Northern Virginia is one of the most beautiful places I’ve lived, especially when it comes to nature, the trees, the views. During my three years living here I’ve noticed some beautiful paths and trails. I’m sure there are many more trails that I have not yet had the pleasure of discovering, but here are my top 5.
1. Colvin Run Trail in Reston, VA-
This is one of my favorite trails simply because I love Reston where there is usually something going on in town. Since this singletrack 4 mile trail goes in and out and takes an average of just over an hour to ride, I have plenty of time to visit the town. However, you can link up with the Difficult Run Trail (see #2) and stretch it all the way to the Potomac River in Great Falls Park.
2. Difficult Run in Reston, VA-
Don’t let the name fool you, this is really a beginners track but it is a long run. It’s about 12 miles to the Potomac River, which means it’s a 24 mile out and back, but it’s pretty much flat trail so no intense climbing. There are a few streams to cross which means be prepared to get a little wet here and there. There are several trails you can choose to take. For complete and detailed instructions, I suggest visiting this site I found where many riders have their own routes and details that way you can see which route is best for you. http://www.dirtworld.com/trails/trail.asp?id=479 .
3. Copper Creek in Herndon, VA-
For those of you who like doing stunts and jumps, there is a little, what I like to call, “hidden trail”. Go to the end of Copper Ridge Drive. You will find a black path. Take it and go past the “no dumping signs” and a playground then a little farther to the trail. It’s a short trail but it has plenty of jumps.
4. Folkstone Park Trail in Herndon, VA-
For another hidden trail go to Oak Hill (Herndon) VA. There is a sweet singletrack loop squeezed between Fox Mill Road and West Ox Road and bordered by Folkstone Drive to the north. Folkstone Park Trail is approximately two miles long as is not too difficult a trail, but it does have a few challenging areas. There are a few marshy places with thin wooden bridges and a few areas where you are riding towards the edge of a six foot drop off into the stream, but I love it.
5. Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax, VA-
I was informed that this was rated one of the best trails in all of Virginia. It was a little further than I would normally go but still close enough. Its about ten miles south of Fairfax, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. I checked it out. I am so glad that I did, but I will inform you this is only for mountain bikes. The park has two singletrack loops and one in and out. The distance and difficulty depends on what path you choose and whether or not it has rained or was so hot that it made the dirt ridges rock hard. There are multiple short, steep climbs and several fast descents along with stream crossings, downed trees, and twists and turns. Fountainhead Regional Park definitely offers a challenging, fun ride with beautiful views.
For now, those are the best trails I found, but I know there are plenty more. The fun is discovering them. Happy trails!