I’m (Charlie) in DC for EarthShare National meetings Thu and Fri, and since we have the National Trails Day workday on Barton Creek Greenbelt on Sat and I need to be back in Austin Friday night, I decided to come a day early, take it as a vacation day, rent a bike and ride another one of DC’s great hike and bike trails.
I’ve done the C&O Canal Trail* up to Potomac Falls a few years ago, so today I rode the 36 mile (plus a few detours around DC to push it over 40 miles) trail. Pretty cool. It was built quite a while ago and is very popular, so you really notice the comparatively narrow (by today’s standards) 8 foot width (10 in some areas). (*- The C&O Trail goes all the way to Pittsburgh, PA now)
It also crosses a number of wetlands or over creeks that flow into the Potomac River, so it has a number of boardwalks like are proposed for the Trail at Lady Bird Lake, but in this case made of wood – many of have been replaced very recently.
The pictures taken with my crackberry’s camera don’t do the beauty of the area justice, but it will give you an idea. The Path goes along the Potomac River, around Washington National Airport (which is pretty cool), through Alexandria (a little confusing, multiple ways to go and you are on city streets, but sign posting is a bit “refined” and then along the George Washington Parkway to Mount Vernon. I wasn’t in a visiting a home and gardens tour mood and have been there before, so I didn’t go in.