Best Bike Trails in Washington DC / Arlington / Alexandria

Despite being described as a “swamp” lately, Washington, DC actually has some decent mountain biking in the area with legit mountains accessible to day-trippers.

Fountainhead Regional Park


Photo: BigDaddy@CTSI

Singletracks readers claim Fountainhead Regional Park is the best trail system in the DC area. The Park has 13 miles of dedicated mountain bike trails laid out in two main loops, plus an out-and-back. Beginners will enjoy the trail flow while more advanced riders will appreciate the man-made features and steep climbs and descents.

Schaeffer Farms

Photo: ferneau

John Fisch wrote about Schaeffer Farms back in 2013, and this is what he had to say:

“Somehow, someone managed to construct a pleasant stacked loop trail network with a good deal of variety and something for all levels of riders, right in the middle of modern suburbia. The place does get crowded and you can’t ride it while wet or drying out (which is much of the time, especially early spring), but when it’s good, it’s very good and will hold your attention for a worthwhile ride.”

Rosaryville State Park

Photo: Kemuel Chavez

Rosaryville State Park is located near Andrews Air Force base on the southeastern edge of DC. The 10-mile trail system is surprisingly scenic, with hidden overlooks and open meadows dotting the forested preserve. Some have described the trail system as a “singletrack roller coaster” that’s pedally and well-suited to hardtail mountain bikes.

After a long week of politicking, DC residents are ready to get out of town to explore the nearby Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains.

Bryce Mountain Bike Park

#brycemountainbikepark #tooadvancedforme

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Located about two hours from Washington, DC, Bryce Mountain Bike park in Virginia, near the West Virginia border, is a gravity rider’s delight. With trails designed by Gravity Logic, a full fleet of rental bikes, and skills instructors at the ready, Bryce Mountain offers a great place to learn DH riding or to blow off some steam.

Next up: Philadelphia.

# Comments

  • PGH Rider

    Just an FYI for the Pittsburgh section of your article. PORC stands for Pittsburgh Off Road Cyclists. Your link takes you to Pittsburgh Offroad which is a motorized mud bogging/lift kit type of group. Additionally, PORC does not as a group build or maintain trails in Pittsburgh (maybe as volunteers for other other groups or illegally). The main groups that build and maintain trails are Trail Pittsburgh (http://trailpittsburgh.org/), the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy(https://www.rachelcarsontrails.org/), Allegheny Land Trust, Hollow Oak Land Trust, Allegheny County Parks, and the Mount Washington CDC. If you need help reporting on Pittsburgh mountain biking in the future, please let me know.

    • Jeff Barber

      Good catch on the URL and thanks for the shout out to other groups in the area!

  • kevindsingleton

    Two more excellent Pittsburgh singletracks are the Bavington trail, in Hillman State Park, near Burgettstown (southwest of Pittsburgh, search for “Haul Road Trailhead”), and the trails at Brady’s Run Park, in Beaver County, a little north of the airport.

  • juarez

    Cool article!
    It’s great to see other people writing about our quiet, humble riding area (Ottawa-Gatineau).

    Of course it’s FAT season here now. We have some crazy good shared single track is 2 riding areas, plus Kanata, Larose, and city trails.

    You can learn more about our fat riding areas here:

    Our local networks are growing by leaps and bounds too. Advocacy over the last 10 years is paying off and our Gatineau Park Trail Network will be growing exponentially as previously limited bike access is increased overall rate next 5 years.

    And we have a brand new riding area called Larose Forest that is multi-use, purpose machine built flow trail. Larose has BIG plans to expand and local riders love the first beginner and intermediate trails that are now open. (Did I mention how FUN these trails are?) The Larose management team has a BIG vision for the area.

    Larose Forest Primer:

    Have fun everywhere.


  • Downhill Mike

    Also got to add Durham Forest, Dagmar, Walker Woods and Glen Major. Its all can be connected together by bike in one day and easily has over 100km of singletrack.

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