Mount Vernon Trail, Virginia

For nature-lovers, there is more to metro D.C. than just the cherry blossoms. Steal a glimpse (away from the crowds) of some of the capital's favorite monuments while enjoying the serenity of biking along the Potomac River. Located across the river from downtown Washington D.C. the trail extends 18.5 miles from near Theodore Roosevelt Island to Mount Vernon, along the Potomac River. Start with a warm-up walk at Theodore Roosevelt Island where you'll find two and a half miles of nature trails and breathtaking views of the nation's capital. Back on the trail, you'll see the historic Arlington Memorial Bridge, which symbolizes the strength of the post-Civil War united nation, as well as the Navy-Marine Memorial and Jones Point Lighthouse. The paved trail is fairly flat with an occasional rolling hill but make sure to save some energy for the end — the last mile heading towards Mount Vernon has a decent climb. Stop at Gravelly Point (between mile three and four) for a panorama view of Washington, the Potomac River and Washington National Airport.

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