completing additional loops, each of which adds another 3.2 miles.
Nationals Park Ride (5.3 Miles – One-Way)
Avoid ballgame traffic and get to and from Nationals Park by bike! This quick ride is a piece of cake with the park offering tons of bicycle parking for two-wheeled ticketholders.