We have enjoyed touring our nation’s capital, and for those who love history, museums, stunning architecture, and lots of freebies, Washington DC is THE place to visit. I suspect there are few cities in the U.S. where so much can be seen without opening your wallet.
And just as there’s no end to the monuments and museums one can explore in this city, the list of bike trails crisscrossing lovely woods and parks and running alongside gurgling streams, lakes and rivers goes on and on, and we have tested many of them. From our temporary home at Greenbelt Park the Sligo Creek Trail, Anacostia River Trail, and the Paint Branch Trail have become a major part of our weekly exercise routine.
Our favorite city ride has been the Mt. Vernon Trail, the trail we had hoped to bike with friends John and Pam. This 36-mile trail traverses DC and Alexandria, VA alongside the Potomac River, to George Washington’s plantation home, Mt. Vernon. Loading bikes and bodies onto the Metro (a new experience for us) was a great way to hit the trail and avoid the traffic, but can be a bit of a hassle if the subway traffic is heavy.
The ride down to Mt. Vernon was awesome but the sea of tourists we found on arrival not so much. We have become a bit crowd-weary so after a quick snack we hopped right back on the trail. Luckily we had taken the Mt. Vernon tour many years earlier so didn’t really miss anything.
Stopping to admire planes lift-off at Ronald Reagan Airport, watch the lazy Potomac glide by, stroll through Teddy Roosevelt Island, and catch a freebie performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (yes, you can do that donning bike clothes) can easily be accessed from the trail. Wracking up miles on the endless bike trails has been a welcome break from hectic city life.
As much as we have enjoyed all DC has to offer, we are moving on, letting the ticks pick on someone else for a while. We knew there would be ticks (not unusual back east) but they are a rather acute problem at Greenbelt Park, in what could be the perfect location for families wanting to see DC on a budget. It seems Terry is quite the “tick-magnet” and no matter how he tries to protect against these tiny critters, even staying on the pavement, they still seek him out. They don’t seem to like me at all, which pleases me to no end. We look forward to taking a break from big city traffic and daily tick checks as we begin our slow journey west. Happy summer everyone!