View Full Version : Help!!! Safe trails for a gal riding by herself????

04-19-2011, 06:03 AM
Hi... I just moved to the area and was thrilled to find that Sligo Creek trail ran by my house. I never had access to such a wonderful trail system before and rode to where it intersects with the NE and NW Branch Trails. I was told that I needed to be careful at the end of the trail by my landlord, so I wanted to check on what everyone thought of the NE and NW Branch trails before I ventured out by myself. How are the neighborhoods around there? Is it safe for a single rider to go by herself?

Can't wait to check out the other areas around town - I would gladly take recommendations for your favorite trail! :)

04-19-2011, 09:32 AM
Welcome to DC.

You have LOTS of nice scenic cycling options here.

I don't know about the Sligo Creek Trail, but I can recommend the Capital Crescent, which is probably pretty easy for you to get to. It runs from Bethesda to Georgetown. Nice ride between cool destinations, and about as safe as any trail would be. You might get to Bethesda via the crushed stone part of the trail past Bethesda, officially called the Georgetown Branch trail. It might suck on a road bike though.

From there, you can go across the river to Arlington and connect easily to the Mt. Vernon Trail, which gives you a great river view and takes you down trough Old Town Alexandria to George Washington, and has two connections to the W&OD trail, which goes west for 45+ miles into farm country. Or you could stay on that side of the river and ride on the crushed gravel C&O Canal towpath, which goes 185 miles upriver.

Rock Creek Park also has a trail, and on weekends Beach Drive, which runs through the upper section of the park, is closed to motor vehicles.

Here's a resource on the trails and routes:


In general, all these trails are pretty safe using normal precautions.

04-19-2011, 09:56 AM
I ride the NE and parts of the NW branch trails every day and have never had any problems as far as anything threatening. Now that the weather is warmer there are usually lots of people out, especially between 38th street and Rhode Island on the NW, and between Riverdale Road and Lake Artemesia on the NE. On nice weekdays, there are lots of people out in the mornings before about 10am, and then again in the afternoons after about 4pm. Nice weekend days can actually get crowded, which didn't used to happen so much. My wife saw an osprey catch a fish yesterday, which caused a slow-down on the trail. I did have a little problem with a speeding cyclist recently, so as the weather gets better and the trails get more crowded during rush hour we all need to slow down a little.

04-19-2011, 02:01 PM
Well, there you go - the trail is obviously extremely dangerous if you're a fish.

04-19-2011, 03:40 PM
And watch out for deer near the College Park airport!

04-29-2011, 07:33 PM
NE branch section the other morning. Fish danger area ahead and the to the right by the Riverdale Road bridge.

04-30-2011, 11:23 AM
Thanks guys! I asked around at work and got mixed replies, so its good to hear. I definitely hope to get to the Capital trail this summer...thanks for the recommendation! :)

I saw a yellow-crowned night heron today hunting fish in Sligo Creek. Its amazing that there is so much wildlife in the city!