If you’re new to Capital Bikeshare or are just looking for a new place to explore by bike, here are some of our most popular routes. They’re fun, scenic and some are even car-free!
Ride among our nation’s historic monuments and memorials, and take in the majesty of the National Mall on two wheels.
The Mall and surrounding Memorial Parks are free and open to the public, accessible from a network of off-street paths and trails. With so much ground to cover, a pair of wheels can help you see it all quickly and comfortably.
Grab a bike from one of the many Capital Bikeshare stations on the Mall and explore our shared history, cultural institutions and awe-inspiring monuments. Some of the attractions you’ll see along the way include:
- Washington Monument
- Lincoln Memorial
- Jefferson Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
- World War II Memorial
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Local Tip: Visit the National Mall and explore the monuments at night! Car-free paths make it a comfortable ride and all of the monuments are lit up, making for a stunning and much less crowded visit.
2Capital Crescent Trail
Follow this former railroad bed along the freight corridors of the past from Bethesda, MD into historic Georgetown, DC.
Ride underneath a canopy of native trees on the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) along the Potomac River and enjoy every season on this ride!
Grab a bike from the Capital Bikeshare station at Woodmont Ave & Strathmore St in Bethesda, MD and ride downhill toward Georgetown, DC:
- Head west along the promenade towards the CCT
- Take a left on the CCT and enjoy seven miles of trail riding
- Cross the canal and continue along the trail, with the Potomac River to your right
- You’ll emerge from the trail onto Water St NW in Georgetown
Dock your bike at the 33rd & Water St NW station to end your ride. From there, you can enjoy the views, tastes and shopping destinations of Georgetown’s waterfront on foot!
Local tip: This ride is a little over seven miles long and will take most riders 30-45 minutes. If you need a quick breather along the way, stop in at the station at River Rd & Landy Ln and take a break.
Photo by Daniel Lobo
3Mount Vernon Trail
This paved trail offers breathtaking views of the historic Washington, DC skyline from the Virginia side of the Potomac River.
Beginning at Theodore Roosevelt Island and heading all the way through Old Town Alexandria and beyond, the Mt. Vernon Trail combines spectacular scenery, comfortable terrain and a historic path filled with our nation’s history.
Grab a bike from the Lynn St & 19th St North station in Rosslyn, VA and hit the trail to Old Town Alexandria:
- Ride north on N Lynn St, cross Lee Hwy and take an immediate right onto the Mt. Vernon Trail
- Ride south along the trail with the Potomac River to your left, and enjoy fantastic views of the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument across the river
- Ride around Gravelly Point and watch the planes take off and land at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
- Keep right to stay on the trail as you pass the airport*
- Cross the bridge over Four Mile of Run and continue on the trail
- You’ll pass the Washington Sailing Marina on your left
- Continue on the trail to meet back up with the Potomac River
- Eventually, the trail will run into Pendleton St in Alexandria
- Turn left and continue onto N Union St
- Continue on Union St until you reach Price St
Dock your bike at the Prince St & Union St station to explore Old Town Alexandria on foot!
At a little over eight miles, this trip takes the average rider about 45 minutes to complete – even longer if you’d like to stop and take in the views. If you exceed your 30-minute time limit, it’s only an additional $2 for your next 30 minutes.
*If you want to break up the ride, you can exit the trail at Crystal City near the airport and take a left on Crystal Drive to dock your bike at the 20th St S & Crystal Dr station. Pick up a new bike when you’re ready to resume the ride.
Local tip: This trail is popular with bike commuters on weekday mornings and evenings, so we recommend midday rides.
Photo by Jenn Wurzbacher
4Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
A hidden gem ready to take you away from bustling downtown DC, this trail runs along the banks of the Anacostia River.
Explore Kingman Island, Anacostia Park, the Washington Navy Yard, Yards Park and more on this beautiful waterside trail.
Grab a bike from the 3rd & Tingey St SE station and hit the trail by heading south into Yards Park.
- Point your bike east toward the Navy Yard and ride alongside the docks
- At the 11th St Bridge, turn left and ride north on 11th St SE
- Turn right at O St SE to cross the freeway
- Continue onto Water St SE and take a right just before M St SE to get back on the trail
- Ride along the trail with the Anacostia River to your right
- The trail turns north at Evans Point, and you’ll see the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium on the horizon
- Continue north along the trail until you reach Benning Road NE
- Take a right onto Benning Road NE to cross Kingsman Park and reach the other side of the Anacostia River*
- Turn right to pick up the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail on the east bank of the river
- Head south through the park and take in the Washington, DC skyline from across the river
- At the end of Anacostia Park, ride up the ramp and take Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge to cross back over to the west bank of the river
- Take a right onto Potomac Ave SE and follow it as it turns into First St SE
Dock your bike at the 1st & N St SE station.
This loop is about 8.5 miles, which would take most riders around 45 minutes. If you exceed your 30-minute time limit, it’s only an additional $2 for your next 30 minutes.
*If you want to break up the ride, dock your bike at the Anacostia Ave & Benning Rd NE / River Terrace station and explore Kingman Island. Pick up a new bike to restart the ride.
Local tip: In summer months, The Yards Park near our 3rd St & Tinghey St SE station has a wonderful wading pool, perfect for humid summer days in the District.
5Washington & Old Dominion Trail
Enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle on this paved trail resting atop the former W&OD Railroad.
This Northern Virginia trail stretches 44 miles, from Arlington to the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is accessible by Capital Bikeshare! If you’re coming from Washington, DC, this ride is easy to access using the Metrorail system.
To enjoy part of the W&OD trail in Arlington, VA:
- Grab a bike at the East Falls Church Metro/Sycamore St & 19th St N station
- Enter the park at N Sycamore St & 19th St N
- Cross the bridge over Four Mile Run and take a left onto the W&OD Trail
- Take another left to stay on the trail
- Follow the trail for about 5 miles and take in the sights, as you pass parks, playgrounds and historical markers
- Dock your bike at the S Four Mile Run Dr & S Shirlington Rd station to explore Shirlington on foot
This section of the trail is approximately five miles and should take you around 35 minutes to complete at a leisurely pace. If you’d like more time to take in the sights, you can dock your bike at the Columbia Pike & S Dinwiddie St / Arlington Mill Community Center station.
Local Tip: There are a lot of users on this trail at all times of day. Ride respectfully, pass on the left and make good use of that bell!
By DwayneP (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
6Carl Henn Millenium Trail
Rockville’s Bicycle Beltway lets you enjoy a 10-mile loop around the this Montgomery County, MD community.
Hop on the trail at the Thomas Farm Community Center in Fallsgrove Stream Valley Park and pedal your way around Rockville’s neighborhoods for fun and fitness.
Begin your trip by grabbing a bike at the Fallsgrove Dr & Montgomery Ave station, which is right on the Carl Henn Memorial Trail:
- Head west to pick up the trail in a clockwise direction
- Follow the trail across W Montgomery Ave and continue along W Gude Dr
- At Norbeck Rd, turn right and follow the trail as it becomes First St
- Continue across Rockville Pike and follow the trail as it becomes Wootton Parkway
- Follow Wootton Parkway across Darnestown Road, then turn right to continue on the trail
- Cross Oak Knoll Dr, then turn left to follow the trail into the neighborhood
- At the fork, bear left to continue on Oak Knoll Dr
- The trail will take a 90-degree turn onto Fallsgrove Dr, which you can follow back to your original starting point
This entire loop is about 10 miles and will take most riders at least an hour on a Capital Bikeshare bike. If you want to break up the ride, you can dock your bike along the trail. Both the Taft St & E Gude Dr and the Fleet St & Ritchie Pkwy stations are just off the trail at the 3.3-mile and 5-mile marks, respectfully. Simply pick up a new bike when you’re ready to continue the ride.
Local tip: You can ride the trail in either direction, but our suggested route (clockwise) has fewer hills for an easier ride.
7Downtown Reston to Lake Anne
Looking to explore the trails and green spaces that make Reston famous? This special ride will take you from Reston Town Center to Lake Anne Historic District via Reston’s car-free Green Trail.
Grab a bike from the station at Library St & Freedom Dr to begin your trip.
Hop onto the Green Trail on the north side of Market Street and follow it along Reston Parkway
- Turn right to take the pedestrian tunnel under Reston Parkway
- Head left out of the tunnel towards Bowman Towne Drive
- Cross Shore Drive, then turn left towards Lake Anne Village Center
- Dock at the station at Lake Anne Village Center and enjoy the lake, restaurants and businesses at the Village Center—the perfect place to spend an afternoon in Reston
Local tip: The total trip distance is nearly 2 miles and takes the average rider about 25 minutes on Capital Bikeshare. Keep track of time to make sure you don’t go over your 30 minutes.
Photo by Charlotte Geary
8Bethesda Trolley Trail
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the metro DC region and enjoy this former home of the Tennallytown and Rockville Railroad’s streetcar line—the Bethesda Trolley Trail! The four-mile path links Bethesda and North Bethesda with quiet, tree-lined pavement.
If you’re looking for an easy ride to reset and relax, hop on a red bike at Old Georgetown Rd & Southwick St to begin your trip.
- Ride along the east sidewalk of Old Georgetown Rd to Charles St
- Stay right to follow the Bethesda Trolley Trail north towards North Bethesda
- There’s no station at North Bethesda, so when you’re ready to turn around, head back towards Old Georgetown Rd
Local tip: Parking for the Bethesda Trolley Trail can be found at Fleming Local Park off Fleming Rd in North Bethesda.
Photo by Montgomery County PIO