Bike paths offer pleasant cruising, tempting stops

AUG 8 2017

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A spin in the Countryside, Words and photos by David Amini

In and around DC, we are lucky to have bike trails that are easily accessible—a great motivator to get out and get fit while making the most of our city. Make a day of a bicycle ride in DC or the outskirts and you may end up feeling you’ve had a miniature vacation. Two favorites are the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD) and the Rock Creek Trail. Both are long and winding with varied scenery and have hidden treasures.

Screen Shot 2017 08 07 At 10.56.29 Pm  Old Ox brewing, a happening local brewery.

Cyclists looking to make a day of a great bike ride with food and drink will love the W&OD, a 45-mile trail that stretches from Shirlington to Purcellville, Virginia. The trail gets its name from the railroad that operated from 1859 to 1968 on this route, originally built to transport coal and Appalachian riches to Alexandria, but later used as a passenger railway.

Part of what makes the W&OD so special is how the surrounding communities have embraced it. Starting in Falls Church, at mile marker 6.5, cyclists have easy access to Mad Fox Brewing Company. Two blocks off the W&OD, Mad Fox Brew Pub offers a full menu of local beers. For riders starting in Shirlington looking to do a shorter ride, Mad Fox is an easily achievable destination. Just west of mile marker 12, in Vienna, is Caboose Brewing Company. Caboose takes full advantage of the W&OD: You’ll see Caboose’s large and inviting patio from the trail.


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The Great Allegheny Passage ® (GAP) rail-trail offers 150 miles of hiking and biking from Cumberland MD to Pittsburgh,PA.


P.O. Box 228
Homestead, PA 15120