Washington and Old Dominion Trail
Arlington, VA to Purcellville, VA
45 Miles (90 Miles Round Trip).
Mostly Flat Railroad Grade (1%) but there are some Hills.
Worst Grade: About 5 Percent near Paeonian Springs, VA.
Trail follows along a high voltage powerline easement.
Number of intersections: About 65.
Number of people passed on the trail: 2,324. WOW!
Pros: If you have a problem along the trail, there is usually a person within shouting distance. Restrooms. Bicycle shop along the trail. Garbage cans at rest areas. Mile markers. Picnic Tables. Water Fountains. Places to get food and drink. Even an Airpump for airing up tires. Trail has a centerline to help keep people to the right. Remarkably, there was often an unpaved trail next to the paved trail for those use who want to avoid all the people traffic on the paved trail. The unpaved trail has more hills. Bikeshare bikes available near Arlington. Bike lockers seen along the route. Despite the people traffic jams, everything flowed smoothly and people dealt with the slow down without being impatient.
Cons: I was told not to ride this trail on the weekend so I waited for the weekend to see what a popular trail is like. Yup, this is one busy trail. I found there to be mostly joggers and walkers east of Hwy 28 (Sterling) and mostly cyclists west of Hwy 28. Trail is not really wide enough for cyclists to be passing groups of people walking 2-3 side by side while opposing traffic is trying to pass. Had to slow down behind walkers and joggers quite a few times waiting on someone else to pass before I could. Have to stop at some intersections and wait until you get the Okay to Cross signal.
Hindsight: Wouldn't do anything differently. It was a pleasure to experience a trip on a popular 45 mile longitudinal park. Build it and they will used it and I'm not talking about 0.9 mile long paved trails like they build in the City where I live.
Ratings: (1-5 scale, 5 being best)
Trail: 5 (Mostly smooth asphalt with only a few bumps.)
Critters: 0 (Critters stay away from people.)
Scenery: 3 (Not much changing scenery.)