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Trail-ing Indicators

Rob Pegoraro
The Washington Post
September 19, 1997

After too much time on my computer, I usually end up spinning my wheels. The ones on my bike, to be exact: My standard cure for Internet overexposure is a ride down the Washington & Old Dominion trail, into the remaining rustic parts of Northern Virginia. The trip, however, has at times left me wondering: Considering how many Internet-industry offices the trail passes in Reston and Herndon, why isn't there a comprehensive Web guide to it? Falls Church resident Tom McCready must have been thinking along the same lines; his exceptionally well put-together site about the W&OD trail debuted last month. The site, at, combines a quick list of upcoming events at sites along the trail, suggested destinations, info for hikers and horse riders and a few short reports on the history of this trail and the railroad before it—for instance, historic buildings found alongside the trail and the railroad's role as a military objective in the Civil War. This site also includes a thoughtfully assembled set of links to related pages. Those alone could take days to explore, pointing you to detailed mileage charts for the W&OD, pages on other D.C. area trails, the Web sites of some of the towns that line the trail and yet another exhaustively researched, home-brewed effort—an equally useful guide to the C&O Canal, found at

-Rob Pegoraro (

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