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Thread: Looking for getaway area close to DC with paved riding trails

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    Question Looking for getaway area close to DC with paved riding trails

    I'm looking for a good family getaway spot within about a 2-hour drive from Alexandria. The ideal place would be either on a waterfront or in the woods, and would have paved bike trails nearby suitable for family bike riding.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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    jrenaut's Avatar
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    A couple times we've rented a hotel room along the W&OD to go for family bike rides. I would highly recommend Leesburg - it's a really cute little town right on the trail with a great downtown with good food and drink, plus all the other stuff you'd expect from a small town. My kids are 6 and 8 and they were fine with a combination of bike trail, a few sidewalks, and some low traffic streets.

    The W&OD site I linked also lists camping spots - we tend to vacation in more hotels than tents, but that might be more what you're looking for.

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    I know you wrote "paved" but staying in a lockhouse along the C&O Canal towpath can be fun. The two inside the Beltway, Lockhouse 6 and Lockhouse 10 have electricity, indoor plumbing and A/C. Check out Canal Quarters.

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    Williamsburg (both Colonial and regular) may be worth checking out. You can bike the trails along the river out by Jamestown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Williamsburg (both Colonial and regular) may be worth checking out. You can bike the trails along the river out by Jamestown.
    This is a good suggestion. The Virginia Capital Trail is really nice and not crowded, so it works great for family biking. There is also a loop through Jamestown that is wooded and has nice views of the river and marsh. If you go near dusk you will see 1 million deer and lots of other critters too. For things to do, there is historic Jamestown, fake Jamestown (this was site built when the real Jamestown was thought to have been lost to a change in the river channel), and Colonial Williamsburg. Yorktown battlefield is also a short drive away. The visitor center at Yorktown will provide a map of two bicycle routes through the battlefield if you want to bike through.

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    I third the suggestion to go to Williamsburg. If you're looking for something closer to home, you may want to check out Mason Neck State Park and Pohick Bay Regional Park. Mason Neck has a short (~3 miles) paved bike trail in the woods, both parks have boat rentals and great views of the Potomac River, and Pohick Bay has camping and cabin facilities.

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    dasgeh's Avatar
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    We've been looking for campsites that kids can ride around. Chris_S recently camped relatively close at a place that seemed to check the "easy for kids to ride places" box -- I believe it was Pohick Bay Regional Park, which also has a water park.

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    Prince William Forest is an often-overlooked "oasis" just off of I-95 in Triangle, VA. It has the usual national park amenities--camping, cabins, hiking trails, organized hikes, ranger talks, and...biking. According to the park website:

    For the on- and off-road cyclist, Prince William Forest Park is a favorite place for bicyclists. Over twelve miles of paved roads and 9.2 miles of gravel roads are available.

    Three miles of the park Scenic Drive are a dedicated bike lane providing a paved, relatively flat surface ideal for beginning bicyclists. More experienced cyclists with mountain bikes have the option of off-road biking on any of the ten fire roads in the park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VA2DC View Post
    Prince William Forest is an often-overlooked "oasis" just off of I-95 in Triangle, VA. It has the usual national park amenities--camping, cabins, hiking trails, organized hikes, ranger talks, and...biking. According to the park website:

    For the on- and off-road cyclist, Prince William Forest Park is a favorite place for bicyclists. Over twelve miles of paved roads and 9.2 miles of gravel roads are available.

    Three miles of the park Scenic Drive are a dedicated bike lane providing a paved, relatively flat surface ideal for beginning bicyclists. More experienced cyclists with mountain bikes have the option of off-road biking on any of the ten fire roads in the park.
    Scenic Drive is primarily a big loop, most of which is pretty hilly - nothing too long, but steep climbs. It is good if you want to work on your climbing skills, and a blast if you like a fast descent.

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    The Great Allegheny Passage trail out of Cumberland is paved for the first several miles before turning into a crushed limestone surface. It also parallels a working tourist railway between Cumberland and Frostburg, with a steam train operating once or twice a day.

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