BWI Trail. This 12.5-mile trail
of asphalt with some wooden boardwalks encircles Baltimore Washington International Marshall Airport. Bike Washington: Many trail sections are surprisingly peaceful, despite the close proximity to airport runways. Park at Dixon Observation Area, about a mile west of Interstate 97 Exit 15 on Dorsey Road. It fills up fast.
Capital Crescent Trail. Seven miles of asphalt trail link Georgetown and Bethesda. Fionnuala Quinn, a very active member of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, said the Capital Crescent scenery is beautiful, and Bethesda and Georgetown have plenty for hungry or thirsty riders. Reachable from the Rosslyn and Bethesda Metro stations.
Capital Crescent Extension/Georgetown Branch. “I’m always surprised at the number of people who think the CCT stops in Bethesda,” Farthing said. “In fact, it continues through a tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue and on toward Silver Spring. It’s a less- crowded, though unpaved, option for those seeking a bit more space than the Georgetown-to-Bethesda portion.”
C&O Canal. The unpaved Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath stretches 184.5 miles from Georgetown west along the north side of the Potomac River to Cumberland, Md. Take smaller bites. I like to get out beyond the crowds at Great Falls and walk from the parking area at Pennyfield Lock, south of River Road, about three miles west to Seneca Creek.
Cross Island Trail. Break up a trip to Ocean City by stopping for this paved, five-mile trail on Kent Island, starting in the Terrapin Nature Area across Chesapeake Bay from Sandy Point and continuing to Kent Narrows.
Custis Trail. The six-mile, paved trail in Arlington County links the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to the west with the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac. It’s also a convenient route for biking commuters to reach Rosslyn and the District.
Cross County Trail. Fairfax County’s Cross County links Great Falls Park with Occoquan Regional Park, 40 miles south. It’s reachable from the Vienna or Franconia-Springfield Metro stations, or from the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. “This trail spans the county, alternating paved and unpaved, with a few stream crossings that might require cyclists to dismount and walk,” Farthing said.