Northern Virginia is full of beautiful trails for running. Here are three of our very favorites!
The treadmill has its perks, but it just can’t compare to the satisfaction that comes with running outside. After all, we’re fortunate enough to be living so close to some of the best trails in the nation. Northern Virginia has tons of gorgeous paths that are waiting to be explored! Here are just a few popular courses that runners enjoy in your own backyard:
Washington and Old Dominion Trail
Okay, perhaps this is a given. However, there’s a reason Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park is so widely popular among joggers. Approximately 45 miles in length, this course holds territory in Arlington, Loudoun, and Fairfax counties.
So even if you’ve logged the majority of your miles along this course, it’s likely there are a few hidden gems still waiting to be traversed. If you get lost in the calming landscape of the trails, when you look up you might find yourself in an entirely new area as W&OD connects to many other prominent routes, including Martha Custis Trail, Cross County Trail, and Mount Vernon Trail. Which brings me to my next recommendation …
Courtesy of NovaParks
Mount Vernon Trail
Another favored hotspot, Mount Vernon Trail offers a diverse array of scenery along its 18-mile course. A path paved along the Potomac River, this panoramic trail is as easy as it is entertaining. It stretches through bustling Old Town Alexandria, continues around Arlington National Cemetery, and comes to an end at Theodore Roosevelt Island, another great destination for runners.
Courtesy of Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail
Cross County Trail
Much like W&OD Trail, Cross County Trail is huge, elaborate, and may be just what you’re looking for if you enjoy a challenge. While it is generally maintained, joggers will experience a more natural path to test their stamina. However, that’s not to say beginners should disregard this route until they’ve properly built their endurance. There are plenty of trails you can follow that are flatter, such as the ironically named Difficult Run.
Courtesy of Fairfax County
Whether you prefer a paved trail or a forest path, these are some good starting points for a memorable run in Northern Virginia. Lace up those shoes and try one out soon!
What's your favorite trail to run in Northern Virginia? Let us know in the comments!