Three Things Thursday: Bike/Ped Nerdom Edition

February 3, 2012

Well, it was a tough day for bicycle and pedestrian advocates today, as the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee voted down (by a narrow margin) an amendment that would keep funding for such programs as Safe Routes to Schools, Transportation Enhancements (think bike/ped infrastructure, landscaping, re-use of historic transportation facilities and more), and rail-trails. What will likely, and hopefully, happen is that the bill will not be passed anyway. It’s not, in my opinion, a good bill for our transportation future.

But! That’s neither here nor there. Trails are a great option for people to get out and get fit, and, in more urban areas, great alternatives for commuting.

For all you folks in the DC area, here are my three things for Thursday: rail-trails you should check out.

1. Capital Crescent Trail – Through the mid-1980s, a slow-moving freight train traveled from Bethesda to Georgetown every day. Now you can enjoy a nice run or ride between the two above the Potomac River and into the urban areas of Bethesda and Silver Spring (connect to the Georgetown Branch Trail to take you into downtown Silver Spring, and, eventually, to the Metropolitan Branch Trail).

2. Washington & Old Dominion Trail – Hop on the W&OD in Arlington and you can ride (or run!) west for 45 miles to Purcellville. Numerous trails connect to the W&OD from local neighborhoods and towns, making it accessible to a large segment of the Northern Virginia suburbs. It’s one of my favorites, and I did most of my training for the Hot Chocolate 15K on parts of the W&OD.

My parents' old neighborhood was also close to the W&OD. I'm getting ready to head out on ride during Summer 2010.

3. Baltimore and Annapolis Trail – So it’s a little trip from DC, but you can hop on this trail in Annapolis or Glen Burnie, and the trail is a solid 13+ miles, with options to connect to another trail near BWI.

I went out on a run tonight for the first time in about two and a half weeks. I walked a little, but had a pretty good 2.5 miles, part of which was on a trail that connects to the W&OD. I made it a good run, I guess out of my own little personal protest. Should you find yourself wanting to protest…or just get in a good workout, there are probably some great trails to explore, wherever you live.



  1. I have always liked going on hikes through trails; never one for running though. I miss it, and there are some amazing trails through Michigan and my hometown.

  2. Yes! Michigan has GREAT trails! A big favorite of my dad’s was the Clinton River Trail. If you find a good rail-trail, take it for a running spin. 🙂 I love rail-trails because the grading is usually pretty low, so you get a smooth, flat run. Not the best for hill training, of course, but for a nice, reliable run, they’re great!

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