There are many great reasons to live in Northern Virginia. The world class school systems, the job opportunities, endless attractions, the history, etc. One additional reason to enjoy Northern Virginia is for its running/biking trails.
Running, biking, and walking can be a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors. A few great trails throughout the region are the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, Mount Vernon Trail, Four Mile Run and Lake Anne Village. After living in the area for multiple decades it seems that some of the best outdoor trails can be found in the Arlington, Reston, Alexandria, and Falls Church regions.
The Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) trail spans from Arlington through Loudoun County and is over 45 miles in length. This was part of the rails to trails program transforming previous railroads into multiuse trails. The W&OD is a great option if you are training for any longer distance running or desire a few sections of elevation gain. There are even different restaurants and breweries you could stop at if you needed a break.
Four Mile Run spans from National Airport through Falls Church and is about 8 miles in length. There are many wooded sections near streams and this is mostly flat to run or bike along. It also goes right past Gravelly Point where you can watch airplanes take off! This trail connects to the W&OD and Mount Vernon trail at different points.
The Mount Vernon Trail goes from Theodore Roosevelt Park in Rosslyn to Mount Vernon. This is a mostly paved 18-mile trail with a few sections of boardwalk. While on this trail you are able to go through Old Town Alexandria near the waterfront if you’d like scenic views. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge and National Harbor can also be viewed while on this route. Once at Mount Vernon one is able to experience George Washington’s grand estate.
Lake Anne Village in Reston can be a perfect option if you are targeting a shorter run. There is an option for 1.6 miles just around the lake or a loop of about 2.3 miles if you’d like to include a portion admiring beautiful homes. Afterwards you’re able to enjoy the farmers market or nearby retail shops! Reston is a great community with a multitude of outdoor parks and nature trails in addition to the wonderful neighborhoods.
Depending on your criteria for a home, being near a running or biking trail could be extremely important as they offer a great space for outdoor exercise and enjoying nature. All across Northern Virginia there are areas with running trails and local parks but some neighborhoods within Alexandria, Arlington, Reston, and Falls Church there may be easier access points walkable from your home!