The Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River and the Capital Trail, leading from Richmond on the complementary route, are two all-time East Coast Greenway favorites.
From Washington, D.C., the East Coast Greenway enters Virginia along the Mount Vernon Trail, which follows the Potomac River and George Washington Parkway south to Mt. Vernon, home of the nation’s first president. From Mt. Vernon, the Greenway continues south through Fairfax County along several side paths and the Cross County Trail. Prince William County features a variety of different trails, both paved and unpaved. From Prince Willliam, the Greenway continues on road to Fredericksburg, following several miles of the route of the future Potomac Heritage Trail. From Fredericksburg, the route continues south to Richmond, the state’s capital, where the Greenway divides into two routes. The spine route continues south to North Carolina’s Piedmont region. The complementary Historic Coastal Route heads southeast through Jamestown and Williamsburg before aiming south toward Wilmington, N.C.
The Historic Coastal Route (a total of 139 miles) follows the Virginia Capital Trail, a 50-mile route that closely follows Virginia’s Highway 5 along a traffic-separated greenway through a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Historic Coastal Route connects with the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail to bring travelers over the border into North Carolina.
Traveling by train?
Quick tips when using Amtrak with your bike: Do your research in advance; each train line features different bike rack equipment and loading procedures. Check Amtrak for the latest and when in doubt: call the station if you have questions. Click for more: https://www.amtrak.com/bike
Mileage counts reflect the portion of each trail that is part of East Coast Greenway.
Mount Vernon Trail/Arlington Memorial Bridge, Washington DC to Mt. Vernon, VA; 16 mi
Silverbrook Road Multi-use Trail, Fairfax County; 0.9 mi
Ox Road Multi-use Trail, Fairfax County; 1.1 mi
Richmond Highway Multi-use Trail, Fairfax County: 1 mi
Telegraph Road Multi-use Trail, Fairfax County; 1.3 mi
Fairfax County Parkway Multi-use Trail, Fairfax County; 1.4 mi
Grist Mill Park Multi-use Trail, Fairfax County; 0.4 mi
Virginia Central Railway Trail, Fredericksburg; 1.0 mi
Ashland Railside Park Trail, Ashland; 0.4 mi
Cannon Creek Greenway, Richmond; 0.6 mi
Belle Isle Bridge, Richmond; 0.25 mi
Belle Isle Trail, Richmond; 1.4 mi
Lower Appomattox River Trail, Petersburg; 3.7 mi
Tobacco Heritage Trail, Lawrenceville-LaCrosse-Brodnax; 16.6 mi
Virginia Capital Trail, sections from Richmond to Williamsburg; 52 mi
While the East Coast Greenway Alliance is constantly improving the safety of the Greenway route through its advocacy efforts, many of the current on-road connections, including those on the Greenway’s interim routes, have little or no special provisions for bicyclists or pedestrians. Long-distance travel via on-road sections of the Greenway is recommended for experienced cyclists only. Many lengthy traffic-free segments of the Greenway are suitable for families and cyclists, walkers and runners of all ages and abilities.
The current on-road routing is housed on low-traffic roads whenever possible. We aim to be as clear as we are able about the conditions riders can expect by including alerts for known stressful sections on our online mapping tool at map.greenway.org. Directional signage may or may not be present along the route. Users are advised to review state traffic laws, research current road conditions and discuss plans with people familiar with area roadways.
This website provides information for the public about trails and roads for traveling the interim route of the East Coast Greenway and their general suitability for long-distance cycling and walking. The East Coast Greenway Alliance and those involved with the development and publication of this website do not assume any liability for injuries, damage or loss to persons using this information or the routes suggested. People using this information are responsible for their own safety and should take appropriate precautions.
2-day out-and-back bike ride: Recommended by Sarah Sanford
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Recent record-setting funding for design and construction goes directly to building the East Coast Greenway - as it should. The East Coast Greenway Alliance needs your support to continue our advocacy work that is fueling completion of the Greenway. The Alliance has a sustained track record of turning every dollar donated to our nonprofit into $100 in public infrastructure investment. Invest today and support the growth of the East Coast Greenway from Maine to Florida.