[ Busy Biker ]

The All-Purpose
Bicycle Trail

Cameron Run Wave Pool, City of Alexandria,
Crystal City, and Washington D.C.
(Plus plenty of restaurants, movie theatres,
and connections to other trails!)

Distance: Approximately 25 Miles.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate.
Terrain: Mostly flat, but with a few steep climbs on the return trip.
Time
: 4 Hours plus Stopovers.

By Robert Michie
Last Reviewed June 13, 2004

Note: This page is still under development. Photos to be added later.

This is my principal route to just about everywhere that isn't in Lee District Fairfax County VA. I use it to ride to the Washington Navy Yard, to Crystal City and the City of Alexandria, to the Smithsonian Institution, and even to Mount Vernon. Its secret is that it connects to many other bicycle trails.

Eisenhower Avenue, although in the City of Alexandria, is a major regional bicycle resource. When the weather is good, you will see bicycle clubs practicing pace line riding along it. Individual riders use it for speed trials. But I use it for commuting and to get to favorite destinations, such as restaurants and theaters, the Cameron Run Wave Pool, and other bicycle trails.

[ All-Purpose Bike Trail Eisenhower Avenue Area ]

Eisenhower Avenue Bike Route in the City of Alexandria VA.

The West end of Eisenhower Avenue connects to South Van Dorn Street in the vicinity of the Van Dorn Street Metro Station. The East End goes almost to U.S. Route 1, right through the area that the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office (PTO) is relocating to. This story shows you how to use Eisenhower Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue inside Alexandria to quickly get you into Washington D.C.

I start this ride at Thomas Edison High School in Lee District. It features a ride through my neighborhood, Brookland-Bush Hill. I've routed you this way in order to get you on quiet streets and in shade as much as possible. You use the Pedestrian Cut-Through to get to the Eisenhower Avenue Connector. Once on Eisenhower Avenue itself, you'll pass the Holmes Run Trailhead, Cameron Run Regional Park (with its popular wave pool), the AMC Hoffman Center 22 Movie Theaters, and into Alexandria. You'll use Commonwealth Avenue to get you to the Crystal City/National Airport area. You can also connect to the Four-Mile Run Trail and the Mount Vernon Trail. Finally, you'll cross the 14th Street Bridge and end the ride at the Jefferson Memorial. From there, you can visit the National Mall, or ride to the open-air seafood markets along nearby Water Street. Even Arena Stage is not far away!

 

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  The Cue Sheet provides your road directions. You'll encounter significant traffic as you enter Alexandria's East End, particularly around the Movie Theaters and the Metro Station. The rest of the ride is fairly quiet. I've organized the Cue Sheet into four tables so that I can use it to describe other rides in the future.

 

photo goes here

It takes me just about an hour to ride from Thomas Edison High School to the Jefferson Memorial along this route. I am riding at about 12 miles an hour in my commuter configuration (clothes and lunch in a saddlebag, laptop computer in a briefcase, etc). A recreational ride is probably more like eight miles an hour. So minimum time on this route is about four hours. 

bulletThe stretch along Eisenhower Avenue and Mount Vernon Trail is enough to lightly toast you.  Wear sunscreen.
bulletNeedless to say, the exhilarating downhill coasting you enjoy on the way out becomes mighty uphill climbs on the return.
bulletYou can use the "Metro Shortcut" to get home. Merely get on the Blue Line with your bike and get off at Van Dorn Street Station. Go out to Van Dorn Street, and use the Van Dorn hiker/biker to return to Franconia Road and Thomas Edison High School.
bulletWear your helmet, and carry a cell phone. Carry Metro fare, too.

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