W & OD Trail.The 100-foot-wide Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park (W&OD Trail) features a 45-mile asphalt trail for walking, running, skating, bicycling and other activities and a 33-mile parallel, gravel bridle path for horseback riding and biking. The W & OD Trail traverses the Piedmont between the Potomac River and the Blue Ridge Mountains creating a recreation corridor extending from the Virginia suburb of Arlington to the farming areas of western Loudoun County.
The W&OD Trail takes its name from the railroad whose trains ran along the right-of-way from 1859 until 1968. Never very successful, the railroad's demise was hastened by the improved road system and increased number of motor vehicles.
W&OD Trail Guides Available.The 64-page, four-color W&OD Trail Guide includes 25 detailed map pages with symbols to indicate connecting trail systems, bike repair shops, restrooms, fast food restaurants and other trailside facilities. The guides are available for sale at Northern Virginia Regional Park Headquarters, local bike shops and by mail. For more information, call 703/352-5900.
Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.The Park Authority purchased the land for the W&OD Trail in sections from 1978 through 1982 from VEPCO/Virginia Power who previously acquired the right-of-way from the W&OD Railroad. With acquisition and development funding from federal agencies and local jurisdictions, the NVRPA created this 45-mile paved trail by 1988.
NVRPA represents the counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun, and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax, working together to preserve more than 11,000 acres of Northern Virginia open space. Organized under state legislation in 1959, NVRPA has parks throughout the six local jurisdictions.
The Park Authority's mission is to enhance the communities of Northern Virginia and enrich the lives of their citizens through the conservation of regional natural and cultural resources. It provides diverse regional recreation and education opportunities, and fosters an understanding of the relationships between people and their environment.
Playing It Safe.Safety on the trail relies on walkers, skaters, joggers, horseback riders and cyclists looking out for each other and being courteous.
Please follow these simple rules for a safe, enjoyable visit.
Horses, then pedestrians have the right-of-way
Stay to the right of the centerline
Give an audible warning when passing
Use the trail with a friend
Do not use the trail after dark
Wear a safety helmet when you ride or skate
Obey all traffic signs
Move slowly when the trail is congested
Do not use headphones at a high volume
Report all dangerous situations to theTrail office: 703/729-0956
Report all emergencies to the police: 911